Up until today, if you lived near a certain street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn and wanted some pot, you just had to go to the nearby variety store. Or the music store. Or the take-out restaurants. MyFox New York says police “made a sweep of the neighborhood” today and shut down six businesses for selling drugs either in the back or right alongside the regular merchandise. They also arrested 8 people, including a few store owners and employees, and are planning more arrests. Video below. [More]
If security guards start carrying guns at department stores, I’m going to stop referring to them as rent-a-cops. Not because they’ve suddenly jumped up on my respect-o-meter, but because they might open fire. At a mall in Virginia last Sunday, a J.C. Penney security guard pursued a shoplifter into the mall parking lot and fired a gun into the air. The shoplifter was arrested, and the police confiscated the guard’s gun. The store won’t say whether it was owned by the guard or issued by management. [More]
The arrest and ticket quota is supposed to be an urban myth, but one NYPD officer told ABCNews that it is anything but. He works in the Bronx and says he’s “not going to keep arresting innocent people.” [More]
This weekend was supposed to be the Boston 411 Spring Home & Bridal Show, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Now police are saying that the entire thing was an elaborate scam that pulled in money from attendees and vendors, raking in more than $150,000 over the past five months. The scammers used a website, Facebook page and Twitter account to promote the event, used PayPal to accept payments, sold fake hotel room reservations and issued fake conference passes. Boston police and the FBI are investigating, but so far nobody has been taken into custody. [More]
Going from strip poles to iron bars in one night, a Consumerist reader says he got tossed in jail when he refused to give a strip club his thumbprint. Their ATM was broken so he had to pay his tab using a credit card cash advance. The club demanded a thumbprint and he refused, so cops that were already there threw him in jail. Was this legal? [More]
Last month, New York City’s NY1 news channel produced a news segment on the woman who was arrested for paying with AMEX gift cards at a Best Buy. If you read our earlier post with Ilona’s email, you already know most of the basics, but you can see the problematic gift cards and hear Ilona describe the experience in her own words. It turns out that after she was released, she went back to Best Buy for either a refund or the DVD player, but had to leave without either one–she was told she’d have to contact American Express to resolve the problem. [More]
Update: The news channel New York 1 has prepared a video segment about Ilona’s experience with Best Buy and the NYC police.
A shopper just told us that
last night last month at a Best Buy in NYC, she was taken to a back room, then cuffed by police officers and taken to a precinct for “further investigation,” because she tried to pay with an American Express gift card her father had bought for her.
Yep, it’s another Walmart receipt checker story! At the end of it, the OP asks, “What should I do?” And I sigh. I really don’t know. Don’t shop at Walmart anymore? Try to encourage your friends to not give their business to any company that acts in such a hostile way to honest, albeit uncooperative, customers? Spend a ton of money on a lawsuit that Walmart will use its very deep pockets to fight? [More]
Kerri (not her real name) says she was detained last week at a Walmart in Utah, after she declined to show the receipt checker her receipt on the way out. She says a police officer blocked her from leaving, told her to show the receipt checker more respect, and then had her go back inside and let Walmart examine her bags while he wrote down the info from her drivers license. [More]
Alisa was robbed on the subway a couple of weeks ago, and now someone else has contacted Apple about replacing the phone due to a software malfunction. Alisa found out about this because her email account is still associated with it, but neither she nor the police can persuade Apple to return the phone to her once the other party sends it in for replacement. [More]
Remember that passenger fight at Delta JFK last week? According to an airport employee who witnessed the fight, it wasn’t passengers venting on airport employees. Rather, the travelers (described as “the entire nation of Haiti”), who, yes, had been waiting for their flight to Haiti for four days, started to “brawl” amongst themselves. When a few TSA employees tried to break it up, “they got thrown around.” [More]
The Los Angeles Times says that a Walmart in Upland, California had to kick everyone out and shut down for 3 hours this morning, because shoppers lost their damned minds. [More]
The Chicago Sun-Times says that three men have been charged with “stealing cash and property at gunpoint from victims thinking they were meeting to buy televisions and other electronics advertised on Craigslist.” The suspects were arrested after police saw “suspicious” postings on Craigslist and contacted the sellers posing as an interested customer.
Should you be required by law to pay a gratuity if you don’t think the restaurant’s service was worth it? The police in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania think so, and they arrested two college students for refusing to pay a $16.35 tip over what they claim was poor service. Update 11/23/09: the charges will be dropped.
Here’s some advice for you, the regular customer who doesn’t shoplift: never go into the back of a store with a security guard, store manager, rent-a-cop, etc. Never. Someone posted the following story in the Janesville, Wisconsin CraigsList over the weekend. Because the poster cooperated in good faith with the security personnel at her local Menards home store, she had to pay $150 to avoid having the police called on her.
Walmart can try to spin itself as being on the side of good all it wants, but if it ever suspects you of shoplifting, you may find that you’re powerless to fight back. In the case of a couple accused of shoplifting some Bic lighters in Niles, Michigan this past August, Walmart detained them, the police came and cuffed one of them, their two kids were taken to a security room, and—after a review of security footage proved the couple’s innocence—they were banned for life from all Walmarts. To top it off, Walmart’s legal team has sent the couple a letter asking to be reimbursed for 10 times the value of the lighters, even though the police determined no shoplifting had taken place.