Weekend Wonderland: Security Search Shuffle

It’s the weekend and technically we could be out carousing and caroling with the best of them, but like you, we’re still on the freakin’ internet. So let’s share.

Do you let retail security people check your bags? What about the whole ‘sign off on your receipt’ thing? And, most importantly, does a person have to submit to those checks?


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  1. D says:

    You make it sound like we have a choice. Just bought a new wireless mouse from Compusa today. I had to wait behind several other customers at the exit for the security guard to scribble on their respective receipts before he could scribble on mine. What’s a customer to do? And how effective is it anyway? If I’m a thief, the necessity of Barney Fife’s incomprehensible squiggle is not exactly going to deter me.

  2. As long as they aren’t checking my pockets or bags I brought in with me, I personally don’t have a problem with this. My purchases were available for view in an open cart while in store, and the cashier saw and likely touched every item. I don’t see where any rights are being violated…

    Then again, it means one other person who knows how much you spent, and exactly what you bought.

    Would be interesting to find out what happens if you refuse for your bag to be checked.

  3. Aaron D. says:

    Any of you who shop in Frys Electronics should be used to this. Everyday, before leaving the store, you have to hand over the receipt and open all your bags.

    As long as it doents go any further I’m okay with that.

    It’s the least of my problems with Frys.

  4. seva says:

    You don’t have to submit to these searches, I usually just say “No, thanks” and walk out, have never had single problem.

    Try it next time.

    What are they going to do, arrest you? For what?

  5. The Unicorn says:

    As far as I know, the security guards at almost any store are basically useless. At Borders, for example, they’re not even authorized to touch anyone at all, and aren’t supposed to leave the store if shoplifters make a run for it. If someone sets off the door sensors, they’re supposed to submit to a bag check — but I’ve seen people make a big enough fuss about their innocence that the guard just gives up.

    If a store truly thinks you’re stealing, they’ll call the police — who actually can make you open your bag. But as far as I know, no one else has any kind of authority.

  6. HINKShopper says:

    If you refuse a request for a search, they can ask you to leave since you are on private property. How often this is likely to happen to a customer intent on shopping? Not likely.

    It’s the same as being searched at theme parks and nightclubs, and they have no problem turning people away when they refuse.

  7. mrscolex says:


    So then what you’re saying is that if you’re leaving a store and you set off the alarms and you’re carrying a giant Xbox 360 in your bloody hands (because you broke open the glass) then they have no legal right to stop you or attempt to apprehend you? Their only recourse is to call a police officer who would then investigate the incident and attempt to track you down…

    Interesting. I’m not being facetious either. It does make sense on some level…