Best Buy Security Thinks I'm A Dumb Criminal, Stole iPad From Them

John has a bit of advice for iPad owners: don’t use the device in public. At least, don’t use it for price comparisons at a Best Buy with particularly clueless loss prevention staff unless you want to be accused of theft and have the police show up. He writes that this happened to him while checking some prices on his iPad.

I went to best buy a few months ago to look at Macbook Pros. I happened to bring along a iPad 32GB with snapshots of competing prices. After seeing what Best Buy had to offer i decided to leave. That is where the trouble started. I was carrying my iPad out in the open, when security demanded me to show a receipt for the iPad. I told them i do not have a receipt due to not purchasing the device at Best Buy. He proceeded to demand that i show proof of ownership. I told him that I am not required to do so as he doesn’t have reasonable doubt that it was stolen. He then threatened me by stating that he will call the authorities if i do not comply and that i will be held here until they arrived. I told him that i will be leaving this store.

He proceeded to stand in my way again demanding that i show proof. I told him again, Unless you have a warrant i am not going to show you the data on my device. The police show up about 10 minutes latter. I explain to them that this is my personal device, and that the store falsely accused me of stealing the iPad that i brought in with me. They asked for proof, and that is when i showed how much of an ass the Security was.

I said, “Here are the ways you could have known that this was mine, For one the device is SOLD OUT. Your store doesn’t have them in stock. Two, The backs of the demo units have written in Bold Lettering “FOR DEMO USE ONLY, NOT FOR RESALE” Three, the demo units are 16GB models, mine is 32GB. Finally, if i stole it why would i keep it in clear view?”

The Police looked at me in shock. They then said you are free to go. The store manager was asking me why i didn’t tell the security this in the first place. I simply told him, why should i have to?

The issue is this, i use my iPad as a travel and shopping companion. Why should I be hustled every time I shop?

The problem, of course, is that while employees might be used to customers consulting their smartphones while shopping, carrying around a tablet is a new enough phenomenon that pioneers like John will, indeed, be hassled.


Edit Your Comment

  1. ktetch says:

    then the OP should have turned around and said ‘I’d like this security guard prosecuted for false imprisonment, as he had no evidence that I had stolen anything.” And then maybe pulled out the cellphone and asked the manager/cop if he knew the number to the local TV station.

    • Derp says:

      Yeah, as if the local news was gonna rush right on over…..

      • KillerBee says:

        They might if it’s a slow news day in a small town like mine. It does involve a trendy tech gadget and something they can easily spin as an oh-so-scary “warning to iPad users”.

      • Pax says:

        Even if they don’t rush over – put the cellphone on Speaker, and make an appointment for an interview, while the manager listens.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:


    • sonneillon says:

      He never actually imprisoned him the guard just stood in the way. This is very important. It is purely psychological imprisonment, but without restraining or the threat of violence. Now they could make the Best Buy look bad because I do believe their corporate protocol is that an employee has to see the person steal the item so there might be a firing.

      • Jason Litka says:

        You’ve got to be careful with that. In some states what the “guard” did is considered assault. What would he have done if the OP tried to leave? If he made any threatening action or show of force, for example, standing in front of him and physically preventing him from leaving, he could be prosecuted. Actually touching the OP would have added battery to the list of charges.

        • sonneillon says:

          But what ifs are not law. The guard just stood. The op didn’t attempt to leave. He said he was going to but didn’t. The guard didn’t touch the OP and the OP didn’t try to go around the guard. The guard didn’t make a threatening action. And the guard in his testimony would use this defense “I was just standing there. The OP didn’t ask me to move and didn’t attempt to leave. Here is the security camera footage showing that.”

          • Difdi says:

            Deliberately standing between someone and an exit, and moving to keep them from stepping around you, meets the test of unlawful detention in my state (which is hardly unique in that legal viewpoint). Best Buys are generally designed to have only one non-emergency door accessible to the public; Using a different door is therefore either false reporting (fire alarm sounds when door is opened) or trespassing (exiting through the loading dock). If some security or LP guy is blocking off the normal exit, they are actively keeping you from leaving, even if their actual stance is passive blocking.

            Yes, that really is unlawful detention, which is the same as false imprisonment (different terms are used to describe the same act in different places). It’s not a mere tort either, at least in my state.

      • Dory says:

        If the only way the person can leave the store is by committing battery or assault upon the guard, then most states would consider the guard’s actions, and by extension the store’s actions, to be illegal.

        • sonneillon says:

          Only if that was the only way to leave. If there were other exits or if there was another door, and in every BestBuy I have ever been too there are. Then the OP did have options that were not exercised. Now the Guard may have violated fire code, but that’s different.

          • common_sense84 says:

            Best Buy’s have a single way out. None have more than one.

            Best Buy’s have even rearranged their layouts a little to make sure there are two exists that use the same set of doors at the front. One for people buying nothing and one for people leaving the registers. The only other exist are emergency exists which will set off the fire alarm. The only other possible exit will be through the autocenter back where they install car stereos.

            • JennQPublic says:

              The Best Buy in Fairfield, CA has two exits- one that leads into the attached mall, and one on the other side of the store that leads outside.

              That’s not relevant to the story at all, but I think you may want to refrain from assuming you know how every BB is laid out…

              • reynwrap582 says:

                lol, nice, that’s the exact same BB I was about to mention. Lived right across the street from it.

            • sonneillon says:

              So you say there is one exit then list 2 others.

              • jesirose says:

                It’s not reasonable to have to escape a store through a fire exit or employee entrance, in order to avoid detainment.

            • coren says:

              Incorrect – the one near my work has two – one leads into the mall, one outside.

              Nevermind that every best buy i’ve been to has an “entrance” and “exit” but the door works both ways, effectively creating another exit.

          • davidc says:

            You obviously had no idea what your talking about with regards to FI. There is plenty of case law on this matter and boils down to this: If you reasonable believe you are being detained, due to the actions of another individual, then you ARE being detained … aka: Imprisoned.

            Your on a sidewalk, and somebody stands in front of you and says “your not going anywhere” and you try to step around him and he again blocks you, you are being detained. Doesn’t matter that you could try to “run” the opposite direction. So hopefully you are not slightly better educated concerning being detained.

            • bravohotel01 says:

              Your repeated misuse of contractions and possessives affect the reader’s perception of your argument. In this case, you’re less likely to be taken seriously.

      • ludwigk says:

        [IANAL] Incorrect, false imprisonment does not require either a) actual imprisonment, or b) threat of violence. Being contained in a particular area, in this case within a store, is sufficient, even without actually putting someone in a cell, or office. A threat of violence is not necessary as long as the individual had a reasonable belief that he could not leave. You oddly use the phrase “pure psychological imprisonment”, which indicates that you do not realize that convincing someone that they cannot leave is precisely contemplated under the tort of false imprisonment! Attempts to leave, and exhausting all possible options are NOT requirements for false imprisonment.

        Regarding the elements of false imprisonment, you clearly don’t know them. Regarding affirmative defenses to a claim of FI, you clearly don’t know those, either. Do we have enough facts here to be sure that false imprisonment occurred? Not really. Can we rule it out? No. My feeling here is that OP only stayed around until the police showed up because he wanted to make an ass out of the security guard.

        • sonneillon says:

          Psychological from the point that he assumed he couldn’t leave, but it has to be willful detention. I’m not convinced he was detained. I think he could have left but chose to stay and there were other ways to get out. But IANAL either so what do I know.

    • physics2010 says:

      False imprisonment doesn’t work when you’re talking about store security who do have the right to detain a suspected shoplifter until police arrive. Don’t confuse this with store policies which typically mandate no physical confrontation due to the possibility of lawsuits. The best bet is make sure the police are called. Do not go to with security to the LP office. Wait for the police where you are. Know your local laws regarding physical restraint by store security. You do not have to provide id to the store personnel.

      As far as bringing items into the store of that nature you certainly run the risk. Its not common place yet and its best to get the device tagged or recognized. If I’m taking a part into a store to compare I make sure its clearly visible in my hands as I walk past the front security cameras. Most stores used to have signs clearly visible that they had the right to search purses and backpacks…that seems to have gone away as security cameras are more the norm.

      • Shadowfax says:

        The problem is that they had no reasonable suspicion that he stole the iPad. In order to have reasonable suspicion you have to see the thief take the merchandise from the shelf and attempt to leave the store with it. Since it was his, they couldn’t have seen him take it from the shelf, and therefore had no basis to accuse him of theft, and therefore had no basis to detain him.

        Yes, I used to work LP. (No, not for Best Buy)

      • common_sense84 says:

        “False imprisonment doesn’t work when you’re talking about store security who do have the right to detain a suspected shoplifter until police arrive.”

        And that is the key. They had no reasonable suspicion. Only if a few states are the security monitor that beep reasonable suspicion. For everyone else the standard law is that they have to see you take it. That is the only way you can claim to have reasonable suspicion.

      • Difdi says:

        Stores have a legal defense in court against charges of assault, battery and false imprisonment/unlawful detention if they detain a suspected shoplifter. In order to use the defense, the store personnel must first admit they did those things (much like a plea of self-defense requires admission of assault and/or battery). After admitting they did those things, they must be able to demonstrate, in court, that they met the well-defined legal test (typically defined in the state’s shopkeeper;s privilege law) of Reasonable Suspicion (either unbroken eyewitness testimony or video records).. After that, the detention of the shoplifter is essentially a somewhat enhanced form of citizen’s arrest; They can only detain the suspected shoplifter for a reasonable time, until police arrive. If they fail to call the police at all, then they don’t qualify for a Shopkeeper’s Privilege defense against the detention charges.

        But here’s the thing. If they lack Reasonable Suspicion, or don’t follow the procedures specified by law, then they will still be on the hook for multiple felonies and misdemeanors! The LP guy at the Best Buy in the OP’s account of events didn’t have Reasonable Suspicion, and didn’t follow procedure. He is indeed guilty of a crime.

        • burnedout says:

          Those protections might work in criminal proceedings, but stores have fewer protections in civil proceedings. IANAL, but I was a store manager (a popular mall store) in Chicago and our store was the home base for our District Manager and Loss Prevention Manager. Our LPM kept articles hanging in his office about stores getting hosed by falsely detained shoppers – Eddie Bauer, for example, lost a 5-figure lawsuit when a guy bought a shirt at one EB store and then a few days later wore that shirt into another store. The 2nd store just received the shirt in stock that day, and no one saw him wear it in; they only saw him trying to leave while wearing it. They detained him for hours until his wife could come in with the receipt from the 1st store. He sued for false imprisonment and won. The crazy thing was that none of the staff could say for certain he even went in the fitting room – they just knew they didn’t have that shirt in stock before that afternoon, so he MUST have stolen it.

  2. georgi55 says:

    Wow. I would have pushed my way through and if they bumped into my called it an assault, while running my camera on my smart phone of course for proof.

  3. 420greg says:

    The OP should have demanded that the best buy security guy and manager be arrested on the spot for illegally detaining you. You should have forced the guy to physically detain you so you could file a lawsuit later.

    • outlulz says:

      In what way was he illegally detained? He never actually tried leaving the store.

      • kc2idf says:


        I told him that i will be leaving this store.

        • outlulz says:

          Telling someone you’re going to leave and actually trying to leave are two different things. If the guard stood in his way he should have gone around. Standing between me and the exit isn’t detaining me. If the guard physically tried to detain him that’s a whole different thing.

          • Wei says:

            “I told him that i will be leaving this store. He proceeded to stand in my way again demanding that i show proof. “

            It’s the very next sentence, man.

            • outlulz says:

              Then I guess jails don’t need bars and cops don’t need handcuffs, just someone standing in front of a prisoner. Give me a break. The guard wasn’t going to lay a hand on him so there was nothing stopping him from leaving.

              • 99 1/2 Days says:

                It’s called “reasonable assumption of detainment.” If someone is standing in your way, they are trying to stop you from leaving. You don’t have to force your way out to have a reasonable assumption of detainment. Of course, reason isn’t as easy to some as it is to others, so of course there will be non-sequiturs and strawmen thrown up by those who can’t grasp the concept.

              • Rottenjunk says:

                I work at a 7-eleven, and people will show me what they bring into the store without me asking. How hard is it to flash it at the guy at the door when you walk in just to avoid these situations?

                “hey I have a mountain dew. Have I have an iPad.”
                Wow, that was really hard.

                Now you’ve wasted the cops time. I don’t care how upset you where over this, you’ve wasted someone’s time that is clearly more important than yours. You can spend yours playing mind games with the guy at the door. Cops have more important things to do.

                • coren says:

                  And the security guard wasted both the OP and the Police’s time (and his manager’s, it seems) – all of which are more important than his.

                  Moreover, I’ve been to Best Buy (and other stores which have personnel stationed at exits for receipt checking and the like) – I’ve seen different ones when I come in than when I leave. And that’s assuming he went out the same way he came in.

                  He’s not guilty until proven innocent. Until they have reasonable suspicion that he jacked it, he doesn’t have to prove anything. Plus, it’s not like an ipad is hard to spot. Do I need to prove the headphones I wear (when I cut through best buy to the parking lot from other mall shopping) are mine cuz BB sells them? Bullshit.

      • spamtasticus says:

        He was blocking his exit by standing in his way. If you try to get around him and he does it again that is illegal detention.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Just show your damn receipt, people. Gawd!

    • ktetch says:

      WHAT receipt? No purchase, no receipt.

    • CityGuySailing says:

      uhm… he didn’t buy it there… no receipt to show… you do see the situation properly now, right?

    • ReverendLoki says:

      OMG, just let them conduct at-will strip searches without reason!

    • vitajex says:

      Point: Missed

    • ohiomensch says:

      I suppose you carry around every receipt for every item you carry on your person? Cell phone, laptop, IPad?

    • jason in boston says:

      I know! Show your papers and everything will be okay.

      Although, 10 minutes out of your time to make loss prevention look like an ass – not a bad trade-off.

    • pop top says:

      You people realize this is a joke, yes? I hope so…

    • c!tizen says:

      I don’t think I’ve seen so many people miss sarcasm since I watched Stephen Colbert testify to congress.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Wow, didn’ think I’d see such an onslaught.

      Clearly, people, what I meant was obvious. Immediately upon purchase of his iPad, he should have used the camera to photograph the receipt and leave the image on the iPad so he could prove the purchase when anyone asked.


      • brianary says:

        I very much doubt that a photo of a receipt would convince anyone. They’d just assume that you downloaded the photo from some website.

        What I’m confused about is why security didn’t have someone in the store check the security camera footage to see if this guy came in with the iPad like he said he did. I wonder if maybe he will in the future after this spanking in front of the real police.

        • squirrel says:

          Well, these reciepts usually have the serial number of the device on them. Especially if you buy from Apple. I think BB does this as well.

          So if you have a digital photo, and it has the serial number, they will accuse you of “shopping” the receipt, and report you to Adobe and the BSA unless you surrender proof of a Photoshop license.

      • c_c says:

        Don’t be so surprised, I think the average sarcasm non-detection rate among internet commenters is about 64%-79%, depending on the blog.

        • brianary says:

          It doesn’t work well, given the medium and its absence of cues, but it much be unbelievably hilarious, since people still do it.

          • 99 1/2 Days says:

            Using sarcasm is like dancing. Everyone thinks they can do it, but they aren’t always good at it. Also, both were painful to watch when attempted by my mother.

      • Pax says:

        Did you do that wiuth each and every cellphone you’ve ever owned?

        Or how about this: my Canon DC310 video camera (plus larger battery pack, case, 32GB Class 6 SDHC memory card, and 10-pack of 8cm rewriteable DVDs). Should I carry a receipt for that? Keep in mind, I’ve had it for almost a year already.

      • HappyFunTimes says:

        Really? That’s what you meant? I can shananigans on that.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          No, this is more sarcasm. I am amazingly impressed at the Whoosh factor that developed. Truly, I thought it would be an obviously sarcastic comment.

      • packy says:

        Every time I’ve bought something at an Apple store, I haven’t gotten a physical receipt. Unless he had a 3G iPad, he didn’t have a way to connect to his email and pull up the e-receipt he got when he bought the thing.

      • danmac says:

        Wow…looking at the comments below, you’ve pulled off the rare double-whoosh…you’re one away from a hat trick!

      • Vulpine says:

        No, what you meant was not obvious. Nor should it be necessary to do something of the sort. It’s still the store’s responsibility to prove a crime has occurred.

        As for so many people trying to claim this was an obvious joke–no, the joke was not obvious in any way and more than one person on similar threads has meant it in all seriousness. If you ask me, the ones to worry about here are the ones why are trying to belittle people trying to offer serious discussion.

    • goldilockz says:

      Reading comprehension fail. He did not purchase the iPad at that location, he owned it before ever even entering the store. Do you carry the receipts for everything you have with you at any given time? I know I don’t.

    • El_Fez says:

      Somebody didn’t RTFA – he didn’t purchase the item there, so there was no receipt to show. Try again please.

    • Buckus says:

      Damn right! Just show your receipt at the door, tell the customs agent what you did in China, show your ID to the cashier and bow to the wishes of every 2-bit retail security personnel. Because we don’t need personal freedoms or any semblance of common sense in our daily dealings. Hey, all I want is a Tall Mocha Latte and I’ll show my receipt to the Starbucks receipt-checker if they ask…

    • ThatsWhatSheSaid says:


    • cmdr.sass says:

      I can’t believe how many stupid people didn’t get this joke. Bravo OP for exposing the morons.

      • theycallmeGinger says:

        Can we weed out any commenters who still took this seriously even after it was spelled out as a joke? It’s a good litmus test for Consumerist. Our hive-mind IQ seems to be dropping every day…

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      Just two words: Credit. Union.

    • jefeloco says:

      You could have killed all of these fools unawares, you are a ninja!

    • ellemdee says:

      I make my own receipts at home.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Two words: Charge Back.

    • athensguy says:

      I think a good reply would have been:

      “Sure, I have my receipt, let me get it for you. It’s written here on the side of my Glock”

      • LastError says:

        I would be tempted to do the same. Glocks are one item they don’t sell, for sure. I’ll let them get a good look at it.

        I am pretty sure I can do the “He reached for something and I felt threatened for my life, and…” speech good enough.

    • Weekilter says:

      “Just show your receipt” Smart guy do you carry around receipts for everything you buy? I didn’t think so. Use a little bit of sense K?

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:


    • runswithscissors says:

      This was funny, kudos – you got a lot of folks with it too!

      Sadly somewhat understandable that folks fell for it though because there really are commenters on here that would skim the article and post something like that seriously.

      But we must share a sense of humor because I scrolled down intending to post the exact same “show your receipts people!” type sarcasm. :-D

    • CapitalC says:

      You fed the trolls.

    • LucasM says:

      Don’t you get it? First, He didn’t have a receipt because he already owned it. Second, you don’t have to spend your time justifying the use of a device you already own.

      The “easier” choice (i.e. just giving in to anyone who thinks they have authority over you and your life) isn’t always (or usually) the best choice. Imagine if the founders of our country just decided to pay taxes to the King of England instead of risking their lives for real freedom and representation. Everyone who takes your attitude results in a society with fewer rights for everyone else.

    • zantafio says:

      this is how it works in this country: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO PROVE YOU ARE INNOCENT. The accuser has to prove you are guilty.

      • JennQPublic says:

        This is how it works in this country: You do not have to RTFA. Or the comment you’re responding to. Or have an ability to detect sarcasm.


    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      The problem is, the guy who does happen to have a receipt because he just bought the product owns his product just as much as the OP and has a right to walk out without suspicion just as this person should have. That’s what the “show your receipt” people refuse to understand.

  5. MisterE says:

    I hope the op consults a lawyer because this is wrong on too many levels.

    • sufreak says:

      Or, instantly running to a lawyer is the bigger problem over everything.

      • s73v3r says:

        Sometimes it is the solution. How would you suggest that Best Buy learn the lesson that this is unacceptable?

        • Michaela says:

          Sometimes, it isn’t the solution. How would a case improve the situation? What does the man feel that Best Buy owes him (that could not be given outside of a courtroom)? How would this case really impact widespread Best Buy practices? Are there not better solutions to the issue?

          Honestly, people on this site seem to just to lawsuit level a bit too quickly.

          • sqlrob says:

            You don’t have to sue for money.

            Or if you do, in a legally binding manner donate everything above costs to ACLU or EFF.

      • Paintmann says:


    • Michaela says:

      I hope the op doesn’t, for the situation has already been blown way out of proportion.

  6. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Aren’t all of the display models tethered to the counter by an anti-theft device anyway? I mean, unless the guy snipped the cord and removed whatever holder was attached to the device, I don’t see how he could’ve stolen a floor model.

    As for “The store manager was asking me why i didn’t tell the security this in the first place. I simply told him, why should i have to?”

    Well, the obvious answer is that people aren’t mind readers and they don’t always come to obvious logical conclusions all by themselves. Sometimes you have to explain things to them, like 1) Yours isn’t marked like the floor models and shows no sign that it was ever marked as such and 2) There are no missing floor models and 3) the actual iPads for sale (I can’t verify whether Best Buy had really sold out of them) would be locked up.

    While Best Buy was wrong, IMO, the OP didn’t grasp the concept that not being clear to people only leads to strife, misunderstanding, and the impression that you’re just trying to make other people look like fools. He thought he didn’t need to be clear; I think he did.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      I’m sorry . . . by telling the security guard that the iPad was his personal device and that he didn’t buy it Best Buy the OP was being very clear.

      The onus is on Best Buy to have proof that the device was stolen.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Well, he was clear that he claimed he didn’t buy it at Best Buy, but at that point, he was already talking to a brick wall. Clearly, they didn’t believe him, so he could have used some logic to explain the many ways in which he could not have possibly been carrying a store model or even one purchased in Best Buy. I think he could’ve avoided the whole confrontation if he had presented his logical arguments first.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          True, he had ways to potentially end the arguement right there and then.

          But his actual method was far, far more hilarious.

        • Damocles57 says:

          I think the point is it was not the OP that started the confrontation, it was Best Buy. At that point, logic and reason would direct the confronted to protect what rights they have and not succumb to the tyranny imposed on them through no fault of their own.

          Here is one aspect of the Stockholm Syndrome that you seem to be exhibiting:

          The hostage taker (Best Buy) threatens the victim (OP) and gives the perception of having the capability to do so. The captive (OP) judges it safer to align with the perpetrator, endure the hardship of captivity, and comply with the captor than to resist.

          It is necessary at times to point out the unbalanced nature of the power relationship and if that takes a few minutes out of our day, or creates a situation where someone stands up to power, or even makes someone uncomfortable for pointing at the elephant in the room, then hopefully the next 100 people after us will not be subjected to the same treatment.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            The OP could have chosen to simply give Best Buy a reasonable counterargument to their assertion that he needed to show proof of ownership. However, by giving evidence he did not steal the device by using logical arguments, he’s not acquiescing to Best Buy’s request. He still hasn’t proven that he owns the device, only that there is no way that Best Buy owns the device.

            • Damocles57 says:

              The onus is on Best Buy to prove that the OP is trying to deprive them of their property.

              Keep in mind that this is not a rogue employee who made an honest mistake. He is, for sake of argument, a trained employee who is carrying out explicit instructions with regard to the treatment of people exiting the store. It is BB’s policy to have a person stationed at the door who we can assume has been trained to a minimum level of performance by his employer to execute specific tasks.

              It is specifically the list of expectations that BB has with regard to its customers and how they are choosing to treat those customers that is in question. BB expects to treat customers rudely and expects the customer to be “too meek” or “too kind” or “too uncomfortable” to question the fact that they are being treatly badly. When questioned, or when the customer exerts rights that BB does not want to concede, BB employees are trained to become aggressive and to treat the customer in demeaning ways so that the customer follows orders and behaves like a docile sheep as they are quietly leaving the store.

        • veritybrown says:

          I agree. The whole situation could have ended much more quickly and easily if the OP had bothered to point out to the security person the same things he told the policeman. Instead, he chose to be a stubborn jerk and create a scene with the police (probably just so he’d have something to post on Consumerist!). I have no sympathy for people whose default setting is “obnoxious.”

          • Damocles57 says:

            Do you mean the stubborn jerk of a Best Buy employee who called the police??

          • thatdarnedbob says:

            I agree with veritybrown. The customer should have given the iPad to the store security and left, because nothing is more important than not causing a scene and respecting the inherent authority of corporations’ employees.

        • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

          Wrong. It takes two idiots to argue. If I were him, I’d have told them not to bother calling the police because I’m already dialing. Customers are under no obligation to debate with one of the BB morons and to ‘win’ that argument to gain their freedom to leave. I’d have filed false imprisonment charges on the spot. BB goons had better learn they have absolutely no right to detain someone they didn’t catch stealing.

          • Electric McButt says:

            If I were him, I’d already be in my car driving away. “Lay a hand on me Mother F—er. I dare you.”

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          Maybe it took him a few moments to think of all the reasons why his wasn’t the same. Should we be expected to have our full defense ready at the moment we are suddenly pressured to? I know in stressful situations, it often takes a moment for my brain to start putting together all the pieces. I wouldn’t be surprised if it took the ten minutes for the police to arrive to think of all this.

    • Damocles57 says:

      pecan 3.14159265 said “While Best Buy was wrong, IMO, the OP didn’t grasp the concept that not being clear to people only leads to strife, misunderstanding, and the impression that you’re just trying to make other people look like fools. He thought he didn’t need to be clear; I think he did.”

      Best Buy has many policies, practicies and procedures in place that assume – expect – every person who walks in their doors to be a thief and that except for their rules and strong-arm tactics would actually get away with the theft. It is necessary at times to point out the illogical, inane, and insidious actions forced on the innocent before the perpetrators will change their ways.

      It is not necessary for the masses to keep taking the poor treatment of those supposedly in a position of power over them. I applaud the OP for doing what he did and hope that he continues to take whatever small actions he can when confronted by the type of behavior he described.

      “All that’s necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    • tonberryqueen says:

      In most states, I’m pretty sure that he can’t be accused of theft unless they actually see him take or conceal the item and keep their eyes on him the whole time. (Well, he could be accused, but I believe he’d have the right to take legal action.) Even in states where you’re allowed to block a shoplifter’s exit, I imagine you still need some proof that they’re a thief.

      • Alessar says:

        That is exactly it. The door guard was being totally stupid and leaping to conclusions. I had this drummed into me working in a record store in college, and in a department store after: You can’t accuse someone of shoplifting if you didn’t see them doing it.

    • coren says:

      i’m of the opinion that if the security guy is gonna accuse the customer of theft, the security guy should have a reasonable assumption that the customer stole it, and a knowledge of the store’s merchandise and display policies that allows him to back it up. Should he know that the units are sold out, or that they don’t display that model? Maybe not, but he should certainly know how they mark a display model, and have something in mind to prove that the guy stole it – clearly he didn’t see it happen, so what was he thinking here?

  7. Kishi says:

    But… Why *didn’t* you just tell the guard that in the first place?

    • humphrmi says:

      So, why didn’t he tell the security guard of a Best Buy store that his own Best Buy store is out of stock, and imprints the demo units on the back? Is that what you’re asking, why the customer didn’t tell the employee these facts about his own store?

      • Matt da Brat says:

        Do you expect a Best Buy security guard to be that sharp/informed? OP should’ve understood who he was dealing with instead of expecting the world to turn around him.

      • AwesomeJerkface says:

        Security guards aren’t tasked with inventory – typically.

        It’s clear that the guard was in the wrong, but OP is also in the wrong. The OP clearly wanted to humiliate this guy and inconvenienced himself and the police to do it.

        I don’t know where you live, but in Chicago the police are stacked with understaffing and an increase in crime. Real and very violent crimes get committed and the police have to show up so the OP can humiliate the rent-a-cop?

        • A.Mercer says:

          No, this person was completely in the right to not bow down to the security person (who was probably just playing out authority fix for the day). In this day and age we all walk around with various pieces of technology. Should we always go into the store and carry our original receipts with us? Should we always check the inventory levels of the store before we leave so we can be prepared to counter employees who accuse of of stealing?

          No we should not. Best Buy (and other stores) need to realized that people can walk in with various pieces of technology and they will want to walk out with those and be unharrassed. It is either that or lose customers. This guy stood up to a moronic employee and he was not going to take the easy way out and let it drop because he (and many other consumers) are very sick and tired of being treated like criminals just because we came into their store. I think more consumers need to put up resistance like this. Maybe the stores will realize that they need to treat these situations differently and train their employees to use some thought in these situations. The stores need to put some better thought into their theft prevention.

      • Kishi says:

        You’re assuming the guard has a much better grasp of their inventory than I suspect they do. But I guess my question isn’t so much why didn’t he tell the guard, but why did he wait until the cops were there? Why make such a big deal that he’d been forced to wait ten minutes when he had his trump card sitting in his pocket all along?

        • Damocles57 says:

          You don’t play poker much, do you? He waited BECAUSE he had a trump card and wanted to make a point. Which, if you believe his narrative, he made.

          • Griking says:

            Trump card.

            In other words he was playing a game.

          • Kishi says:

            He could have made that point to the manager without waiting ten minutes for the cops to show up- the only thing that added was that he could complain about how he had to wait ten minutes for the cops to show up. Which was his own fault, really.

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          How do you know he had it all along? Maybe it took a few to think of it.

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          How do you know he had it all along? Maybe it took a few to think of it.

      • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

        Lets say they get in a debate. So he tells the guard that they have no inventory. Guard says, “Riiiiiiiight, like I’m gonna believe that.”(‘cuz guards don’t have an inkling about inventory) He could tell them the demo units have stickers (‘cuz guards wouldn’t know that either) and the guard may reply, “Yeah but you musta peeled it off”. Then the bit about 16GB vs 32GB “Huh?” Or the “I was carrying it out in the open.” “Yeah, and I caughtcha”

        In the store my aunt worked as a guard at, you had better have _seen_ them take the item before detaining them or you’d be fired on the spot. They didn’t want the liability for false imprisonment charges.

        • jefeloco says:

          I have to take you to task about the inventory remark. While I was spending my 2 years in retail-hell, the asset protection peeps paid attention to high risk/desirable items. They knew how to check the inventory system and would do so if something looked suspicious.

          I’m not saying they spent all day looking at the AS400 screen but they could and did look when something piqued their interest. I realize that the AP guys I worked with were probably an exception and not the rule but they were good at it.

        • bwcbwc says:

          This. The merchant exclusion for false imprisonment only applies if there is reasonable evidence of theft.

      • Griking says:

        Give me a freaking break.

        The security at the front door are only doing their jobs and trying to prevent theft. I apologize if this offends everyone here so much but how would everyone like it you all had a job that everyone went out of their ways to make more difficult just because they may be legally entitled to do so? I don’t understand why when given the choice of being a reasonable helpful person or being a self entitled prick people tend to choose the later.

        If you brought your own iPad into THEIR store then that’s fine but you have to expect that they’re going to question you about it. Why is it so damn difficult to just show the guard all he needs to see to prove that it belonged to you and then go on your way? You may feel that you word should be enough but I suppose you also believe that criminals all tell the truth when confronted. The OP clearly had enough information to satisfy the guard’s reasonable questions but rather than do so chose to be passive aggressive and inconvenience everyone involved.

        • thatdarnedbob says:

          If I carry a wallet to a department store, should I expect them to hassle me about where I bought the wallet, and have to prevent them from stealing it? If I wear a watch to a jeweler, should I expect them to hassle me about where I bought the watch, and have to prevent them from stealing it? If I wear clothes to a clothing store, should I expect them to hassle me about where I bought the outfit, and have to prevent them from stealing it?

          I think you get the point.

          • Griking says:

            I get your point, I just disagree with it. And again, all a person would need to do is just show that the product belonged to them.

            I understand (but don’t agree) with the argument that people don’t want to show their ID when they use their credit card because of identity theft reasons but what is the risk when an employee asks you to show them the iPad that you’re trying to walk out the door with?

            • kujospam says:

              But you can’t prove it. Thats the point. You don’t get that you really can’t prove something belongs to you ever. Even if you had a receipt, the receipt doesn’t say your name on it generally. That fact that the thing wasn’t in a box should tell the security guard that chances are it is not stolen. True that a thief could of taken it out of the box while at the store, but the fact that nobody else would notice something like that would be almost absurd. The same when it comes to the demo models that are generally locked down with padlocks.

            • graylits says:

              Sure I’ll prove I own my iPad once best buy proves they own all their iPads. How do they or I even prove ownership, I don’t know. Isn’t that where “Possession is 9/10 of the law” comes from? Because you can’t prove it, possession is considered as evidence of ownership.

        • pdennison says:

          “The security at the front door are only doing their jobs and trying to prevent theft. “

          Pretty sure their jobs are not to just randomly accuse exiting customers of theft.

          • Griking says:

            I know that we all have different opinions but the fact that the customer was walking around the store with an iPod, a product that they sell (it doesn’t matter to me if they were out of stock) makes their suspicion reasonable in my eyes. This clearly wasn’t an example of stopping a random person and hassling them.

            • ludwigk says:

              [IANAL] Your notion of reasonable suspicion is pretty radically out of line with that recognized by the law. We don’t just use the word “reasonable” and call it a day, there’s quite a bit of case law and jurisprudence behind those words defining what is, or is not reasonable to presume. If you saw someone using an iPod in a store, and nothing more, the only reasonable inference is that the guy has an iPod.

              Reasonable suspicion can be based upon some really weird things, in particular, the law is very deferential towards law enforcement agents who have specialized training and act upon a “gut feeling” that something illicit has occurred. Still, that gut feeling must be backed up by *something*. For instance, border patrol might pull a car over because the vehicle is uncommon for the area (i.e. minivan in almost off-roading conditions), and because the children were waving in a “mechanical fashion” as if instructed to wave at the cop (facts based upon U.S. v. Arvisu). That’s enough.

              • 99 1/2 Days says:

                Some people can’t conceive of “reasonable” because they have no familiarity with the concept of reason.

            • 99 1/2 Days says:

              Learn the law. And thank goodness you aren’t a lawmaker. We don’t need more fascists in government.

        • dg says:

          You brought your shoes into their store, why wouldn’t you provide proof that you own those shoes?

          You brought your pants, shirt, underwear into their store, why wouldn’t you provide proof that you own those things?

          Fact is, you don’t have ANYTHING to prove to them. They’re accusing YOU, the onus is on them.

          Innocent until PROVEN guilty.

          And, WorstBuy is the place with the cameras – now assuming that at least one of them works and is facing the door, why don’t THEY look at their own information and determine that the OP came in with the item?

          OR why don’t they figure out some kind of system to secure the store iPads? Or know about their own security procedures? Pretty sure the iPad is thin enough that both sides were visible to the door fool as the customer was talking to him – no “DEMO” on the back? Have a nice day…

          Screw WorstBuy – they deserve NO consideration – they only abuse their customers. I can’t wait until they go out of business so I can piss on their grave right next to CrockBuster, and CircusCity…

        • common_sense84 says:

          Dear god. Give us a break you troll.

          So a shoe store can claim you are a thief for wearing shoes? Any store that sells cellphones or sunglasses or hats could call you a thief for having those things when leaving?

          What about walmart? They can call the cops because I have a shirt on I bought from their months ago?

          Of course not. This is a false police report, plain and simple. You have to see the person take it off the shelf before you have reasonable suspicion. If you don’t see it, you can’t detain the person, and you cannot call the cops.

        • Moniker says:

          The security guard is not doing his job. The security guard is completely failing at his job. It was completely impossible for the iPAD for the OP to have stolen the iPAD. Thus how could the security guard think he stole it? he obviously wasn’t watching him.

          You do not have to prove innocence. There are very clear cut guides to when you can detain someone for shop lifting.

  8. Caffinehog says:

    …….And once he made it out the door, the guy in the bushes tackled him.

  9. CBenji says:

    I know I would get them for illegally detaining him. That is a bunch of crap. I tend to wonder why this guy didn’t say this to the security guy or the sales people. The whole thing sounds very suspicious.

    • AwesomeJerkface says:

      Because some people are passive-aggressive and with the cops there backing him up, he’s basically putting a rent-a-cop to shame. As opposed to inconveniencing everyone for an oversight, albeit a stupid oversight.

  10. SonarTech52 says:

    Can’t you usually get some kind of sticker or something from the person in front when you bring something into a store? That’s what i have done in the past, like for returns and stuff.

    • jesirose says:

      Yeah, let’s put a sticker on a $500 device that’s biggest appeal is its shiny-factor.

      I have an iPhone in a case I bought at Best Buy. I’m not putting a sticker on my phone every time I go in their store. No freaking way. Should I put a sticker on my clothes every time I go in a target? wtf?

      A return is different than just walking around with your own belongings. If you bring an iPad in, still in the box, sure, get a sticker. But if it’s not in the box it’s pretty obvious it’s yours and you’re keeping it.

      • asten77 says:

        At every best buy in three states that I’ve been to – It’s a little pink old-school price tag. It comes right off and won’t hurt your precious iCrap.

        I’m actually surprised they didn’t do that. If you bring *anything* in at the store by me, they will chase you down to tag stuff.

        • jesirose says:

          Really, if you bring anything in? Weird. So they put stickers all over your phone? Every time you go in? I used to keep my iPhone with no case on it, and it’s hard enough to keep the damn things clean. Why would I put stickers on it? More importantly, why would you ASSUME someone is stealing just because they have a device which is similar to something you sell? If you didn’t SEE them break into a display, or cut a wire, or unbox it, fuck off.

          I don’t have one of the giant non-phones, but if I did I would probably take it a lot of places in my purse. I’m not showing my stuff as I go in. I carry my camera every where, only once have I shown it to a receipt checker, and it was because I wanted him to call someone over to help me find a charger for the battery.

          They don’t even sell that camera and they made me put a sticker on it. That’s insane. I also keep camera cards in my bag.

          If it’s not in a box, there’s no reason for me to put stickers all over my stuff to prove I’m not a thief.

          • SonarTech52 says:

            For a phone, just about everyone has a phone and especially if it is in a case/holder you can assue its personal property. But for an iPad, I would at least let the person in the front know, hey Im taking this in, just in case

            … Maybe it’s because I’m a minority and am used to being looked at suspiciously.. or maybe it’s because I have been in loss prevention before,.. or maybe Im just a reasonable person, and can see how it might look to store employees when im carrying something in that is sold there (that isnt usually carried around like a cell phone or even a camera) why cause all the drama, when it could have been avoided just by saying, “this is mine” on your way in?

            • trentblase says:

              I know, right? Everytime I go into Best Buy, I let them count the cash in my wallet so they don’t think I stole it. I carry a lot of cash for a minority, so they would have every reason to be suspicious otherwise.

              • SonarTech52 says:

                … your cash isnt out in the open, so na ..

              • SonarTech52 says:

                Cash is somthing else that once again, usually people are carrying….And the store usually has the cash locked up in these things called registers or safes with people called employees at them…

                An ipad is a high dollar item that alot of ppl want for some reason…and since they are relatively new, people havent been carrying them while going shopping…and like I said, why cause the drama?

                Im not saying people have reason to be suspicious of minorities either…Just saying that since growing up as a minority, i have been conditioned to make sure I give no one reason to think I did something

            • veritybrown says:

              I vote for “reasonable person.” If any reasonable person might look at the situation and wonder “is that person shoplifting?” then it makes sense to be willing to take a moment to prove to the store that you aren’t. People who take the obnoxious stance of “everyone in the world should be able to read my mind and know that I’m not a criminal, regardless of how suspicious this situation looks” get no sympathy from me.

              • 99 1/2 Days says:

                It’s only reasonable to suspect shoplifting if you see the person remove the item from the shelf, among other things. But if that didn’t happen, TS.

                This is basic. I’ve worked retail all my life. I’m assuming the people who don’t know this are not from this country or have never worked in retail.

            • MrEvil says:

              Not to mention the fact that phones are much more easily traced to their rightful owner. A phone that’s activated on a carrier is PROBABLY not stolen from new phone stock at the store.

              • drizzt380 says:

                But its a portable device. A device that is expected to be carried around. Its not like he’s walking around with an LCD TV on his back.

        • adamstew says:

          I still wouldn’t want it on my iPad… sure their stickers might peel right off, but I don’t know how the glue on their stickers might react to the finish on my iPad… and i’m sure there are stores that might use different stickers that might be more damaging to the finish. I’m not taking the chance.

          If that sticker they insisted on putting on my device did damage it, good luck getting them to pay for it.

          Regardless, sticker or not, the onus is on best buy to prove theft. Just having an iPad out is not evidence that you stole it from the store. When I worked at Walmart back in college, the rules were:
          1) We had to observe the customer take merchandise and attempt to hide it.
          2) We then had to keep eyes on the customer at all times, to ensure they didn’t just pick up the merch and drop it off somewhere else.
          3) The customer had to be seen attempting to leave the store with the merch.

          In this case, the loss prevention employee would have missed #1 and #2.

          Also: What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty… sheesh. This best buy employee would have had absolutely no proof, what-so-ever, that the iPad was stolen, and just assumed that it was…demanding that the OP prove it was his.

        • Stiv says:

          “It comes right off and won’t hurt your precious iCrap.”

          Why so full of anger against an electronic device that you don’t ever have to use or own?

        • spamtasticus says:

          Should every object in your pocket, your clothing, your cap be stickered? If not then please give a complete description of the rule you would give the person at the door stickering. Thank you.

        • mandy_Reeves says:

          Um…I accidentally got a price tag or some kind of sticker on my touch…it left a nasty residue and took forever to come off

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        You know fancy devices often come in packages, like boxes or satchels or those horrible plastic moldings that cut you. The sticker goes on those things.

        • jesirose says:

          Again, who is carrying around the box the iPad came in, when they go shopping?

          If anything, that’s MORE suspicious!

          I’m not putting a sticker on any of MY damn stuff. No way. If I’m returning it, sure, then it’s their problem. No way am I putting a sticker on my bag, my clothes, my phone. Everything I bring into a store with me I bought at some point, and I shouldn’t have to PROVE I didn’t steal it all. I go into stores all the time wearing clothes or bags I bought there, and have never once been accused of stealing. If I go into Best Buy and they want me to put a sticker on my phone to prove it’s mine on the way out, that’s BS. They have security devices to prevent that stuff.

          • ram0029 says:

            If you don’t want a sticker, do not take it into the store. It is a little plastic sticker that can be removed easily with about 30 seconds or less of effort.

            He was walking out of an electronics store with a device they sold there in his hand. The security guard asked a reasonable question. The OP was within his rights to refuse to answer. The OP escalated the situation intentionally, clearly that was his goal. If his time is so worthless he would not take perfectly reasonable steps to prevent the harassment, then he deserves what he gets.

            Let’s recap.

            1. Show it to the security guy sitting right by the door on the way in and say hey, this is mine gonna use it to do some comparison shopping. Takes a few seconds, no one gets hassled.

            2. Try and walk out of the store with it, get stopped. Puff up with a bunch of righteous indignation rather than take a few seconds to explain things and leave.

            Hmmmm… nope, better to stand upon a right that does not really exist that to work things out easily.

            • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

              So the sticker can be easily removed and placed on, say … a 64GB version, and THEN freely walked out with. Sounds like a plan. Come back next shift and ask if they found your iPad serial number 890q737897890.

              Maybe he should phone ahead of time explaining he will be arriving with a cell phone and an iPad. But those phones are always tied up. Better to write a letter.

    • Mike AKA MonolithTMA says:

      I’ve been doing that since I was a kid. If I take any device that might be sold at the store I generally show it to the security person at the entrance and sometimes they put a sticker on it.

    • cheezfri says:

      With something the size and value of the iPad, that’s probably a good idea. Even when I pull out my measly cell phone to take a call, check prices on the internet, or what have you, I try to take it out of my purse and put it back in my purse in a very deliberate way, so that if security were ever to accuse me of stealing something, they can consult the tape and clearly see it was my own phone. Not that I should have to do that, but…

  11. Omali says:

    I need to stop by Best Buy for a nonspecific item I won’t find, I should probably bring my iPad along.

  12. skapig says:

    Sounds like he was unusually prepared with specifics to deal with Best Buy security idiocy. The op didn’t have to stay since they can’t detain you or lay a finger on you, especially without evidence, but I guess he wanted to embarrass them so as to maybe influence future behavior.

    • drbtx1 says:

      They can detain you. It’s called citizens arrest. Most states allow store security to hold suspects for a proscribed length of time. If the police do not show up in that period, and they continue to detain a suspect, then they could face charges of kidnapping.

      • trentblase says:

        Wow… you really need to look up citizen’s arrest in, like, a real deal law book before you go dispersing inaccurate legal information. Also, look up the word “proscribed” in a real deal dictionary, like they had in the old days.

      • Shadowfax says:

        Well, I hope you’re not a store security goon, because if you are, and you ever try that citizens arrest crap on someone who knows anything about the law, you’ll find yourself civilly and criminally charged so fast your head will spin.

  13. StrangeEmily says:

    Its retail, you have to expect a little incompetence from Security, with the pay Best Buy gives him, he’s probably never seen an Ipad before up close and obviously couldn’t tell the difference between a demo version and a previously owned one let alone the GB difference, and how would a security dude know whats in stock? Are you stupid or just trying to make me angry after my morning coffee!? The force is against the OP on this one.

    • SerenityDan says:

      The force is still against the store, you are under no obligation to prove your property is yours. Just carrying an iPad is not reasonable suspicion to detain you.

      • StrangeEmily says:

        I agree with the both of you, if the OP walked up to the front cashier or security guard in the first place, announced that they had walked in with the Ipad in question then this would have never happened and the both of you wouldn’t have come up with such an idiotic reply. Who neds the coffee now!? Bahahaha.

        • AI says:

          Best Buy sells cell phones. Everybody carries a cell phone. Does Best Buy get to ask for a receipt for everyone’s cell phone?

          No, they do not. Nor do they get to ask to see a receipt for my clothes.

          • Michaela says:

            Many people do own sell phones. However, not many people own ipads. It isn’t a common sight on the streets (I mean, who really just whips out a tablet pc randomly in a store?!). If I were the security guard, it would’ve caught my attention too (though it would not have necessarily made me stop the person).

            The guard is supposed to look for things that seem out of place. The ipad was out of place to him. He didn’t take the ideal action towards the situation, but the reaction still does not surprise me.

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          Some of you people have failed to grasp the obvious. An employee HAS to see it being removed from the shelf before being stopped.


          I would never expect to pre-prove my innocence because I know the law, and I would assume that the employees knew the basics of LP. I’ve seen countless orientation films dealing with this, and I would bet money it’s in the employee handbook.

    • LINIStittles says:

      I began to refute your comment but it’s just so ridiculous I don’t even know where to start. You’re gonna need another cup of coffee.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      You’re the only person in this entire thread I agree with so far. The guy COULD HAVE gotten out of the store in a matter of seconds if he just explained things in a way the security guard would understand. He felt it would be better to hold on and humiliate the guard instead.

      Also, what kind of dork wanders around in public with an iPad anyway? At least an iPhone fits in your pocket. And… it’s a phone.

      • jesirose says:

        Meh, I’m not a fan of the giant non-phone, but I have a few friends with netbooks they take everywhere. An iPad is even more convenient then those for some things b/c it’s in tablet form. I can see taking it places. Especially if you’re shopping and doing research on products you might buy.

        • Matt da Brat says:

          I can’t… lugging around a 10″ tablet to check prices? That’s borderline douche behavior in my book. Use your smartphone!

      • RandomHookup says:

        Since he had photos on the thing of similar items at other stores? Seems like he wanted to use the iPad for its intended purpose.

      • runswithscissors says:

        He shouldn’t have to prove every item that was on his person when he entered the store was his legal property. What if the guard wanted proof he owned his cell phone? Or if this were WalMart they could have basically detained him until he proved ownership of his clothes, shoes, wallet, etc etc.

        So from now on it is on YOU, the customer, to prove your previous ownership of EVERYTHING on your person when you leave a store? Clothes, shoes, watch, cell phone, wallet, etc etc? And if you don’t or can’t then they have the right to detain you and call the cops?


    • mac-phisto says:

      if security is incompetent, best buy should train them better. if they’re underpaid, best buy should pay them more. if they’re unsure of what is in stock, best buy should provide them with the tools necessary to validate stock.

      it is not my responsibility, as a customer of your store, to compensate for your shortcomings.

  14. fatediesel says:

    Seeing someone leaving carrying a product Best Buy sells isn’t probable cause for stopping someone? It seems to me like the employee had every right to stop the person. His job is loss prevention, he had no way of knowing whether the store had the product in stock. If the OP had just told the loss prevention guy what he told the cops he could have gotten out of there in minutes.

    • SanDiegoDude says:

      The Loss Prevention guy was doing his job. They sell electronics, this guy was carrying electronics out, so the LP guy wanted to make sure he wasn’t walking out with store property. I don’t think the LP Guy was in the wrong here, and in fact being an asshole and not simply showing him it’s yours makes you look like the prick, not him.

      Honestly, I can understand the hate for Walmart receipt checkers when it’s pretty obvious when you’re walking from the checkout area with a cart full of bags. But this guy’s JOB is to try to prevent theft, and when you’re carrying a high dollar item out of the store, they have every right to inquire… And would have taken you all of 3 seconds to swipe, show him your apps installed or like you said, pointed out the difference in demo units versus your iPad and not wasted everybody’s time and money (yes, it cost your city money for you to be a prick and send a cop out)

      • jason in boston says:

        Where does shrink come from? Employees or customers?

        Back when I worked retail, it was mostly employees. That is when the real loss prevention (the ones from corporate) would come in and investigate. Yellow shirts were originally placed to keep small inside jobs (oh, you “forgot” to ring that cd up for a friend) at bay. But my info is about 5 years old so YMMV.

      • SanDiegoDude says:

        Hah, started a reply, reworded for a straight post, but forgot to uncheck the reply button. All the “you” stuff is meant for John, the origin of the post.

      • drizzt380 says:

        And the poster said that it was he and he didn’t buy it at Best Buy. He then said he was leaving and the LP guy blocked his way, with no proof whatsoever that the man had actually stolen something.

        When you sell something that is a portable device, you have to expect that sometimes people might actually bring this portable device with them when they go to your store. Its not like he just happen to be carrying around his 2000 dollar flat screen TV.

        • Doc S says:

          The law in my state, at least, is that loss prevention staff can ask you anything, but they cannot detain you if they did not witness an attempt to conceal or the actual taking of the property. In other words, they have to have it on camera, or have witnessed in person, the act of you taking their property and trying to leave the premises or conceal it.

          The proper question the OP should have asked in response for a request of proof of ownership was “Am I being accused of taking your merchandise?” If yes, the next question is “Are you claiming to have witnessed me taking this item from your stock?” If no (which they wouldn’t have been able to truthfully claim), the next question is “Am I free to leave?”

          If they have not witnessed “taking” (which has a very specific legal definition), and they will not let you leave, then you should ask “Are you detaining me, and on what grounds?” If the police are called, the answers to these questions are what you should be giving to the responding officer. Because detaining someone without witnessing the act of taking is not something that store LP has the authority to do, because they are affecting in essence a citizen’s arrest. And yes, doing so without personally witnessing the taking equals false arrest – they cannot detain on suspicion alone, and the LP guy is *personally* criminally and civilly liable.

          • drizzt380 says:

            Anyone can ‘ask’ almost anything.

            I can walk up to you on the street and ask if you have a receipt for that shirt. You are, of course, free to ignore me as a crazy man.

      • sopmodm14 says:

        no, that can’t be right

        if he was truly do his job, as per strict protocol, he would have at least said something along the lines of “excuse me sir, would you mind if ask you a few questions ? is this device yours, did you bring it into the store, may i see serial number”

        not , “hey, i think you stole this item, stay where you are”

      • CBenji says:

        I just bought a Blu Ray player at Walmart about a month ago & they only gave me one of those stickers in electronics. I left it in my cart and the lady at checkout never even looked at in my cart with the Blue Ray at all, but she was 75 if I am 41. I could have had 2 flat screens in that cart. LOL So much for those evil Walmart Register Operators. This lady wasn’t evil. Maybe she was blind.

      • LucasM says:

        So don’t worry about the law cause it’s easier and no one will think badly of you? OK, you live your life that way… I’ll keep my rights, thanks.

    • syzygy says:

      If security or another BB employee did not actually see the OP remove the packaged iPad from the lockup, or tear it out of the box, or clip the security cable from the displays, they had no authority to detain the OP. They probably don’t have that right even if they do have evidence; the LP guys in the stores I’ve worked in were only authorized to verbally confront the thief, ask for the merch back, call the cops, and record as much about the thief (appearance, license plate, etc.) as possible. They could not physically detain the thief in any way.

      Yes, the OP could have saved himself some trouble by enlightening security rather than the cops, but that’s his choice.

    • drizzt380 says:

      So, whenever you wear a shirt to target that target sells, they have the right to detain you and ask you for a receipt?

      Also, not sure if being trolled.

      • 99 1/2 Days says:

        I know what you mean about the trolls. I’m kind of hoping they -are- trolls, the alternative is too depressing. I do wish those who are attacking the OP would state from the beginning that they are speaking from ignorance. We need an IANAL thing, like IANALPA or IANACSA. (Loss Prevention or Customer Service Associate)

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      It was proper for the LP guy to confront the guy leaving, but once the shopper says the device is his the burden of proof lies on the store. You can’t detain someone without reasonable cause.

      • stuny says:

        I am guessing most thieves are able to say “this is mine” too. So if they do, they are free to walk out the door? If you are carrying a large, high value item into a store that carries that item, it is not unreasonable for you to make some effort to prevent confusion on the way in, or have some courtesy on the way out by providing as simple level of proof. Have an iPhone in your pocket, show that it is registered or has files on it. Have an iPad in your hands, show something that demonstrates that it is yours. This isn’t illegal search and seizure, it is reasonable for the security staff.

        • AI says:

          “You must see them take them item. You must see them conceal the item. You must see them attempt to leave with the item. You must not lose visual contact at any time.”

          If the LP employee sees all that, then it doesn’t matter what the thief says. If the LP employee doesn’t see all that, then the person CANNOT be assumed to be a thief.

          Can I see the receipt for your shoes? I believe you may have stolen them from me. POLICE!

          • trentblase says:

            That is the most awesome analogy ever. I’ll add that I tend to shop at the same clothing stores. Thus, I tend to walk into a lot of stores wearing clothing that I bought from that store. No, I am not going to inform them when I walk in or keep a receipt with me. This is the reason the shopkeeper’s privilege is so narrow.

    • Geekybiker says:

      You must see them take them item. You must see them conceal the item. You must see them attempt to leave with the item. You must not lose visual contact at any time. To do otherwise invites lawsuit. Merchants privilege is far less than what the police can do.

      • makaze says:

        Very true, when I worked there we had to have them on camera taking the item and not lose visual on them until they made it to the front before we could stop them.

        If we lost them on camera for more than 2 seconds, we were SOL.

    • areaman says:

      His job is loss prevention, he had no way of knowing whether the store had the product in stock.

      That’s not true.

      The security guard didn’t have any problems asking the person who owned it. The security guard couldn’t ask someone that actually worked at Best Buy?

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      What if they were NOT out of stock? What then? He wouldn’t be able to say they were out of stock. So, I guess, not being able to prove his innocence to the guard and cop, they’d have to confiscate his iPad and lock him up. It was just so lucky that they were out of iPads AND the OP happened to know this fact.

    • levelone says:

      When I was working for Target, our loss prevention people did a daily, sometimes hourly, quantity check of many high-ticket items and dvd box sets. They had a list of items and their specific quantity. Also, when an expensive item was sold, cashiers called it out over the walkie. This was done for two reasons: a) in case the system didn’t update right away, LP would have a record of the item going out the door, and b) so that associates didn’t bother customers who’d purchased items in electronics and were walking up to the front of the store.

      There’s no reason whatsoever that Best Buy shouldn’t have the same capabilities, especially for items that have high theft potential.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      You don’t know the first thing about LP.

  15. PupJet says:

    I love how people now and days think they don’t have to tell anyone anything. Seriously, the OP should have given the idiot of a security guard the same info he gave to the police. It’s NOT that hard.

    The security guard was only doing his job because in case you haven’t figured it out, the economy is in a poor state and people will find numerous ways to steal things.

    “Unless you have a warrant i am not going to show you the data on my device”
    — I don’t see where the security asked the OP to show him the data on his device…or did I miss something?

    • jesirose says:

      He asked him to prove it was his. How could he prove it was his? Showing the info on the device would be one way.

      I’m with him. If I walk around a Best Buy with my iPhone, I would 100% not expect to have to stop on the way out and be accused of shoplifting.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      The security guard should have known all that without the OP having to tell him. After all, it’s his job, not the OP’s.

    • BStu78 says:

      Why do people believe the security guard would have just accepted his explanation? I mean, for one thing, he’s explaining things about their store. The LP guy should have already known all of that. That he was still confronting the OP gives him a reason to believe that calmly explaining the situation might be ineffective.

      The issue was that the guard didn’t have any right to detain him. Blocking his exit from the store was a huge error in judgment by the Best Buy guard and really only confirms his hesitation to try to manage the situation with him.

    • Wei says:

      I love that I get to use this link:

    • PLAAND88 says:

      I love how you seem to think it’s our job to both prove we didn’t steal steal something.

      It is in fact, not my job to 1. Prove my innocence. 2. Make Best Buy security’s day any easier. 3. Submit to unnecessary and unwarranted searches of my person or property.

      I’m totally with OP on this. If someone accuses me of theft I’m neither obliged nor inclined to cooperate with them in any way. If I can make them into an ass in the process so much the better. Hell, normally I’m against litigiousness but in this case: Sue their asses OP.

    • runswithscissors says:

      So from now on it is on YOU, the customer, to prove your previous ownership of EVERYTHING on your person when you leave a store? Clothes, shoes, watch, cell phone, wallet, etc etc? And if you don’t or can’t then they have the right to detain you and call the cops?


  16. syzygy says:

    Someone illegally blocks his exit, accusing him of theft without any evidence (not that he was obligated to provide them any), and he stands there for 10 minutes until the cops show up? Man, that’s some restraint shown. I would have walked right past security dude, and immediately called the cops myself if he had done anything more than shout at me. These guys really are the worst.

    It’s a shame the OP had to visit Best Buy to look at Macs; I’m assuming he didn’t have an Apple retail store close by. No one should have to step foot in Best Buy.

    • buckeyegoose says:

      Thats why if you know your in the right, you need to walk with a purpose and buzz right past them. If you have a receipt, item is in a bag marked as best buy, just ignore when they ask to see a receipt and keep walking/don’t stop, everything is on tape, including that u stopped at the point of purchase up front and paid, was given a receipt and item was placed into a bag bearing the store’s name, or similar action if rug up back in a department. Or as in this case, the camera will see u coming IN to Best Buy WITH that iPad, and in reality if LP was doing their job would have noticed such and offered/recommended getting a pink sticker, so any claim in either situation would support the OP as being in the right.

    • outlulz says:

      Never did the OP say, “I tried to leave the store and was physically stopped”. He just said the guard stood in his way once. Never did he mention going around the guard or actually trying to leave. He just wanted them to call the cops so he could embarrass the employees.

      • coren says:

        Blocking my path sounds like you physically stopped me from doing something. Not touching me doesn’t make it not physical

  17. VouxCroux says:

    He should’ve gone Constitutional with the Police. “I don’t need proof that I didn’t steal this. I say I bought it and brought it in here. Neither Best Buy loss-prevention nor you have proof that I stole this iPad. I am assumed to be innocent. Unless I am being interrogated for theft, good day, sir. And if I am being interrogated for theft then I request a lawyer to be present.”

    • AustinTXProgrammer says:

      You can force them to arrest you until your lawyer can be present, and the lawyer costs a whole lot more than an iPad. Not to mention the Officer’s time is valuable, and you just took a resource from the rest of the taxpayers.

      I think the OP was reasonable. I would certainly seek retribution against Best Buy on it though.

      • VouxCroux says:

        Who said the police would have to arrest? An accusation does not a case make. The police need more than just hearsay to arrest. They must have actual evidence. And if they do think the OP stole the iPad then why don’t they arrest him anyways? And yes, force them to waste time and money. Get a public defender. Once the baseless charge and arrest comes to light then those officers will get in trouble for wasting money and time. And the public will be better served because then there will be less harassment of innocent civilians.
        Didn’t Best Buy already waste the officer’s time by calling them for a complaint for which they had no evidence?
        Stand up for your rights because you can’t trust anyone else to do it for you.

        • trencherman says:

          I absolutely agree that police should have a valid reason and not just hearsay to make an arrest. But they often don’t know the law, and they make unwarranted arrests, and they usually don’t get in trouble for it. After all, they are not lawyers. The person goes to jail, the charges are dismissed, and the person gets to go home after an uncomfortable few hours. For example: in Austin, it is legal for both genders to walk around almost nude, as long as the genitals and anus are covered. However, in real life a woman riding her bicycle in a thong will probably get arrested, taken to jail, and then be released by a judge who knows the law. (Yes, this has happened).

    • JoeDawson says:

      I said GOOD DAY!

  18. Jason says:

    Same happened to me a few months back, cept with my cell phone. My Blackberry with Verizon was at the 2 year mark. Although happy with Verizon, I wanted to see if a better plan was at Best Buy. I spent about 5 mins looking at phones, decided I could get a better deal while staying in my current plan so left. Security said I stole a phone. I just said I didn’t. A few mins of back n fourth, cops arrive 15 mins later. I made a test call from the ‘stolen phone’ to prove it was mine and I was free to go. I apologized to the cop for the waste of time. He said it happens a couple times a week with this Best Buy and false shoplifting charges.

    • outis says:

      Sounds like people need to press charges, and that there’s a precedent. Which leads to punitive damages.

    • veritybrown says:

      Wouldn’t it have been easier to flip open the phone and show that it was, in fact, an already functioning phone rather than a shelf model that still needed to be set up? Instead you waste everyone’s time so you can prove how obnoxious you can be in response to someone else being stupid. Brilliant. :~P

    • Jasen says:

      Don’t these people have goddamn security cameras? Why not check to make sure you’re not being an idiot before wasting the cops’ time by calling them out?

    • tonberryqueen says:

      Man, they should be getting charged with false reporting if they keep on doing this with no proof.

    • ellemdee says:

      My first job was at Best Buy in the mid 90’s and, back then, security wasn’t even permitted to approach a suspected shiplifter unless they saw them (either directly or on camera) pocket an item and never lost sight of them for even a second until they actually tried to walk out the door with it. They were actually WAY more focused on employees than customers when it came to theft. Employees’ coats/bags were searched by security every night before they left the store, but they didn’t care at all when I would bring them piles of open empty video game packaging I regularly found in a security camera blind spot. They’d always shrug and say “what are we supposed to do about it”? Times have changed…

      • sopmodm14 says:

        i think its still true

        why would an employee steal from a store fresh merchandise and report back to worK ? right in the middle of the store with CCTV /surveillance ? and they have your employee info ?

        you never return to the scene of a crime, and in the case of pro-shoplifters, once a year or so

        ask anyone in retail who REALLY steals from stores and its “customers”

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      I think it’s time for a lawsuit then.

    • ajlei says:

      If a store accused me of stealing my iPhone from the store, I would probably just start laughing hysterically. Or crying hysterically.

  19. Macgyver says:

    He should have told security what he told the police.
    If he did, everything would have been over in a minute. Instead the police are called, which takes way longer then a minute.
    That’s why security acts like they do, because if you’ll act like an ass to them, they’ll act like an ass to you.

    • drizzt380 says:

      If the store employees want to look like jackasses, what right do I have to stop them?

    • Merricat says:

      “Security” acts like they do because they are poorly trained and generally incompetent at their job. A competent, properly trained loss prevention worker realizes:

      A. It is illegal to detain someone unless you have reasonable suspicion that they have indeed stolen from your store.

      B. Proving that you had reasonable suspicion is difficult enough that there are six pretty universal ‘rules’ that a loss prevention worker should always follow to avoid putting themselves and their store in liability for a civil suit.

      1. You must see the shoplifter approach the merchandise
      2. You must see the shoplifter select the merchandise
      3. You must see the shoplifter conceal, convert or carry away the merchandise
      4. You must maintain continuous observation of the shoplifter
      5. You must observe the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise
      6. You must apprehend the shoplifter outside the store

      Properly trained loss prevention workers do not
      – Demand proof of ownership. The assumption is, they do own it, unless you or another coworker can testify that they saw it being stolen.
      – Threaten to call the cops. The cops should have already been called, you are attempting to prevent a crime and don’t have the authority to make an arrest, just to hold them there till someone who does gets there.
      – Attempt to prevent someone who you have no proof of theft from leaving. That’s called false imprisonment.
      – Get snotty, arrogant, physical, or otherwise display an attitude towards the person they are dealing with. Because you may just have made a mistake and they may just be that one customer that spends $10k in your store every month.
      – Call themselves security. You aren’t a law enforcement officer, even if you are one and just moonlighting, your job duties as a loss prevention worker are not law enforcement related, they are loss prevention related.

      • AwesomeJerkface says:


        The security guard clearly didn’t follow protocol.

        However, I still the OP is an ass. Like the cops don’t have something better to do than to entertain someone’s need to humiliate a poorly trained employee who didn’t follow protocol?

        • Merricat says:

          The problem with simply ‘complying’ in this case, in my opinion, is that it encourages poor behavior in the employee and the store.

          The store and the employee have an ‘incentive’ push things in their favor as far as they can get away with. Therefore, if you let them get away with it, they will continue to push.

          On the other hand, if you make a scene, then that is pressure applied to them to do things correctly. In addition, if you happen to be a hard ass, having the police show up and then humiliating the employee by showing how easy it was to verify that they were wrong means if you decide to push a civil suit onto them, it’s going to be that much easier to prove that they fucked up.

          I’m willing to forgive people mistakes when those mistakes don’t negatively impact civil liberties, but the moment you fuck up and trod on my rights, I’m damn well going to yank your chain as hard as I can till you start obeying that ‘leash’. And while I know differently, I’d hope that the majority of folk out there would be willing to do the same since the more often crap like this happens and the folk get away with it, the more likely it’ll become the norm, regardless of right or wrong.

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          Why should you make things easy for someone who falsely accuses you of a crime?

          Maybe they should just not do that anymore. But they have no incentive to if everyone just bends over and hands them the astroglide.

      • GadgetsAlwaysFit says:

        Absolutely correct! +1 for knowing the law. Same for the OP.

    • TVGenius says:

      But it’s so much more fun to be a prick to security and then be a smart ass when the cops show up, rather than just act like an adult, apparently.

      • 99 1/2 Days says:

        Should you always make it easier for someone to break the law? Because false accusations are illegal.

        It makes me think of the burglar that sues you for medical bills when he gets cut breaking a window to get into your house. If you don’t make it easy for the criminal, you should pay, dammit!

    • OutPastPluto says:

      The Police are The Man. You play nice with them because they carry badges and guns and carry the full weight of the state behind them. Some underpaid schmuck that works retail should not be given any more respect than a street cleaner. I should not have to put up with the same crap from the likes of them that I might put up with from a cop.

      Some loser at Best Buy is not a cop. That is why you don’t treat him like one.

  20. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    Jesus, what is wrong with some of you people? Do you leave your cell phone, music player, and ebook reader in the car whenever you shop for electronics? Do you walk to a car dealership? Do you remove all your jewelry before shopping in a jewelry store? Do you strip down to your underwear before walking into a clothing store? The OP did not have to justify his possession of an article he brought in with him. Period. The only thing he should have said is “This is not yours and you can’t legitimately claim it is.”

    • AI says:

      +a billion. NOBODY should be siding with Best Buy on this one. They are not any different from any of the stores mentioned above.

      • veritybrown says:

        A person doesn’t have to side with Best Buy to realize that the OP prolonged the situation far beyond what was necessary.

        • AI says:

          Do you really think that had he said all that right away, the security guard would have let him go? You ever argued with rent-a-cops? Security are hired to be goons, and without an actual police officer present to supersede security’s authority, security would have folded their arms and waited for police no matter what the OP said.

          The only thing the OP could have possibly done to get out of there sooner would have been to immediately call 911 and report that he’s being unlawfully detained and required police assistance.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      You make way too much sense for a lot of the people here to understand.

    • repeater says:

      This is another one of those cases where I feel people are being contrary just for the sake of being contrary.

      There have been countless other posts here over the years where someone has been stopped by LP for something they know they didn’t do, and tried to comply knowing they were innocent.

      How well do those scenarios work out? They get bullied and harassed for hours in a back office until they are exhausted and demoralized, and the situation becomes a huge complicated mess. Even if they have perfectly valid and obvious logic to explain why they are not guilty, nobody at the store listens because they are already in “gotcha!” mode.

      If a cop does show up at that point, the whole thing is so confusing and the accused looks so worn out and sketchy that sometimes a lazy cop sides with the store anyhow.

      What does everyone always say the person did wrong in those cases? Call / let the store call the cops immediately once accused!

      The entire scenario sounds like it played out much faster than trying to argue with the brick wall of LP and store managers, too.

  21. jason in boston says:

    Are the yellow shirts indeed loss prevention? I thought they were just receipt checkers. Aren’t loss prevention the plainclothes people employed by corporate (and not the individual store) to investigate shrink?

  22. madtube says:

    Not bloody surprised. For everybody that states the guy should have handed him the receipt, he did not buy it from them, did not carry his proof of ownership with him, and had every right to act the way he did. That guy could have easily trolled through his info and got enough info for identity theft. Have to side with the OP. Not that I would ever side with Best Buy.

  23. HeyApples says:

    Why didn’t loss prevention just go to the security tape before calling the cops. It could have easily been shown that the customer carried the device into the store.

  24. crb042 says:

    as right as he is, I personally would not have wasted 10+ minutes waiting for police to show up to make that point. YMMV.

  25. TehQ says:

    While yes it sucks what happened maybe he should have used his brain and left the ipad in the car. But I guess if he did that then he couldn’t show off how cool he is with his awesome Apple product.

    • jesirose says:

      Did you even read the article?

    • catnapped says:

      Wow gosh you’re right…next time you go to a store that sells clothes you should leave yours in the car.

    • roscoe says:

      I suppose if he brought a Consumer Reports to do comparison shopping he should leave that in the car? You sound a little jealous that you don’t have an iPad and yes they are cool. If you do get one let me know when you leave yours in your car. And be sure to leave it on and in plain sight so I don’t have to rummage through a bunch of stuff. Best Buy doesn’t have a good track record on people doing comparison shopping in their store. Best boycott Best Buy brother.

  26. odan says:

    I don’t understand the big deal with this.
    If you went to a electronic store carrying around an expensive electronic you owned and while trying to leave where asked for proof it was yours and you didn’t have any , who is it to say that the security didn’t have the right to hold you to make sure it wasn’t best buys electronic.
    Refusing to be friendly and shown them proof will result in a fight.

    5 minutes of being nice even when someone else isn’t being so friendly would of results in the not so friendly person feeling and looking like an ass and you would be out of the store.
    5 minutes of being not so nice to someone also being not so nice resulted in what exactly?
    Police wasting there time, a store manager who clearly asked the most important point
    “The store manager was asking me why i didn’t tell the security this in the first place. I simply told him, why should i have to?”
    and why should you have to , its called being a human being.

    • speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

      Why should the store employees know that they were out of stock of the item they accused the OP of stealing? After all, it’s only called doing their jobs.

      And why does being an American have anything to do with anything? I insist on decent treatment whether I’m in the UK, Holland, Germany, France, Romania, or the UAE. And I get it, because I don’t treat people like shit or allow myself to be treated like shit.

      • thor79 says:

        The job of the loss prevention people is loss prevention, not inventory management. All they care is if a customer paid for a device they are walking out with that the store carries in stock. They don’t need to know how many devices are in stock as it would be simple for an employee to adjust inventory and make off with a device if they were to ignore all devices when stock read 0. It is better for loss prevention personnel to pay attention to any and all devices the store sells when they pass through the doors of the store.

    • AI says:

      I expect you from this point on to enter clothing stores naked. So as to not be accused of stealing the clothes your wearing. Enjoy.

      • veritybrown says:

        What’s with this stupid comparison to clothes? Most of us don’t wear brand-new, unlaundered clothing to the same store we bought it at. It’s not that hard to tell never-worn clothing apart from clothes that have been worn and laundered several times. Likewise, it would have taken moments for the OP to point out some feature of his device that a new one off the shelf wouldn’t have. In fact, it *did* take moments…but he didn’t bother doing so until after he’d made a huge scene with the police.

        • AI says:

          It’s only a stupid comparison to you. Clothes are something people carry with them to the very same stores that sell them. iPads are something electronics people carry with them when shopping at electronics stores. It’s not unlikely at all for people who frequent electronics stores to attempt to use the very electronics they purchased. This guy was not walking around with an LCD TV or some other electronics that typically aren’t carried around. iPads are designed as a portable device, so it should not come as a shock for people to use them as such.

          And you must live like a hobo if your clothes look that much different from brand new ones. In fact, my jeans typically look ‘newer’ than brand new designer jeans, because designer jeans come pre-faded and torn and look like they came from Goodwill.

          And what features would the OP show to the security muscle-head? The apps he downloaded? The music he synced? Once again, security would simply ignore his logic, fold their arms, and wait for police anyways. You can’t argue with these types of people, because they don’t want their mind changed.

  27. AI says:

    You should have asked him to produce the receipt for his shoes, to prove he didn’t steal them from you. It works both ways.

  28. wrbwrx says:

    Unless you absolutely have to have something at that very minute, then why even shop at Best Buy?

  29. Matt da Brat says:

    I agree that security was trigger happy and I hate Best Buy’s guts but why did John have to cause such a commotion? Why should he have to give Best Buy security his little “I didn’t steal it because” sch-peel? So that the cops don’t get called over such a stupid issue. I don’t have to remind everyone how many people visit Best Buy every day, it has to be difficult for security to keep track of everyone that walks in and out of the store with 100% accuracy… especially for such a “hot-ticket” item like the iPad.

    I’m a little tire of the whole “why should i have to?” attitude and it seems to be disproportionately present in the Apple crowd. Before throwing a fit, try throwing a bone to the idiots working security.

  30. thor79 says:

    John, don’t be a pompous ass next time and you won’t have the police called on you. It is common practice to notify security personnel at the door that you are bringing in bags or devices of your own for return. It should be easy for anyone to understand how Best Buy would expect the same for large personal electronics like an iPad. The problem here was your attitude…not Best Buy’s policies.

    • jesirose says:

      So you tell someone at a store every time you bring your cell phone in?

      If everyone did that, the receipt checker wouldn’t even be able to keep track! :)

      • thor79 says:

        I said “large” devices such as the iPad…obviously cell phones are small common devices and shouldn’t be required to be shown upon entering the store.

        • dolemite says:

          I fail to see the point of your “large” descriptor. “Hey, Security guy. I got a 7″ tablet that just came out.You need to see this? I got a digital camera in my wife’s purse…I think she has a Nook or something in there too.”

        • jesirose says:

          My camera is smaller than an iPad and cost more, and I take it tons of places.

          No. I’m not putting damn stickers on my stuff!

      • outlulz says:

        Well if you used your cell phone in a cell phone store you obviously haven’t just stolen it as it would be locked and useless.

    • AI says:

      Do you strip naked to go to a clothing store? Do you walk to car dealerships? YOU are the pompous ass for suggesting Best Buy should get to act different than any other store.

      • thor79 says:

        Clothing stores have other mechanisms for tracking their clothing, and most don’t have loss prevention people standing at the door. They rely on their loss prevention tags to keep stuff in the store. Also you usually have to physically damage the article of clothing to be able to remove the tag. The reason they don’t have people standing at the door is because for most places selling clothing it’s really not worth it to stop a person from running off with a shirt. They concentrate on the people running off with a stack of shirts.

        The difference with car dealerships is each and every car on the lot requires a semi-unique key to be able to drive it. Keeping track of those keys is their method for loss prevention. If you drive on the lot the assumption is that you own your car or are renting it and have a legal right to drive it because you possess the key for it.

        There are no keys with Best Buy Electronics, the best they can do is afix the item trackers that set off the alarms at the door, and those are frequently easily removed. So Best Buy has to take other measures try to prevent loss. The high value of many of the items in Best Buy also gives them a bigger incentive to prevent loss than clothing stores.

        • AI says:

          Best Buy has display iPads tethered with devices that cause an alarm to go off if removed. iPads for purchase are in a locked cage. They have more security devices than clothing stores do. Unless the alarm on an iPad went off, or the cage had been broken into, they had no reason to believe anything had been stolen.

          Clothing isn’t a low priced item either. I’ve seen many stores sell shoes and jeans for $250+ a pair. Two pairs equals the cost of an iPad, yet clothing stores don’t harass people for coming in wearing clothing.

    • Hobz says:

      Two points, he wasn’t returning the iPad.

      Second, why should he be presumed guilty? Stores have security measures in place to keep this from happening. If NONE of the security measures were circumvented at the time he was walking out, then why would you think he was stealing?

      I find it funny how some people cry and whine about government being “all up in their business” when they are perfectly willing to let corporations do it.

    • LastError says:

      I don’t often get to say “YOU MORON” but you push me to it today.

      Apple and everybody else are ALL selling millions of iPhones and iPads and Blackberries and all the dozens of different Android devices. They are becoming the common phone for many if not most people.

      It is not logical or effective to screen every incoming customer for devices that everyone has.

      And a store has no right and no legal leg to stand on to demand that every customer coming in stop by and get a sticker put on their own property for any reason. It’s not the store’s property. The store has no right whatsoever to touch it or have anything to do with it.

      If the store wants to forbid people from bringing in such devices, they can. But they might as well forbid people from shopping there at all, ever. The market will annihilate any retailer dumb enough to do that.

      In any case, it’s not the customer’s job to prove to the store that they didn’t do something. It’s the store’s job to prove that did. This is a basic legal thing called “innocent until proven guilty” that is a foundation of our legal system. You may have heard of it.

      And for that matter, I did actually buy my phone from a Best Buy. It once belonged to Best Buy. It was in their stock system. If they look up the device by serial number, it may even show up among their past inventory. Am I now to prove that I paid for it 10 months ago? Do I have to carry that proof forever or only when I go back to Best Buy? What happens if I go to another store that also sells this phone? Do I have to prove to them that I bought it elsewhere?

      What about the shirt on my back? When I visit Macy’s again, will I have to prove to them that I paid for the shirt? What if Sears also sells the same shirt? Will they require proof too?

      When I take my car in for an oil change, will I have to prove to the dealer that it’s actually my car?

      This is shit.

      Thankfully this is not how the legal system works. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. They, however, have to prove otherwise.

  31. dush says:

    Stupid Best Buy. Stop shopping there.

  32. donovanr says:

    We need an adjustment to the law to make it perfectly clear that if someone unlawfully detains you that you are free to sue them for $1,000 for every minute you are detained. That would incentive enough for the stores to educate their employees. This would also need to apply to the police. They detain you for a law that doesn’t exist then poof one weekend in jail and you are set for life.

  33. oldwiz65 says:

    The OP is very very lucky that loss prevention officer did not jump on him and throw him to the floor and choke him, like they do at Forever 21. This would have most certainly broken the iPad and BB would certainly have refused to replace it. Loss prevention “officers” fully believe they have the same authority as a uniformed police officer. I’m just happy they are not allowed to carry pepper spray, mace, or guns. There are also stores that use the electronic thief devices and they frequently forget to remove them so the alarm goes off when you exit the store. Last time that happened to me their LP officer dragged me back to the cashier to prove I had purchased the merchandise. They were utterly shocked when, after they removed the security device I told them that I purchased the item to use outside the store and since I cannot take it out of the store I have no use for it and wished to return it. They called the manager who apologized but I stood my ground and got a refund. If you don’t stand up for yourself the stores love nothing better than screwing you.

    • Sys Admn says:

      Actually, the OP is a little unlucky that loss prevention officer did not jump on him and throw him to the floor and choke him. By the time the lawyers were done, he’d not only have a new iPad, but a fat bank account.

      The correct response to “I’m going to call the authorities” is “Please do, I’d like to press charges for unlawful detainment.”

  34. maruadventurer says:

    Well first the security guy should get a reprimand provided he was on station when the OP entered the store. BBY policy is that they offer a sticker to anyone entering the store. Period, end of story.

    But I am surprised someone has not suggested this — flash crowd BBY till they change their policy. Mill about the electronic and camera sections. Everybody walking out flashes some electronic device. The Loss Prevention people will go freaking nuts and there is nothing they can do about it.

  35. odarkshineo says:

    why not use the ipad to go to…..where the same crappy prices exist, just not morons pushing pos apple products on you…

  36. SiddhimaAmythaon says:

    IMNAL but this is a bad stop. You let the store off easy you could easily sue them at this point for a bad stop “I think legl-ease is unlawful detention” . The LP guy just got caned or was put on final notice. I used to work retail and there are VERY exact rules for a stop and this isn’t even close.

  37. dolemite says:

    “The store manager was asking me why i didn’t tell the security this in the first place”.

    Because if I’m going to be accused of being a criminal and made a fool of in public, I am going to return the favor.

  38. EBone says:

    Seven elements are required to stop someone for shoplifting if you want a successful prosecution and don’t want to get sued. Best Buy security had NONE of the seven elements. You’ve got a great lawsuit for illegal detainment if you want.

  39. vastrightwing says:

    Avoid the whole issue and don’t wonder into Best Buy. There’s no reason to price shop since I can tell you their prices are much higher than on the Internet, where you can easily price shop without the hassle.

  40. rdclark says:

    This is why the iPad needs a video camera.

    • ITDEFX says:

      And who says it’s not coming? Knowing how apple works, they probably have a model with an 8mp camera, voice and face recognition features and the ability to take over any other device at will…it’s all in Steve Job’s main office and he will release this stuff when he thinks the world is ready for it.

  41. jeffjohnvol says:

    Don’t be an ass, show your receipt. (being ironic)

    (for all you that are the receipt showing sheep….)

    This is so typically BB behavior.

  42. Dieflatermous says:

    You forgot to mention the part where the police then gave him cookies for pwning the security guard, and then the mayor gave him the key to the city.

  43. erratapage says:

    I’m not exactly sure why Best Buy doesn’t win Worst Company in America. Or why Best Buy doesn’t realize how much hate it has generated and change. I usually shop Minnesota companies, being a Minnesotan, but I HATE Best Buy.

  44. aka Cat says:

    I just want to say, there are some Best Buy employees who both have and use their brains. I’ve had my iPad out in a couple different Best Buys, and I haven’t been hassled.

    (Or maybe the just assume a woman wouldn’t steal an iPad?)

  45. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    The store manager was asking me why i didn’t tell the security this in the first place. I simply told him, why should i have to?

    I think a better response would have been to ask why they didn’t check any of this themselves. In the ten minutes it took for the cops to get there couldn’t the manager have checked on the stock and the demo devices? They could have figured out on their own that nothing was missing.

  46. waltcoleman says:

    I’m sure we’ve all come across people with a little bit of power who like to flex their muscles when they can, and perhaps that was the case with the security guard. But in reality, the OP exacerbated the issue by being a jerk. I wouldn’t expect anyone to carry receipts with them…for example, who carries their cell phone receipt? But I can also understand someone heading for the door with an expensive and highly popular piece of electronics is going to draw some attention.

    A little bit of cooperation and communication could have resolved the issue in a minute. The OP chose to make it a bigger issue.

  47. megafly says:

    Best Buy calls their Security Goons “Asset Protection” rather than “Loss Prevention” They have a more active name that suits their Stazi style processes.

  48. shibblegritz says:

    So some random dude comes to a party at my house and I see him walking out with, oh, my $700 item that looks just like one I left on the coffee table.

    “Dude, is that my ($700 device)?

    “No, it’s mine. I brought it here to (do one of the things the device does).”

    “Prove it’s yours and not mine.”

    “I can’t. Er, I won’t. You can’t make me.” Sticks tongue out and waggles fingers.

    I guaran-damn-tee you that at the very least, I’m sitting on his chest, if I have to, to keep him there while my wife goes and checks if my version of the $700 device is still there.

    Y’all act like you have an unmitigated right to go anywhere and do anything without anyone ever asking you any questions about it. Guess what? You don’t. Get over yourselves and realize the guy is probably dumber, less talented and more poorly paid than you are, his life is probably crap and he’s trying to get through another day. Cut him some slack and show him a snapshot or a document or something. Or maybe even scan a copy of your receipt, store it on the ipad and deflect the problem entirely.

    • jesirose says:

      Your house is not a store, dumbass.

      • waltcoleman says:

        The analogy applies whether its a personal home or a business. Best Buy is private property.

        Yes, there are limitation to what Best Buy employees can or can’t do and I do believe the security guard was over zealous. But the op CHOSE to make a point by waiting for the cops to arrive as opposed to showing a little cooperation.

        If you owned an electronics store that sold iPads and you saw someone walking out the door with an opened iPad tucked under their arm, would you just let them go or might you briefly question them?

        Like I posted earlier…a little cooperation and communication can go a long way.

        • sqlrob says:

          He did show a little cooperation. He waited for the cops.

          He was under no obligation to wait.

        • jesirose says:

          Best Buy is open to the public. Your house is not. Well, mine isn’t anyway. Even at a party, only people I allow to come in are allowed in.

    • Wei says:

      And if you don’t have a snapshot of the receipt or any other documents on hand, then what?

      You talk about stepping into the situation, so I’d like to know what you’d do if you were there with no way to “prove” you owned something that you owned and the security guy you feel so much empathy for kept demanding you to prove it.

  49. ITDEFX says:

    I would have loved to have seen the AP guy try to grab the Ipad out of his hands. With that when the police came he could have charged the AP guy with theft. I would have also questioned the AP guy to show him the video proof that the OP stole the pad. There is no way a customer could have picked one off the shelf, open it up and started using it in store. They are ALL LOCKED AWAY.
    Management needs to educate these dumb ap people to make sure they understand that if someone walks INTO the STORE with such expensive device, it usually means it’s not from your store and it may not be stolen at all.

    Honestly OP you waited too long to bring this story to light. If you would have reported it earlier, best buy would have bend over backwards to make this up to you.

  50. EZ says:

    Same thing happened to me when i walked out of Best Try while TALKING ON MY DROID X. Security guy stopped me and demanded proof of purchase for my phone. They are incredibily inept.

  51. BurtReynolds says:

    This never happens when I shop at Amazon.

  52. e065702 says:

    This problem for Best Buy is completely self-induced. They have made a business decision to design their facility in a manner that enables shoplifters being able to exit the store without going through the check register area.
    Best Buys solution is to offend anybody that shops there (I won’t for just this reason.) by placing a guard at the exit.
    In addition they do not properly train or monitor these employees thereby exposing them to litigation.
    The solution is to design their stores like Toys-R-Us, which does not completely solve the problem but certainly improves on it.

  53. Saxmoore says:

    I try to be proactive with BB when it comes to stuff that I think could cause a stink. For instance, I went in to a BB to look at iPod clock radios and I wanted to compare sound. As I walked in, I went straight to the loss prevention guy, pulled out my ipod and told him what I was there for. I gave him a nod and a “thank you” as I walked out, and he managed to remember me.

  54. M3wThr33 says:

    Really? He couldn’t have printed out a sheet of paper or used a smaller device? He HAD to bring in a hulking tablet into the store?
    And then he KNEW the differences from the floor model right off the bat? This guy WANTED to get caught.

    • Mphone says:

      iPad users like to bring them everywhere. They spent the money on it why not? Right?

      That way us pleebs who do not or can not own one have to deal with the. Yay Apple!!!

  55. lstorm2003 says:

    So I like the part that says in part: “I told him that I am not required to do so as he doesn’t have reasonable doubt that it was stolen.” What does this even mean? I love when people take verbiage from somewhere and recycle it somewhere else where it doesn’t make any sense. This is funny to me. I suspect the OP could have handled this by politely explaining to the security guard that the unit was his, giving a few details, and he would’ve been on his way. My impression is that the OP was extremely defensive, and annoyed by the security guard, and was almost looking for a fight.. The security guard was just doing his job.

  56. wbeem says:

    Why would he allow himself to be detained by a security guard at a store? They have no authority to detain him. If they try to hold you against your will, it’s kidnapping.

  57. sopmodm14 says:

    you’re a thief if you don’t buy something from BB, and BB’s a thief if you do buy something from them

  58. JG2002 says:

    Shouldn’t he have gotten a sticker when he first walked in with it. Also why wouldn’t he just show them the data or something to he can leave. Obviously this person has a lot of free time on their hands to sit around for the cops.

    The dude was just doing his job, you know he probably has bills to pay and someone walking out w/ an Ipad is something he should notice.

  59. bwcbwc says:

    Bravo! The cherry on top would have been to ask the police to arrest security for false imprisonment while you were at it. But well-played, sir, well-played!

  60. sopmodm14 says:

    the LP personnel should’ve known clearly that it wasn’t theft…..

    i’m almost certain that they didn’t see the OP do anything suspicious (who cuts the security tether on a display, in broad view of staff/customers/cameras ?), and the MO for shoplifters is a quick, non-memorable getaway, not to shop around.

    i don’t think the writer was out-of-line, even though he could have easily proved his innocence, b/c the store could’ve also provided proof he didn’t do it with their tone and actions

  61. wkm001 says:

    Isn’t the burden of proof on the store?

  62. rhys1882 says:

    Give me a break. It’s common sense that you need to be careful when going into a store carrying the item they sell. It’s just like going into a bookstore carrying a book or walking into a drug store eating a candy bar. Wake the hell up people – we don’t live in the 1950’s anymore.

  63. sendmoney2me says:

    he could have saved himself the hassle by not taking the ipad into a store that sells them. take a brand new nail gun into home depot and see if they ask for your receipt on the way out. people are so ignorant.

  64. laffmakr says:

    The OP could also have just printed out the photos or, jotted them down on a piece of paper rather than “baiting” the store security just for fun.

    Sounds like “John” is trying a little entrapment on Best Buy. Was your lawyer waiting in the car, John?

    This fails the common sense test big time.

  65. dirtylurker says:

    John is dumb, I do agree with him he doesnt have to prove to the LP that he owns it but CMON! Your just asking for hassel when you do that. Yes the LP guy was a dumb for not investigating but he could had the LP guy ask if they had any ipads in stock, THIS IS WHY I HATE MAC FANBOYS! and no he cant prosecute Best Buy for them checking to see if it was stolen

  66. mystery79 says:

    Yes technically you don’t have to show the security person your proof of ownership, but what is the big deal? If you could have prevented this whole situation by calmly explaining that you weren’t going to show your personal data but then presented the other 2 facts, the person would have most likely let him leave w/ out the hassle.

    Second, look at it for a sec from this person’s point of view. Letting a $500+ item walk out the door would be very bad for his future employment. I’m not saying he had the right to be a dick but I wonder if the OP’s attitude worsened the situation.

  67. Danjalier says:

    Reminds me of when I tried to sell a new unopened audio CD to a music store that bought old music. I walked up to the cashier to ask how much I would get for it and I showed him the CD. He claimed I took it right off the shelf. “Oh yeah?” I said. It wasn’t worth the argument. I picked up my CD and held it up as I walked out of the store.

    No one chased me. I guess he didn’t think the argument was worth it either.

  68. Jeff says: "WTF could you have been thinking?" says:

    Wow. He didn’t shoot any video of this on the IPad? I would have been all over that opportunity. Then I would call my lawyer.

  69. common_sense84 says:

    It’s the same as having a cellphone or a camera on you. Unless they witnessed you take it, they cannot claim you stole it.

    You are allowed to have personal belongings on you when you shop.

    The cops should have done the right thing and arrested the idiot that called them for filing a false police report.

  70. halo969 says:

    Just another reason to stop shopping at this crappy store. I really wish everyone would stop giving their money to Best Buy so they’d go out of business. Their employees are rude and unhelpful.

  71. BETH says:

    Maybe someday most people will be toting ipads around, but I don’t plan to be one of them. It’s such an awkward size; it doesn’t fit in a pocket or purse. If you drop it, it’s trashed. And it’s too easy to lay it down somewhere and walk away. Someone has probably designed a carrying case with shoulder straps, but it’s still another thing to carry around.

    I don’t know why John took his ipad into Best Buy. Why didn’t he just print out those pictures he needed on a piece of paper? I’m sure he wanted everyone to see his super-cool device. And I would bet that he hid it from the guard on the way in so that he could get into a confrontation on the way out.

  72. RogueWarrior65 says:

    The simple fact is that in this country the burden of proof is on the accuser. I would tell the security people “Do you have ANY proof I stole this? No? Then we’re through. Buh bye.”

  73. Michael S. says:

    This person is just trying to make trouble, to test the waters to see what the procedure is when he actually steells the ipad.

  74. Harry says:

    every item that enters best buy that they carry is supposed to tagged with a sticker that can be removed when you leave the store, the lp personnel should’ve stopped him at the door when they saw him carrying an ipad and put a tag on it

  75. PsiCop says:

    Who here is really surprised at this, especially given that for using a gift card?

  76. Forbidden says:

    False imprisonment is a tort, not a criminal matter. You could sue, but police are do not arrest.

  77. SnotSucker says:

    Uhhh why do you need an iPad to compare prices on an Apple product? There is very little difference in price between retailers’ Apple devices. Sounds to me like he was out to set someone out from the start.

  78. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    Can you imagine the hard on that security guard must’ve gotten when he thought he caught himsself a bonafide SHOPLIFTER?? It must’ve been like an elephant tusk.

  79. Coksibum says:

    I really like this site, but common people. I can understand the aggression towards Best Buy, but you have got to work with the security. “No, I do not have a receipt as it was purchased elsewhere. This is my device, and I can prove it because it has my applications on it with my preferences.”

    How the hell would a security guard know that your iPad did or didn’t say “DEMO UNIT”, or know the capacity size. Had they asked you, I assure you would have said screw you.

    Get off the high-horse, realize that not everybody is out to screw you, and they are just trying to do their job to keep their prices low.

  80. phallusu says:

    Could I see your identification as an employee please? That could be any nut scam artist out there trying to steal your iPad … and pardon me but the security guard is the one claiming the iPad is Best Buy property-where is HIS receipt for this claim?

  81. The cake is a lie! says:

    They don’t ask if the cell phone in your pocket is a floor model, so why persecute you for walking out with an iPad? I’ve walked in and out with headphones on and they never ask if the ones I’m wearing were stolen. I’ve walked in and out of department stores fully clothed before and they don’t stop to ask if I stole the pants I’m wearing. I think it was just an over eager security guard and all the OP had to do was explain exactly what he explained to the cops. Somehow I’m not so sure a security guard would have been allowed to let it get as far as it did, so I’m going to have to call BS on the story. Someone just wanted to see their story posted on Consumerist. Show me a pending action against the security guard or STFU.

  82. topher b says:

    I don’t shop anywhere that they have these receipt policies. Who wants to be treated like a criminal by jerks at the door?

  83. milocastanza says:

    The Best Buy that I sometimes visit is within walking distance of a coffee shop I sometimes hang out at. I’ve taken my iPad with me, on occasion, to read while drinking coffee. Every now and again I’ll walk over and wander the aisles of Best Buy with my iPad in tow because I’d rather not leave it sit in my car or, obviously, on a table in the coffee shop. Fortunately, I haven’t been bothered by any security, nor has anyone demanded that I prove that I didn’t steal it from the store. But if that were to happen, I imagine I’d handle myself similar to the OP. I don’t think anyone should ever be compelled to prove that they’ve done nothing wrong based on completely fabricated suspicion from a random stranger. That’s downright absurd.

    People are insisting that the OP should have diffused the situation quickly by giving in to the demands of the security guard and proving that the OP didn’t steal what was, in fact, his own property. Fact is, if the OP wanted to push things by resolving the matter in a way that didn’t require him to yield to the wants of a misinformed security guard, that’s his prerogative. Many commentors here seem to think the OP should have done what would have been most convenient for the guard rather than himself. That is, again, absurd. The guard made the incorrect assumption. The onus was on him to provide proof, not the other way around. It’s as simple as that.

    If you, yourself, would rather keep things warm and fuzzy by kowtowing to someone else’s irrational and unfounded demands, that’s all fine and well. But you have no business whatsoever in demanding that every other person follow your lead and react as you theoretically would in the same situation. Try to remember that the next time someone around you is clearly in the wrong, but unfairly and foolishly demands that you yield to them based on nothing but ignorant assumption. The easiest way out isn’t always the right one.

  84. deadsalmon says:

    Retard. It would’ve taken all of 30 seconds for you to have said that to the guard in the first place, or shown him that you have personal pictures on the iPad, or Contacts, or whatever… and you’d be on your way.

    You sure showed that security guard what a big man you were, though. And your very own post on Consumerist! Congratulations, now you can retire.

    Too many people are concerned with one upping someone else and being a prick out of spite. The guy was mistaken, big freaking deal. Show him why he’s wrong and be on your merry way.

    • edrebber says:

      It doesn’t take any time at all to keep walking and ignore the troll security guard. The security guard couldn’t possibly have seen the OP steal an ipad.

  85. XStylus says:

    > I simply told him, why should i have to?

    So Best Buy’s security isn’t supposed to ask questions then?

    I don’t understand the point you were trying to prove.

  86. XStylus says:

    > I simply told him, why should i have to?

    So Best Buy’s security isn’t supposed to ask questions then? I don’t understand the point you were trying to prove.

  87. XStylus says:

    > I simply told him, why should i have to?

    So Best Buy’s security isn’t supposed to ask questions then? I don’t understand the point you were trying to prove.

  88. nacoran says:

    The counter argument to this is of course, what is to stop someone from walking into a store and walking out with a display model if the security officers have to take the word of the shopper that they bought it somewhere else. The submitter could have easily pointed out the details to prove it was his iPad before the police got involved, but he was more interested in satisfying his moral indignation than being reasonable. A good rule of thumb is don’t take a new looking big ticket gizmo into a store that sells that gizmo without a receipt. If you do, just mention it to someone at the register as you walk in, so they know you have it, that way both sides know what’s going on.

  89. exconsumer says:

    Well, this is what happens . . . It begins with the receipt check of things you just bought. I’ll be honest, it seems reasonable enough (although I’m still not required to do anything). In and of itself, it’s likely not going to cause any real problems for anyone. BUT once you’ve shifted the burden of proof, you get events like this. The consumer’s time is wasted, the merchant’s time is wasted. Can we just agree we don’t have the right to arbitrarily insist that others prove they did not steal their possessions?

  90. samonela says:

    LP – “You need to PROVE that you are the owner…”

    Rebuttal – “YOU need to prove that I am not…”

  91. Razor512 says:

    You have enough grounds to have the worker charged with false imprisonment.
    When you are on the attacking side, it is up to bestbuy to prove that they had evidence, meaning surveillance footage and other things, if they cant provide evidence then the charges stick, you can then find things to sue them for, If you were on lunch break or had a place where you needed to be, then sue them for lost wages due to false imprisonment.

    Many stores like this, like to take advantage. when ever you give someone authority, they will always have a push to abuse it (the same goes for store security).

    The OP was right to not give them any additional information. If it was me in this situation, the moment I was blocked, I would call the police and report them for false imprisonment then make arrangements for a court case and get as much money out of them as possible.

    The law is ideally innocent until proven guilty but in reality, it is guilty until proven innocent. if you go after them for false imprisonment, they must prove that they had a valid reason to detain you for theft, which they cant in this case so you will be able to sue easily.

  92. wackydan says:

    He should have told the folks at the store on entry that he was bringing in an iPad. What an idiot. He was looking for a fight… period.

  93. mac_daddy says:

    I never go to BestBuy, not because of their security, but because they never help me unless I am female. The last time I went was to look for some speakers, so I have my wife head over to the sound systems. She always dresses in tight stuff, so she is immediately ‘helped’ by no less than three blue salesbots. That’s when I rush over and say, “oh hi honey, here you are…, yeah, I was looking at his HTIB and….” Suddenly, most of them seem uninterested….

  94. Bby says:

    The problem here is there is no mention of a sticker or other verification of bringing it into the store. Probably because when the OP came into the store they either didn’t have it out, or did have it out and declined to allow a STICKER to touch their property.

    The OP is at fault because of being a douche instead of simply letting security know information that would be useful to verify ID and everyone could then go about their days.

    Oh wait, I guess he is right in his position because he came to Consumerist to complain. All of you haters are sheep anyway.

  95. Anomaly69 says:

    You should sue them for false imprisonment. That’s what they did when they physically prevented you from leaving.

  96. poly says:

    Best Buy just COMPLETELY SUCKS. It was a sad day for me indeed when Circuit City went out of business. BB has essentially no real competition anymore and that’s really bad news for all of us. Like so many of us I’ve purchased literally dozens of electronic devices over the last 15 years, multiple laptops, tvs, desktops, surround sound systems, cell phones.. you know the stuff we all spend our money on. Me with a family of 6, all “linked in” you can imagine how many things I’ve bought. And, in all of those years and all of those purchases I’ve never, ever, not once found the best deal at “best buy”. That, and they return policy is just criminal. They are at liberty to charge us a restocking fee on any return. That’s just stealing, imo. So, I’ll still go into that store every few weeks to have a look, but I don’t buy.

  97. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil says:

    Because he was detained without cause, this is technically kidnapping because he was prevented from leaving. The Best Buy people should have been arrested. For sure, I would have pressed charges. But I stopped having anything to do with Best Buy years ago. They are the worst retailer on he planet and I will never purchase anything from these jerks again.

    Going to a Best Buy is an invitation to be ripped off and mistreated.

  98. HenryES says:

    I get that BB is run and staffed by morons, but I don’t see why the OP wasted his and everybody else’s time when all he had to do is turn on the iPad and show that there were apps loaded on there that don’t come with the device. Heck, if it were mine, they would just have to see the cute cat picture on the lock screen.

  99. micah says:

    An interesting point.
    However, in the instances of jewelry stores and clothing stores, the staff can generally see you wearing those items when you walk in the store.
    It seems a prudent act that anytime you walk into a store carrying an item that the store sells, that you show it to them as you walk in the door.
    “Hey guys, This is mine, I just wanted to avoid confusion as I leave. Thanks!”
    And this is not a new concept.
    The guy acts like he was extremely wronged, and that he is making some socio-political statement, when really he was just being obtuse and rude.

    • BD2008 says:

      I agree wholeheartedly. This person was looking to stir the pot from the minute he entered the store. I may not like the store policy on receipt checking but I’m not going to take it out on the guy whose job it is to do it. If it bothers me that much, I will not take my business there.

  100. BBP says:

    As much as I loathe Best Buy, all you had to do was say what you did to the officer at the end of the whole “ordeal”. You would have been out right away.

    YOU decided that the best course of action was to become defensive and suspicious, which I find mind-boggling. You could have shown him that the wallpaper and apps weren’t pre-loaded, too.

    Seriously, people defending your actions are nuts. What you did was petty and power-tripish. I don’t think they had a right to stop you without any clear proof that you may have stolen the unit, but the fact of the matter is that you were stopped and you obviously had the ammunition you needed to prove it wasn’t stolen. You simply chose to take the alternate route, which was to be a flaming douche and waste everyone’s time.

  101. edrebber says:

    Just keep walking like you never heard them. You’re under no obligation to listen to them or give a response. The burden of proof is on the store to show they followed procedure. They can either physically assault you nothing happens. If they do assault you, you can probably sue them since there is no way they saw you take anything.

  102. IntheKnow says:

    For such a high profile, in demand, loss prevention sensitive product, all the OP had to do was SHOW it to Security when you walked in! All this posturing and legal manuevering would have been avoided. I’m sure the OP knew, in the back of his mind, just a tad bit, this might happen.

  103. DarkCalf says:

    I said, “Here are the ways you could have known that this was mine, For one the device is SOLD OUT. Your store doesn’t have them in stock. Two, The backs of the demo units have written in Bold Lettering “FOR DEMO USE ONLY, NOT FOR RESALE” Three, the demo units are 16GB models, mine is 32GB. Finally, if i stole it why would i keep it in clear view?”

    Op, it sounds like you rolled in there with an agenda to cause trouble.

    Here’s something my mom taught me when I was younger, if you’re going into a store with expensive electronics… it’s a good idea not to bring your expensive electronics in with you! It prevents things like this from ever happening. If you hadn’t brought your stupid iPad with all of its GB’s into the store, there never would have been an issue. Price comparisons? Are you kidding me? You couldn’t leave your toy in the car basically, and got burned for it.

    Last of all, if I was going to steal something… I’d have it in plain view. You know why? Because confidently walking around with a stolen item in plain view implies it’s mine.

  104. LukeinDC says:

    Best Buy Security rules say they must track you from the moment you pick up the item to the moment you attempt to leave the store in order to detain you. The security guard violated the rules.

  105. mitchh30 says:

    Best Buy = A shiny turd.

  106. uaguy says:

    Actually, the BB security guy has a legal right under the law to detain someone suspected of
    shoplifting. It’s called the “Shopkeeper Exception to false imprisonment”. As long as the
    detention was of limited duration, the store can detain you and be legally shielded from
    prosecution for the detention but not for potential defamation.

    See here.

    Also cases like Janet Asay v. Albertsons, Inc., etc.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Not without reasonable suspicion of shoplifting. Which they did not have.

      • fakeplastic says:

        He was leaving the store with a product that the store typically carries (without paying); therefore reasonable suspicion. If the cops really wanted to nit-pick, they could have charged him (the shopper) with public mischeif for wasting their time. Because he could have easily defended himself without involving the police he essentially forced the store to call the police. It could be argued that this is like a prank call to 911, ergo wasting public moneys. Also there should be a law against having an iPad at all.

  107. Kevinsky says:

    Man, when I go to best buy I just use THEIR computers for comparison shopping. Often right in front of the sales person. They love that.

  108. TampaShooters says:

    You should have asked the security guard if they stole the cell phone on his hip. Do they check everyone with an cell phone?

  109. TampaShooters says:

    1st mistake: Going to Best Buy…

  110. nocturnaljames says:

    kudos for you to standing up to these morons.

  111. skinnylittleblonde says:

    Seems to me Loss Prevention should have made sure they, at least…
    1-saw the OP take item
    2-saw the OP try to conceal, even if concealing meant acting as if it was his own
    3-asked the OP if he’d like to pay for item (at which time he could say that he already bought it)
    before accusing him of stealing.
    OP was probably uncooperative with them because he was offended that they would accuse him

  112. RandomNumbers23239847 says:

    The nerve of those security guards trying to do their jobs! You are such a pompous ASS. You were carrying an iPad, the store sells iPads, of course you looked a little suspicious. If someone can’t be confronted under those circumstances then any “dumb criminal” could just walk out confidently with whatever they wanted and then get really INDIGNANT when anyone says anything about it. The worst part is, you only had to say a few words to clear up the whole misunderstanding, and instead you drag the process out and act like an uncooperative jerk. The police never needed to be called, and you’re the one to blame, not the security guards. The police could have been somewhere else doing something actually worthwhile. You use the excuse that your iPad is a “travel and shopping companion”, then take it with you to the grocery store or car shopping, but leave it home when you go to Best Buy where someone may think you stole it. Can you not remember a few prices long enough to go in and check Best Buy’s? Do you have a pen?

  113. Not2Bright says:

    Hmmm…I work at BestBuy. First thing being that we have a no “interference” policy. We can approach a suspected shoplifter and offer to help ,but in no way detain someone as they feel theft isn’t worth the life of an employee should he detain an unhinged idiot with nothing to lose. Second, when you enter the store carrying a device that we sell you are required to get a pink sticker before shopping , this is common knowledge and would have been suggested to you had you had the device out in the open upon entry. That very act is to insure that this type of stupidity can be avoided. He was doing his job, while you sir, we being an egotistical ass reigning your supposed superiority over the mere inferior pee-on who would dare question your motives. Try working with the generic masses once in awhile to gain some perspective as to how the other half lives…and thinks.

    • TampaShooters says:

      So, what you are saying is… If the BB security followed policy, none of this would have happened, Correct? The Security guard caused all of this mess. The rest of your point is gibberish.

      • mapglove says:

        Actually, his reply is making a very good & valid point. That yes the BB security guy was not following the correct procedure, but the OP also didn’t get his item stickered as he should have, and his attitude in dealing with the situation was one of an egotistical douchewad whose air of superiority dictated that the BB guy was obligated to believe the iPad was his just because he said it.

  114. banmojo says:

    Good job, John. If this ever happened to me, I would freakin’ picket the store involved for a week, minimum. What a’holes, eh?

  115. oldwiz65 says:

    The poster is lucky the Best Buy security people didn’t throw him to the ground, break the iPad, and choke him. If Forever XXI can do it, why not BestBuy? One cannot exactly expect reasonable behavior from employees who probably barely make minimum wage.

    • MishunAcomplisht says:

      Nobody ever has a RIGHT to beat anyone else up because they make a low wage, except MAYBE the CEO exploiting them, and hopefully in a dark alley as violently as possible. But since you seem to want customers to get beat up and violated, I hope that happens to you some day as well and then I’d like to hear how fast your little opinion changes.

  116. Admad says:

    First off best buy was taking precaution for their products. If you have ever shopped at best buy and brought in a product you would have known a pink sticker is required. You could have eluded the whole situation if you would have done something as simple as that.

    Also, all macbooks are the same price. Apple price locks them in retail stores.

  117. ctbails says:

    You’re an idiot.

    If you’re bringing expensive electronics into a store that sells electronics, don’t be surprised when the security guard asks to see a receipt when you leave the store. And when he does, just prove that its yours (which is easy… so easy) and move on with your day.

    Enjoy going through your life creating unnecessary hurdles for yourself. I’ll be laughing at you while common sense and reason guide me :)

  118. Mike says:

    Damn BB security… same thing happened to me when I was walking out of their store after comparing prices on my 52″ Sony Bravia LED TV… Bastards..

  119. legacya5150 says:

    First of all your an idiot for taking an electronic device that the store sells into the store without notifying someone that works there. How would you feel if you owned a store where you sold a hot ticket item that costs over 400 dollars and someone just walked right in without letting you know that it was their property and tried to walk out the store with it. You would feel the same way. Any other retailer that you go to marks your product with a sticker of some sort to identify that it is yours. So to tell you the truth you had it comming.

  120. MishunAcomplisht says:

    This IDIOCY is completely preventable by Best Buy. Have a procedure where “suspect devices” can be registered by the blue or yellow shirt nazi when the customer first walks in if they are going to act this way when people walk out.

    But even without that, HELLO why can’t they play the tape SHOWING the customer walking in WITH THEIR OWN DEVICE?

    The fact they don’t offer something like this proves they are stupid nazi morons more interested in punishing and harassing customers (their income base) than selling to them. They deserve an absolute swarm of Ipad owners descending on them hundreds at a time at a peak holiday shopping time to teach them a lesson, with each one dialing 911 when stopped at the front door.

    Obviously this will continue escalating until people start beating the “guards” within inches of their lives or running them over when they leave their shifts and walk into the parking lot, and then the policy will change to “sanity” mode. Not that I want that, but this is where it is headed, because people get apeshit when you touch them or THEIR high tech, high dollar property, not to mention tell them they don’t have the right to research their purchases or save money in a bad economy. Hello…If BB hadn’t done FAKE websites with different prices and play bait and switch games where 70% of their floor models are NEVER IN STOCK, they wouldn’t have this problem.

    If an Iphone owner has the right to research purchases, why not an IPad user? I think Apple should join ACLU and file some BAZILLION dollar civil suit against BB over this.

    Either way, you really have to ask yourself if $6.00 an hour is worth harassing people and violating their civil rights for.

  121. mapglove says:

    Couldn’t agree more with ctbails’ assessment. Best Buy has a right to question customers for things they find suspicious, that’s why they have a loss prevention department. The OP asking the cops “Why should I have to?” when they ask why he didn’t explain all his reasons to the security guy in the first place is idiotic to say the least. The answer is because you claiming you owned the product already and brought it into the store doesn’t obligate the LP guy to believe you. As off-protocol as the LP guy at Best Buy was being – I worked for BB in high school and the LP guys explained to me that you have to see the person pick up the item & can’t ever lose sight of them before you make an accusation – it’s not like he was completely out of his mind for asking this dude to prove ownership before walking out of the store with an item they sell that he didn’t have stickered by LP or in plain view when he walked in. It’s not like LP guys are expected to know if an item is out of stock or the GB size of the floor model iPads (much less the GB size of the OP’s ipad). So the answer to the OP’s stupid question of “Why should I have to?” is so you don’t waste 15 minutes of your own or the cops time just to embarrass the guy when you were the one who screwed up in the first place by not getting the damn thing stickered. Just standing there demanding that you don’t have to prove you own the product just makes you look more guilty. Idiot.

  122. coren says:

    What if he did pull out a receipt? Given this LP’s obvious lack of knowledge about their store’s policies regarding demos and merchandise, there’s no way (without witnessing it) he could know the guy didn’t just take one out of a box and try to walk out with it.

  123. Club 50 says:

    I think the person walking in the store with his IPad was just as stupid in starting this problem, as he could have stopped at the security/customer service desk, and told these folks that he was coming in with his own property to compare prices. That would have been much simpler, than wasting the time to have law enforcement show up, and having an interaction with a clueless security guard.

    He could have also came into the store with his unit in its case (if he had one), then took it out when he was ready to compare prices. His actions would have been seen on camera, and there would have been no questions asked.

    Actually, I think he was being a jerk by showing off something others wanted. Some people always want the spotlight.

  124. consumed100 says:

    I work for a large retail company. I listen to security agents and what they have to go through to make an arrest. The proof of the theft is on the agents not on the “customer”. Doing this falsely can lead to law suits and doing this enough times can lead to a class action suit. Best Buy better get their ducks lined up or they open themselves to this and in this climate class action to an attorney and customers is like a free buffet.

  125. criticalmass says:

    I show the door clerk that I will be bringing my laptop into their store and ask for a receipt of the serial found on the back serial data decal. The receipt is typically an adhesive label that the clerk tells me must be attached so I politely ask if I may attach it myself and the clerk says you may, hands me the sticker and I remove 2% of the backing paper which is just enough to where it will stay securely attached but will allow for easy removal. So by cooperating with the clerk both our needs have been met. It is as simple as choosing to be courteous, respectful, and I walk away without having the label permanently glued to my laptop. As I leave the clerk confirms the serial number, which takes but a moment, and everything is good. I could be wrong but it seems we make problems for ourselves and when a conflict emerges we sometimes cannot admit to being wrong or at least to agree to disagree. Is the problem based in the struggle to maintain power and control? Do we fear admitting to being wrong because we have something to lose? No really, I’d like to know why such a simple thing as going into a store with a laptop has to be such a tremendous struggle for some people?

  126. criticalmass says:

    I show the door clerk that I will be bringing my laptop into their store and ask for a receipt of the serial found on the back serial data decal. The receipt is typically an adhesive label that the clerk tells me must be attached so I politely ask if I may attach it myself and the clerk says you may, hands me the sticker and I remove 2% of the backing paper which is just enough to where it will stay securely attached but will allow for easy removal. So by cooperating with the clerk both our needs have been met. It is as simple as choosing to be courteous, respectful, and I walk away without having the label permanently glued to my laptop. As I leave the clerk confirms the serial number, which takes but a moment, and everything is good. I could be wrong but it seems we make problems for ourselves and when a conflict emerges we sometimes cannot admit to being wrong or at least to agree to disagree. Is the problem based in the struggle to maintain power and control? Do we fear admitting to being wrong because we have something to lose? No really, I’d like to know why such a simple thing as going into a store with a laptop has to be such a tremendous struggle for some people?

  127. tgm says:

    hey smart guy. it is probable cause, not reasonable doubt. you are thinking about the 4th amend i assume. not the standard of proof required to convict in a criminal case. and a best buy security guy is not subjected to the 4th amend because he is not acting under the color of law. now you might be able to sue civilly or have him charged with a misdemeanor, but you can’t sue him citing violation of const rights as, again, he is not acting under color of law. in other words, only a law enforcement officer or other specific govt agent can violate 4th. lastly, if i owned that store (take the words best buy off and call it mom and pop) and if i stood to lose $500 on a gay ipad, i would shake people down too. but, of course, you do not look at it from that point of view do you because you are a smart guy. and too bad you didn’t get pepper sprayed or tased. next time you should let the dude do his job and not be a smart guy because you obviously are not as sharp as you think .

  128. zibby says:


  129. xamarshahx says:

    I worked at BB, they can’t really do anything unless they have you on tape stealing. If they were pretty sure someone stole something, they would be blunt and ask the person, but they couldn’t do much else unless they had them on tape.

  130. LukeinDC says:

    Actually, having worked for Best Buy in the DC area, I can tell you that the Best Buy security guard violated Best Buy’s internal policy. They have to catch you on camera picking up the device, and follow you through out your time in the store while you have the device. If they catch you concealing it, or opening the box or walking out with the device, they can detain you until the cops arrive. If you happen to just have the unboxed device on you and the security guard didn’t see you actually steal it, then they can’t detain you. He should also only ask for a receipt for boxed items or items in a shopping bag.

  131. impatientgirl says:

    yep. illegal detainment. harassment. assault.

  132. fpc says:

    What a bullshit story.

    “Here are the ways you could have known that this was mine, For one the device is SOLD OUT. Your store doesn’t have them in stock. Two, The backs of the demo units have written in Bold Lettering “FOR DEMO USE ONLY, NOT FOR RESALE” Three, the demo units are 16GB models, mine is 32GB”.

    He went to the store to look at MacBook Pros, and he somehow just happens to know all this information about their iPad stocks?

    Second, who the **** takes an iPad with them shopping? LOL. Everybody knows Best Buy has ALL their computers internet ready. If you want to price check, you can do so from their computers.

    And price checking a Mac? AHAHAHAHA. Those have very consistent pricing. And even more hilarious is why he would go INTO the store to compare prices, when you could just price check from their website.

    Not only that.. but it’s pretty easy to write down prices on a sheet of paper, rather than lug your fucking iPad into the store.

    Either a total fake story, or “John” is a complete moron. Hence the reason he even bought an iPad in the first place. Fucking loser.