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Claire's / Suspected of shoplifting

1 3000 184thst.SWLynnwood, WA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 425-771-2042

An incident that occurred at a Claire's store in the Alderwood Mall in Lynnwood, Washington.
On Tuesday June 18th at approximately 4:20 PM my Daughter and a friend were shopping at the mall and went into Claire's.
After browsing for approximately 10 minutes they left the store, they did not purchase any items.
They continued to walk around the mall and were approached by one of the sales associates from Claire's.
The sales associate instructed my daughter and her friend to return to the store with her stating that they needed to "Come back to the store with me because you stole something. I saw you drop something and when you picked it up you dropped a tag." The sales associate said it was a necklace that they had stolen.
An Alderwood Mall security guard and the Claire's sales associate escorted them back to the store.
On the way through the mall back to the store the sales associate instructed my daughter and her friend to "Just give her the product or we will have to deal with the manager!"
My daughter and her friend told the sales associate that they didn't steal anything so they could not give anything back.
When they arrived at Claire's the sales associate told the Manager that she had "Got them!"
The Manager then yelled at my daughter and her friend to "Give them back the products or she would call the police" This accusation was voiced in the middle of the Claire's store in full view and hearing of other shoppers.
My daughter and her friend repeatedly told the manager, sales associate and mall security guard that they had not stolen anything.
The Mall security Guard told my daughter and her friend that if the Lynnwood police were called that a female police officer would be instructed to strip search them to locate the stolen items.
The Manager then said that if the police find her products on my daughter or her friend that it would be an even bigger fine.
The Manager continued to yell at my daughter and her friend to "JUST GIVE US OUR PRODUCT!"
My daughter and her friend continued to proclaim their innocence.
After producing no allegedly stolen products through continued threats and intimidation,
the Manager then instructed the mall security guard to escort my daughter and her friend out of the Alderwood Mall.
The Sales associate then instructed my daughter and her friend that they could not come into Claire's for a year and that they could not be in the Alderwood Mall for a day.
The Mall Security Guard then escorted my daughter and her friend out of the mall.
He stated that Claire's accuses people of stealing "all the time" then read a security statement off of a card that they couldn't be at the mall for 24 hours.

I am extremely upset over this incident. My daughter and her friend did not steal anything, they were treated like criminals in front of other shoppers.
My daughter has never been in trouble with the law, has a job and maintains a 3.74 GPA at her high school.
For any Manager or sales associates to profile certain shoppers is outrageous.

Pa
Jun 19, 2013
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Comments

  • Fo
      20th of Jun, 2013
    -1 Votes

    There is a first time for everything. The fact that your daughter has never been in trouble before, has a job, and a 3.74 GPA in school has nothing to do with it. One time my sister and her two daughters ages about 17-18 at the time were in a jewelry story, about 50 miles from their home. They were looking at rings because my nieces didn't want class rings, they wanted a nice ring that would be appropriate to wear the rest of their lives. Anyway after they left the jewelry store, the employees noticed an expensive necklace that had been on display on top of the counter was missing. When they got home about three hours later, my brother in law told them that the county sheriff had been out at the farm to talk to them and that it was about a missing necklace. Anyway when the sheriff came back out to the farm, with a description of the necklace, and knowing the family he knew perfectly well that nobody in that family would ever want such a necklace. When my sister told me about it she told me about how the three of them laughed about how awfully gaudy the necklace was, after they left the store. This just goes to show innocent mistakes can be made.

  • Th
      20th of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    Instead of wasting your time here, get a lawyer and threaten them with a lawsuit unless your daughter gets an appology from those that accused her.

  • Ma
      20th of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    noun
    1. the use of personal characteristics or behavior patterns to make generalizations about a person, as in gender profiling.
    2. the use of these characteristics to determine whether a person may be engaged in illegal activity, as in racial profiling.

    I would say 2. applies here. They were teenage girl's...when you think of shoplifters in a store like Claire's who do you think is arrested more often? Old, Hispanic men or teenage girl's? This is totally profiling. Whether they were guilty or not, speaking to them privately would have been the professional way to handle this. Claire's is totally in the wrong here and the girls deserve an apology.

  • En
      20th of Jun, 2013
    -2 Votes

    "Hello",

    If You can afford it You should immediately instruct a Lawyer to sue the Store for `Defamation of Character` for publicly accusing your Daughter of a crime !

    As She or Her friend did NOT steal anything there is obviously NO Proof to substantiate the accusation.

    Have the Security Guard called as a witness - He cannot refuse to appear in Court - even though He does not work for the Store - He was technically involved in the `restraining` of your Daughter - even if it was just verbally / with His presence.

    He will be able to attest that NO Stolen item was found - nor were the Police called - and that the Store falsely accused your Daughter.

    If this was my Daughter I would have my Lawyer legally `Chastise` the Store and I would be suing for a LARGE Compensation pay-out and a public apology in a local Newspaper from them at the very least !

    I hope that You can instruct a Lawyer to do this.

    "Good Luck".

    Regards,

    Chris

  • Pa
      20th of Jun, 2013
    -1 Votes

    Had a phone call from Claire's loss prevention department. She said that they would contact the District and Regional Managers and launch an internal investigation on this matter, but due to Federal Regulations she was not able to tell me how the investigation would go or the results from the investigation...Hmm the term blowing smoke up my a** comes to mind!

  • Pa
      20th of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    This just gets better and better.
    I just got off the phone with Shawna, the Manager at the Claire's in the Alderwood Mall
    I asked her if she was the person who wrongfully accused my daughter and her friend of shoplifting.
    She said this is what happened-
    That her sales associate noticed the girls in the store and saw them drop something. When the sales associate went to where the girls had been standing she noticed a card on the floor so she decided to keep an eye on them.
    Mall security was immediately notified that Claire's were observing the girls, which is company policy.
    The girls then were seen dropping something else and sales associate a noticed tag was on the ground.
    When the girls saw the mall security officer in the store they took off running.
    The sales associate then walked around the mall until the girls were located, contacted mall security, and the girls were brought back to the store.
    The Manager then said that she quietly asked the girls, "Sweetie, please return any product you may have taken."
    I asked her if she threatened to call the police if they didn't return her product, she said that she told them "Honey, if you did take something you need to give it back, we don't need to involve the police."
    She then said that when my daughter looked her in the eye and said that she hadn't taken anything, well...she's been doing this for 10 years and she's pretty good at spotting a liar, and she truly believed that my daughter hadn't taken anything.
    I asked her then if she's denying that the mall security officer ever said in her presence, therefore with her authority, that if the Lynnwood Police were called a female officer would strip search them to recover the stolen items?
    She told me that "Oh no, we would never use the words strip search. I have a teenage son and I know how that would scare him."
    That it is company policy that if a suspected shoplifter is not actually observed stealing an item, then questioning the suspects is all Claire's will do, never try to threaten or intimidate them.
    I asked her if her accusations were done in front of other shoppers and she told me that is Claire's company policy. That it was the Mall Security guard that told them that they had to leave the mall and that they were never told that they were banned from Claire's, Claire's wants them to shop there.
    That the Alderwood GM had contacted her about this altercation and that they were going to have a meeting with the security guard as soon as he returned from "Vacation".about what he may have said to the girls once they left Claire's
    She said that she's not responsible for what the security guard may have said to the girls after they left Claire's, but that escorting them from the mall was not Claire's company policy.
    She went on to say that when no stolen items were recovered she apologized to my daughter and her friend, "Sweetie, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding"
    I said "So then, what you are saying is that my daughter is a liar, because what she said happened, and what you say happened are completely different stories."
    She said that she contacted her regional manager immediately after the incident, that she had already been contacted by Claire's loss prevention and that she explained the situation to them and that she had followed company policy.
    I explained to her that I had filed complains with the BBB and the Washington State Attorney Generals office so we will see where it goes from here.
    I told my daughter the Managers recounting of the incident and she actually laughed.
    I've been a Mom for 28 years and I'm pretty good at spotting a liar too...My daughter is telling the truth.
    I am so mad my hands are shaking!

  • Pa
      21st of Jun, 2013
    -2 Votes

    Sorry for the multiple postings, my computer was acting goofy.

  • Pa
      21st of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    foxygrandma, not to contradict you, but in your comment -"There is a first time for everything. The fact that your daughter has never been in trouble before, has a job, and a 3.74 GPA in school has nothing to do with it." and then saying "Anyway when the sheriff came back out to the farm, with a description of the necklace, and knowing the family he knew perfectly well that nobody in that family would ever want such a necklace." your are basically saying that the family's "fashion taste" exonerates them from possibly committing the crime, but my daughters history should not be a factor in how I believe she acted.
    I'm also confused in what you are referring to as "There is a first time for everything."
    Do you mean first time for shoplifting, or a first time for being wrongfully accused?
    I completely understand that innocent mistakes happen. The main point of my complaint is not that they had been accused of shoplifting, it is the fact that they were treated as being guilty before, during and after the incident. That they were yelled at, intimidated and threatened, on only a suspicion of shoplifting, in front of other customers.
    That even when they were both found to be innocent of the allegations, they were still treated by Claire's Manager and sales associate as being guilty, just not caught red handed.
    In your story your sister and nieces were not stopped in the store, interrogated in front of other shoppers, escorted from the premises, told that they were banned from shopping at the store for a year and not given an apology for the public embarrassment..
    When I called the store Manager and she told me her version of the events, she sounded as if she were reading directly from the Claire's Company Policy Handbook.
    I had called the store earlier and asked for the Manager that was in the store on Tuesday afternoon.
    I was told that she was not there at the time of my call but would be in later. I'm sure that she was informed that i had called, and knowing more than likely what I was going to want to discuss she had her "Company Policy" version rehearsed.

  • Pa
      21st of Jun, 2013
    -1 Votes

    Cary Grant- I do not claim that my daughter is perfect. in this instance i know she is telling the truth.
    I'm sorry for your children if you have them, that you assume they are liars and thieves.

  • Sk
      21st of Jun, 2013
    +1 Votes

    How do you know your daughter's friend didn't shoplift?

  • Pa
      21st of Jun, 2013
    -1 Votes

    I asked her and my daughter. I told them that i was going to pursue this, so they needed to be completely truthful with me.
    I didn't want any "surprises".
    As I stated in my previous comment "I've been a Mom for 28 years and I'm pretty good at spotting a liar too."
    I get the impression from CaryGrant's comment, that he believes I would never conceive that my daughter would actually tell me a lie, I'm realistic.
    You don't become pretty good at spotting a liar unless you've been lied to before.
    In this instance the girls are telling the truth.

  • En
      22nd of Jun, 2013
    -3 Votes

    "Hello again parkerpoes",

    Further to my advice in a previous reply to You regarding engaging a Lawyer and taking legal action against the Store for punitive damages / monetary compensation:

    I would not have advised You to telephone the Store Manager - at least not without having the facility to record the call.

    The Store Manager will have been told to deny that they accused your Daughter and her friend of shoplifting and She will probably have been Emailed a `Script` to follow for any subsequent conversations / `interrogations` - the Store`s legal advisor will obviously have told Her to make this into a `one persons word against another` situation.

    You should now ask the Store Manager to put Her version of what happened in writing to You - that way you will have something to show what was said during your telephone call[s] - and any deviation from that version in future can be seen.

    I imagine that the Shopping Centre`s [Mall] management will decide to tell the Security Guard to state what the Store Manager has been told to say - although legally this would be `collusion to conceal a wrongful accusation / defamation of character`.

    IF this does occur You will probably not be able to pursue this matter with a Law suit - But IF you can get some advice from a Lawyer at a reasonable cost it might be worth paying for 30 Minutes of their time.

    Good Luck if you decide to take this further.

    Regards,

    Chris

  • Fo
      22nd of Jun, 2013
    +2 Votes

    In most cases it isn't legal to record a phone call unless you tell the person you are recording the conversation and get their permission.

  • En
      22nd of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    "Hello CaryGrant",

    You obviously did NOT read that I stated in my first reply to parkerpoes - `IF She could afford to engage the services of a Lawyer` to explore the legal route.

    I am assuming that in the Great United States there is a facility to speak to a Lawyer for a reasonable `Fixed Fee` for perhaps a 30 Minute consultation - ?

    The Lawyer may well tell Her that this should not be pursued dependant upon whether the Shopping Centre [Mall] Management / Security Guard`s version of events matches the Store Managers - BUT I thought that parkerpoes would like to explore Her options as She is obviously and quite rightly very annoyed about the treatment that Her Daughter and Friend received when they were accused of Shoplifting.

    If You had read even the last paragraph [not the last line] of my second message You would have seen that I mention that if the Store and the Shopping Centre [Mall] Management decide to collude on their version of events She would probably NOT be in a position to pursue the matter legally - words to that effect.

    I do not agree that any of what I wrote is Bad Advice.

    By the way - I am Legally Qualified in the UK.

    Regards,

    Chris

  • En
      22nd of Jun, 2013
    +1 Votes

    "Hello foxygrandma",

    Here in the UK it is required that You either inform the person that you are recording them OR have a recording facility that has a `Beep` sound that sounds every few seconds - that is to either alert them to ask You what that sound is - therefore eliciting the answer that you are recording the conversation - or the sound males them realise that the conversation is being recorded.

    I would probably not be wanting to use the recording in a Court - But to have a copy given to the Store`s Lawyer IF there was subsequent differences in their `Story` - I am fairly sure that in the US a Lawyer cannot represent a FALSE statement if they KNOW it to be False.

    IF there was a recording which captured one version of the event and a Lawyer was acting upon a different premise - producing the recording might mean that the Lawyer would have to drop His Defence of the Law Suit.

    That is why I mentioned recording the conversation - NOT to suggest that it would be admissible in a Court.

    Having probably watched too many US TV Detective dramas I thought that the Recording of a Telephone conversation was not regulated / illegal in the US.

    Regards,

    Chris

  • En
      23rd of Jun, 2013
    -3 Votes

    "Hello parkerpoes",

    I wrote further messages to You and an explanation to foxygrandma after Her comment - but they have not appeared here.

    NOTHING that I wrote was either inflammatory - illegal - certainly not abusive or controversial.

    I cannot imagine why a moderator would NOT allow them to be posted here.

    Good Luck in whatever You decide to do.

    Regards,

    Chris

  • Ad
      23rd of Jun, 2013
    -2 Votes

    wait i'm confused

  • Ad
      23rd of Jun, 2013
    -2 Votes

    ooh yay it is letting me post! ok good it wasnt working for awhile

  • Pa
      24th of Jun, 2013
    -1 Votes

    Chris, Thank you so much for your advise.
    I talked with my daughter about contacting an attorney regarding this matter.
    I explained to her if we chose to pursue this, she and her friend could have to face the manager, sales associate, security guard and Alderwood Mall GM and tell their side of the story.
    That the store manager and sales associates account of what transpired last Tuesday completely contradicted what you two girls say happened.
    That the security guard is more that likely going to say whatever the Mall GM/Claire's tell him to say happened, and what he said to you.
    It will be a case of your word against theirs.
    She told me that if I wanted her to go on record with her testimony, that she would be more than willing to do that.
    Her and her friend hadn't done anything wrong.
    The fact that her Dad and I believe in her, and were willing to go to all this trouble for her, was more than enough for her.
    She and her friends will never shop at Claire's again, and maybe the fact that I jumped all over Claire's like "White on rice!",
    Claire's will think twice before treating someone they only suspected of shoplifting like they did her and her friend.
    I would still like a letter from the Manager to my daughter and her friend apologizing for her actions.
    I will let you know if I ever get it.

  • Pa
      24th of Jun, 2013
    -1 Votes

    To adam-sex-lanza
    Karma is not fate, for humans act with free will creating their own destiny. According to the Vedas, if one sows goodness, one will reap goodness; if one sows evil, one will reap evil. Karma refers to the totality of our actions and their concomitant reactions in this and previous lives, all of which determines our future. The conquest of karma lies in intelligent action and dispassionate response.

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