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[Resolved] Food Lion And Piggly-wiggly - Both In Lugoff, SC / Improper handling of suspected shoplifting

1 Lugoff, SC, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

My friend and I use power chairs and frequently go grocery shopping together. Oftentimes my friend does so by himself, while I often send my nurses to do so for me.

On April 22, 2009, my friend was shopping at Food Lion. According to reports from employees at the store and from my friend, employees did not follow standard procedures when they suspected him of shoplifting. An employee, not the Store Manager, shouted, "Where is the London Broil, I saw you take it, " in front of everybody at the front of the store. Employees tried capturing my friend by locking the electric doors, and then by following him into the neighborhood. They finally called the Sheriff's Office, whose deputy tracked my friend and ordered him to return to the store in his power chair. It is unclear to me if the shoplifting ever really occurred, as no charges were filed. But they barred my friend from the store. Because of the reckless behavior of the employees of the store, it became a spectacle with many employees involved: only one deputy responded to the scene.

Since then, my friend starting shopping at the other supermarket, Piggly-Wiggly, about a mile south of the Food Lion. He reported to me that ever since the Food Lion incident, every time he goes to Piggly Wiggly, employees at that store began to follow him closely, stopping anything they were doing at the time and being obtrusive about it.

Today, May 15, 2009, I was at Piggly-Wiggly in Lugoff. An employee (female from Produce) there was looking at me with a snarled face and distaste, but I ignored it. I was waiting on my friend to arrive so we could eat at a nearby restaurant. When he did arrive he decided to do some shopping. The same female employee began to follow him. We were discussing what he wanted to shop for, when the employee stated, "scan around, but you ain't going to steal anything this time!!" My friend immediately called 911, stating that he has been accused of stealing. No theft was ever reported from that store, nor any incident involving such. A parade of employess from Piggly Wiggly followed -- at least ten employees -- while the Manager, who was paged, invited all of us to talk. But the deputy arrived and this couldn't happen. The Manager has now barred my friend, not me, however, from entering his store.

It is obvious that Food Lion has not handled its case of suspected shoplifting properly and that employees from that store have given information to Piggly-Wiggly that my friend is a shoplifter-- this even though no charges were brought against him. It illustrates the reckless and improper handling of any suspected shoplifting cases.

Based on the foregoing I submit this complaint against Piggly-Wiggly and Food Lion, both of Lugoff, SC. I have some loss-prevention/asset protection experience at three Department Stores and one grocery store. This certainly is not the way shoplifting cases are handled. I suggest that those reading this article avoid shopping at those stores as much as possible.

  • Resolution statement

    Everything is moot, now: my friend has died. He died March 14, 2012, of complications related to his size (he was malignantly obese). And the Piggly-Wiggly in question is closed.

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Comments

  • Mo
      6th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    The behavior of the employees of the Lugoff Piggly Wiggly are questionable to say the least, and I personally saw the whole incident, as I was there. Your bias as a current employee doesn't have a place here in this blog, as you apparantly don't know what went on. And I never questioned the integrity of Gerald Munn, the Store Manager: I agree he is a good man, though his religion is not apropos to this matter: I find it hypocritical to mention a religion as an index for one's moral character. A Christian is no different than an atheist or Jew.

  • Mo
      10th of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Okay, I might be able to safely factor out the Food Lion portion of this matter: perhaps no Piggly-Wiggly employee knew ever about the Food Lion incident prior to May 15, 2009 (The Food Lion incident occurred on April 22, 2009). Okay, let's say, perhaps the employee in question saw my friend trying to steal something in the past but couldn't catch him (this is the only other scenario I can think of that could have triggered the Piggly-Wiggly incident).

    The truth is that the incident at Piggly-Wiggly, as described, DID OCCUR, and I personally witnessed it. It occurred at 5:23 PM on May 15, 2009, the day after this writer's 45th Birthday. The produce lady, one as described as having blonde/strawberry hair, no eyebrows, about 5 foot 8, wearing a green apron that is typically worn by produce employees (others wear maroon or black aprons), caused a scene at the store, which triggered the aggrieved man to call the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (via 911).

    Gerald Munn did no wrongdoing in this incident, and as far as I'm concerned, is a good man. I do not question his integrity and qualifications as a grocery store manager, and he did the best he could given the situation, although it's unclear what action he took against the employee mentioned, if anything: she should have had some disciplinary action taken against her. But I suspect that none was taken given probable familial status between the two (probability based on behavior). He didn't ban me from the store, for I did nothing wrong, except try to smoothen things out. I haven't entered the store ever since the incident, and I probably will never do so inasmuch as I don't live in the Lugoff area anymore.

    But since I started this blog I will always keep an eye on it and respond to everyone's comments. It's nice to know that my initial complaint hasn't really gone unnoticed and unheard. The complaint is unresolvable in that it occurred and cannot be retracted unless I am assured that steps have been taken to avoid this type of incident in the future. The employees need proper training on handling suspected shoplifting cases. And the behavior of the employee mentioned are consistent of bipolar disorder and/or substance addiction, for which she needs proper treatment. One reason I left the areea is because it seems to be a haven for persons with such severe mental illnesses.

  • Mo
      6th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Here is the woman in the complaint. She is the one who started the whole fiasco. This picture was taken as she was waiting at the pharmacy, perhaps for her antipsychotic medication.

  • Fo
      12th of Feb, 2010
    +1 Votes

    i didn't read all the replies after the initial post, but really? 10 employees (at least) followed this dude around? come on...

  • Lu
      14th of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Is this the dark headed man that rides down Hwy 1 sometimes in a electric wheel chair and sometimes drives a big van? If so my son was in Walmart one evening and he is a teenager and with his phone he video tape this gentleman trying to shoplift. I saw the video and I ask my son why didnt he tell mangement and he said I didnt want to make a scene. So I wouldnt put the blame on these gro. store if he is stealing because in the long run you and I will be paying for what he steals!!!

  • Lu
      14th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Oh the only reason I posted on here was because I google Food Lion Lugoff and this came up so it just reminded me of what my son saw at Walmart in Camden.

  • Hp
      21st of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    BEWARE!!! YOU ARE KNOWN FOR THE COMPANY YOU KEEP! YOUR FRIEND IS A THIEF! AND OF COURSE OTHER EMPLOYEES ARE GOING TO BE TOLD WE HAVE A THIEF IN THE STORE. THAT WAY WE HAVE AS MANY AS POSSIBLE KNOWING THE ONES THAT ARE DISHONEST. HE DIDN'T GO TO JAIL WHEN HE STOLE THE LONDON BROIL BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T WANT TO CALL AN AMBULANCE TO TRANSPORT HIM, THEREFORE HE WAS PUT ON A TRESPASS NOTICE. HE'S A THIEF, SIMPLE AS THAT! HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOCKED UP FOR RUNNING INTO ONE OF THE EMPLOYEES WHILE HE WAS WHEELING AWAY! PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE WHEN OTHERS STEAL THAT MAKES PRICES GO UP FOR THE HONEST FOLKS ! INVENTORIES ARE HIGH AND JOBS ARE PUT ON THE LINE! TIMES ARE HARD BUT LYING AND STEALING ISN'T THE WAY! IF YOU NEED ASSISTANCE GO TO THE PROPER PLACE AND ASK FOR IT! THE TRASH DUMPSTERS AREN'T THE PROPER PLACE EITHER! THIS GUY DIGS IN DUMPSTERS PROBABLY EVERY DAY! INSTEAD OF CRYING ABOUT HIM BEING CAUGHT STEALING YOU SHOULD BE TRYING TO GET HIM SOME ASSISTANCE!

  • Mo
      27th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    The issue of whether he stole that day is not the issue: it's how the case was handled: UNPROFESSIONALLY. As mentioned, there are procedures by which a store must handle shoplifting cases. As for you, whoever is calling my friend a theif: IT'S NOT UP TO YOU TO decide who is a theif: IT'S UP TO A JUDGE, that's what court is for.

    To the person mentioning about the Camden incident: please describe the power chair. Yes, my friend does go down US 1 in his chair, but he doesn't drive a big van: he has a minivan which is now disabled. Please e-mail me [email protected], and if possible upload to me the video you are mentioning about.

    Your son should have reported it to management, and even showed him the video. There would have been no scene caused.

    As I mentioned, I am not saying that I don't think my friend stole: I wasn't there when the incident occured. And my complaint was both against Food Lion and Piggly Wiggly in Lugoff. I just think that the case shouldn't have been handled by a cavalry of over ten employees, or otherwise unprofessionally.

  • Mo
      27th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    By the way, I have already protected myself: I don't live in the area any more. I also don't shop with him at any time or store, whether in your town, let alone my town.

  • Mo
      27th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    My friend has salt & pepper hair, does go down US1 in his chair somtimes, but doesn't drive a big van. So you may not be describing the same person. If your son has a video I'd like to see it. Please e-mail it to: [email protected]

  • Mo
      2nd of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    If your son DOESN'T have the video please describe to me the person, the chair, the van, and details of what he saw happen.

  • Ge
      3rd of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    Its a bit strange... you shop at one store, and are accused of stealing, and then immediately start shopping at another store and it happens again. it seems to me maybe the problem isnt the stores, its you shoplifting in your [censor]in power cart!

  • Mo
      28th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    The Piggly-Wiggly portion of this incident is NOT a shoplifting case. In reponse to your rude comment, gesserfan, it was a prejudicial case! Besides: now the Piggly-Wiggly store is CLOSED! What goes around comes around, and somehow, if it hasn't happened already, your masty comment is going to come back and haunt you!

  • Ed
      1st of Oct, 2012
    0 Votes

    I live in Evergreen Alabama where the piggly wiggly is the only grocery store, My family and have been using it for years. My wife and I manage a retirement complex of 50 apartments. All our residents use it to. We have a man that lives here that is legally blind I have been cashing his socail security check for years and also buying his groceries, I was denyed this morning at the store by the manager even though I had been cashing it for years at that store. This man is legally blind and can not walk very good this is why I have been cashing his check. I tried to explain that to the manager it did not matter to him he wanted me to go get the man and bring him back to get his check cashed even though this man can not see and does not walk very good. I again tried to explain that to the manager and it did not matter. I do not know what was different this morning. Like I said I have been doing this same thing for years. Ithen left his groceries that I had got for this man on the counter and left the store. I told my wife we would start driving 30 miles to go grocery shopping from now. They don t seem to appreciate our business. Thank you very much.

  • Mo
      19th of Feb, 2014
    +1 Votes

    Here's the big PROBLEM with this: as far as the store is concerned, you are committing fraud against the incapacitated individual, and they have finally realized this. And you've been doing this for years, which adds to the problem. I know you probably had legitimate intentions in cashing this man's checks, but you didn't have any authority or permission (as far as they know) to cash these checks. And it's a wonder you hadn't been arrested for this!!


    Here's the big SOLUTION to this: you and this incapacitated individual need to go before a lawyer and have a power of attorney prepared and executed, which will enable you to act on behalf of this man for making any financial or other decisions. Then you can go back to the store and this matter should correct itself.

  • Ge
      18th of Mar, 2014
    0 Votes

    Um, you can shut up. I am not the only one on here poking holes at your story. What goes around, does come around. I hope the next store you or your firned enter wise up and watch the two of you.

  • Jo
      2nd of Mar, 2015
    0 Votes

    I purchased a variety pack of pudding and the pudding was hard when I opened it.
    I could not take it back because I did not have my receipt.

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