The Bon Ton / Wrongfully accused
First and Foremost I would like to thank everyone taking the time out to read this bit of information I am about to share with you. Hello Readers. My name is Shontea. I am a 23yr old mother of two young children. Back in November of 2007, my friend and I were doing some shopping at the mall so we could go out for the evening. We had been in several stores so we had quite a few shopping bags. We decided to go into the Bon Ton. I was a former employee(2years), so I knew that they had pretty descent sales on under clothes. When I enterd the intimate appearl section, I noticed there was a sale. 5 pair of panites for 25 dollars. I began selecting the styles that I liked, when I noticed a woman watching me. She was dressed in normal clothes so I didn't really pay her any attention at first. My friend on the other hand was in the home department. I walked away from the intimate appearal section with the underwear that I had picked still in hand. I was trying to find my friend so I could tell her about the sale. I couldn't find her at first, so I continued looking for bras to match the underwear that I chose. As I'm trying to find my sizes I notice this same woman is now following me. Now being that I was a previous employee, I already put two and two together to figure out that she was a Loss Prevention Agent. When I realized that she was watching my every move I got upset and placed the underwear on a table in the intimate appearal section and walked away. My friend and I went back to the home department because she wanted me to see the bathroom sets that were on sale. Before we could get there I noticed an old friend from when I was employed there. We chatted for a while and exchanged numbers and was on my way to the front of the store. I also saw my former supervisor, said hello to her and kept it moving. Once we were out of the store the LP agent followed by the stores general manager approached my friend and I. She was not nice about it either. She shouted "Hey you two get back in this store with my merchandise"! Immediately we turned back around. I said "Excuse me". So being that I've worked so many retail jobs I already knew what was going to happen. So I politely turned back and went into the front of the store and opened every single one of my bags including my purse. I said to her, Do you see anything that belongs to the BonTon in my bags. When she didn't reply, we started to walk away. She then decided that she was going to make a HUGE scene. She began dialing numbers in her phone and calling for mall security very loudly. I asked her why was she harassing me because she already saw that I didn't have anything that I didn't pay for in my bags. She mumbled something under her breath and continued following my friend and I down the escalators. Now mind you the store was located on the 2nd floor of the mall. We were parked in the underground parking garage. As we approached the escalators going to ground level, the LP agent began to forcefully yank me up the escalator as we were going down. For one she had already seen that I didn't steal anything, and now she was just being down right RUDE. I've been working retail long enough to know that loss prevention cannot put their hands on you for no reason. In her attempt to pull me back up the stairs she managed to snatch my purse off of my arm. We got into a minor shoving match and I left the mall. Once I got home I noticed that I couldn't find my purse. I then called the BonTon and asked to speak to the supervisor that I had just saw before the "altercation". I told her what had happened and told her to go the spot where I left the underwear. She did, and then she told me that she and the LP agent's boss saw the merchandesie still there. Here's where it gets interesting. The LP agent had my purse with all of my information in it, including my work schedule. My boyfriend called me saying that the police were looking for me, for committing a robbery, and they said that if I didn't return the merchandise, I would go to jail for 8yrs. So now I am FURIOUS! That night I called my job and asked my manager if the police had come down there looking for me, she said no. I had a gut feeling that something wasn't right. So the next day I went to work and immediately went to the office and told the manager on duty my situation. She said that she hadn't heard anything. She told me to go home and figure everything out and to let her know what was going on. As I was getting up to leave two officers came in and arrested me. They didn't even read me my rights. I agreed to go with them because I had a feeling that they were going to be there, and besides I didn't have anything to hide. I was so humiliated as they dragged me out of my job in hand cuffs all while my employees stood around shocked. I cried and told them that this was all a mistake and that I'd be back. Once I was in the police car, the officer hinted that he knew that I didn't steal anything, but he still had to take me to jail because the agent pressed charges saying that I beat her up. Now I'm being hauled off to jail for a crime that I didn't commit. I spent the night in jail and the next day I was released. I also was taken out of work until the case cleared because I was banned from the mall. So now I'm miserable because I have 2 kids and my daughter's birthday is 2 days away and I don't have a job. I couldn't pay my rent and Christmas is also right around the corner. I fell into a deep depression and I had a nervous breakdown. I ended up in a mental institution for a week. I also lost my apartment, and everything that I ever owned. Once I was released my children and I were sleeping house to house because we no longer had our apartment. So now I'm going to court and my lawyer is telling me that there is no way for me to sue for, loss wages, pain and suffering and everything else that's happened to me. I'm physically, mentally, and emotionally drained from all of this. I just want my life back. Everyone is telling me to just get another job and let by gones be by gones, but right is right and wrong is wrong. I've been researching and trying to see what I can do about suing the company, for allowing this woman to make my life a living hell. Does anyone have any suggestions? Hopefully anyone who reads this you may hear or see me on someone's tv telling my story. I thank you all again for taking the time to hear me.