[Resolved] Food Lion And Piggly-wiggly - Both In Lugoff, SC — improper handling of suspected shoplifting
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.
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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