Man arrested for eating [10] jelly beans in store

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by nbs2, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. nbs2 macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
  2. Daveway macrumors 68040


    Jul 10, 2004
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    Stupid. What ever happened to businesses with good intentions. The manager wanted to bring charges on a man for taking candy probably valued under .50c. Mind you, the candy is kept out in the open unprotected from any one, even children.

    It's business 101. A customer of 30 years?!?
  3. iHerzeleid macrumors 6502a


    May 5, 2007
  4. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Well, the clerk is right, if there's no "free sampling" then even a customer of 30 years (a) ought to know better and (b) is not exempt from a "zero tolerance" policy, though I suppose the decent thing to do would have been to give a stern warning.

    I see people do this all the time in grocery stores with candies and grapes and such. I've even seen someone walk in, grab a tabloid paper, and walk right back out. Seriously people, these things cost pennies!

    When I worked retail and was going through the training/orientation session, the store manager mentioned their zero tolerance policy and told the story of one employee who got fired after stealing a 75-cent pack of candy. :rolleyes:

    My friends and I were much dumber, however, when we were young (8 or 9?). I once slowly and deliberately took and ate a piece of penny candy right in front of the counter at a convenience store, carefully hiding my face from view of the cashier by ducking behind the packaging displays. My working theory at the time was that, if I could not see the cashier, then he could not see me! Imagine my shock when we were promptly booted out of the store and told never to come back or the cops would be called on us.

    ... to this day, I have never set foot back in there.

    Then there was my friend, whose idea of being clever was stealing candies and shoving them down the front of his pants. I never even thought to question that, as we sat sharing the candies later :eek: :eek: :eek:
  5. jericho53 macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2006
    Center of the Universe
    I work in retail and that is just crazy. Someone's on a power trip.
  6. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    "No sampling" is the policy of the store. If the customer wants to shop there, he should respect this policy.

    I know it's only $2 worth of jelly beans, but it's a matter of principle. You need to uphold the rules of your store. That's it. I wouldn't have called the police (because it's a waste of time), but I would have warned him, or may have asked him to leave. If he argued about this further (and he knew he was guilty and just wanted to argue and waste my time), then I would have banned him from the store.

    You can argue that allowing customers to sample the candy may increase sales. I certainly believe this. However, not allowing customers to reach in and take candy may be a Health and Safety issue that the store must follow.

    Mind you, I have an opinion on this because I'm the President of a food co-op operated by volunteers. We're loose and let people take free samples from the bin if they're curious. However, if we have a policy regarding something, and someone deliberately doesn't follow it, then tough s***. Stop doing it or get out. We're already a non-profit store. :mad:

    But that employee SHOULD have been fired. No stealing from the store. It's just a matter of poor ethics on the employees part. I would have fired him too.
  7. xsedrinam macrumors 601


    Oct 21, 2004
    Jellybeans aside, didn't we already see this in "Everybody Loves Raymond"? Frank was wrong, the floor manager was the grinch, and little eyes saw it all.
  8. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    This assumes that when we watch an episode, we don't do so out of the morbid hope that Raymond will die an awful, horrendous death.
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Whoops, don't misinterpret my smiley. I absolutely agree -- zero tolerance for employee theft. I just think it was really dumb of the employee to risk a job over pennies worth of candy. If you're gonna get fired from stealing from a hardware store, at least take a lawnmower or something ;)
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    My customer service policy....

    The benefit of the doubt goes to the customer.
  11. Carrot007 macrumors regular


    Sep 18, 2006
    Pretty dumb policy if you ask me. Though if the shop wants it that way its their prerogative i guess.

    I now have an urge to go buy some jelly beans.
  12. atszyman macrumors 68020


    Sep 16, 2003
    The Dallas 'burbs
    There is a much simpler solution to this issue.

    Post a sign by anything small enough and readily available for sampling that says, "Security is constantly monitoring. This store has a No Free Sample Policy, if you are caught sampling the food, you will be charged for 1 lb of whatever you sampled at the register."

    The store can make a tidy profit since the number of people who can actually manage to eat an entire pound of anything while grocery shopping is going to be far less than the people who only eat 1-5 of the items and grossly overpay for their indiscretion.
  13. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Seems a bit extreme, I think they should of just made the man pay for the couple of jelly beans that he ate while shopping in the store.
  14. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Okay, clearly, the store is entirely in the right. But from several standpoints, this is ridiculous.

    1) From a PR standpoint, this is stupid; there's going to be a terrible PR backlash, and for no gain by the store.
    2) From a monetary perspective, there's no point; I'm sure the guy's willing to pay $2 to avoid getting marks on his record. Why press charges? You're losing a customer of 30 years.

    Give him a slap on the wrist, THREATEN him, but actually pressing charges is just plain stupid over less than $2.
  15. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    or in other countries:

    "ein Verfahren wegen Geringfügigkeit einstellen"
    "to dismiss a case because of the trifling nature of the offence"

    if the one has a clean record of course
  16. rockthecasbah macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    Moorestown, NJ
    The bigger crime to me is here:

    $2 for 10 jelly beans? That's ludicrous! :D
  17. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    This reminds me of my time working for large retailer. I had people all the time eat grapes, pistachios, candy and other foods in store. They would then bring the cashier their remnants and expect them to add it to their bill.

    The problem was we WEIGHED those items. So, our managers made them go back and get a sizable portion of what they ate. It wasted everyone's time— the cashier's, manager's, customer's, customers in line behind them, etc.
  18. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816


    Sep 27, 2006
    I think it's ridiculous to charge him of petty theft on this. A fine at the most would be enough, and a stern warning to not do it again.

    My mom did this for me when I was little, too. I'd get a cookie or piece of sandwich meat and she's just give the cashier the bag it was in. There was never really a problem with that.
  19. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Where I work, you can walk over the the magazine rack, pick up a magazine, and walk out the front door. no one can stop you (company policy). They can question you, if you don't have a receipt and no one charged you, you can get in trouble, but if you just deny deny deny deny, the customer is always right..

    honestly, who gives a damn. $2. Shiesh, I've seen kids run out with probably well over $50 worth of magazines. Just last week someone took 20 (yes twenty) copies of something from our store, walked right out with them hidden under his coat. The manager didn't even chase him, we just marked it off as a (very very expensive) loss.

    $2. wtf:confused:
  20. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I am with the store on this one

    If the store has zero tolerance policy it is most likely due to this being a big problem at the store. If a police officer comes up to you and says "Hey we caught some one shoplifting, would you like to press charges?" I would say yes as well. Stealing is stealing.

    Now sure you can get into the ramifications prosecuting or not, but thats another argument.
  21. nbs2 thread starter macrumors 68030


    Mar 31, 2004
    A geographical oddity
    I understand that grocers run on a razor thin margin, and that volume makes up for that. Stealing a $1 item can take several items to make up for the loss. Yes, stealing is stealing. Fine. Dandy.

    But, ramifications are always relevant to the question of why they went after this guy. The RIAA going after a confused grandmother, the old man whose computer was turned into a zombie, the 11yo that d/l'd a handful of songs. They may all have legal liability can be argued, but the bad publicity goes a long way towards affecting public opinion of the organization. Grocers should be even more sensitive, as if I'm not happy with one store, I have 5 others within a couple of miles...
  22. CalBoy macrumors 604


    May 21, 2007
    This whole story is ludicrous.

    First of all, security cameras aren't accurate enough to determine whether or not ten or two jelly beans were eaten, which means that from a legal perspective, the shopper's number is the one we should use.

    Secondly, I have a hard time believing the value of the candy to be $2. Are you really going to try to tell me that the guy ate ~4 ounces of candy? If we consider the size of a jelly bean, that's quite a few.

    Thirdly, the officer could have asked him about the candies at the register, where I'm sure he would have been more than happy to pay for whatever measly amount they came to.

    Fourthly, the officer questioned the man when he was off duty, which means that he didn't really have the legal authority to act as an officer (unless cops never truly go "off" duty?).

    Fifthly, in the modern era of consumer-driven economics, the phrase "caveat emptor" no longer applies. Most businesses and business procedure now revolves around "caveat venditor," in which the seller must make sure all terms are clear. If the candy wasn't meant to be sampled, then a sign should have been present.

    Finally, Albertsons needs to train their store managers better. I highly doubt that corporate wanted this outcome, as it will undoubtedly be bad for PR. Asking the man to pay for the candy would probably have been the best move on the part of the manager.
  23. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    The officer was probably moonlighting.

    The thing I love is that while they were harassing this guy about 10 jelly beans, someone was probably pushing $150 worth of groceries they didn't pay for right out the door.
  24. chubad macrumors 6502

    Feb 1, 2004
    Frozen Wasteland
  25. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    There's a difference though. Many stores have the same policy as the one you work in. It doesn't matter if someone puts a magazine inside their coat and looks like they're going to bolt out of the store. It's not stealing until they leave the premises with the items without paying for them. If the potential thief is still in the store, they haven't stolen anything (yet). Same goes for clothes, shoes, books, etc. Then, once the person has left the store, he has "stolen" the items. At that point, your employer doesn't want you to chase after anyone because of safety and liability concerns. You can do it if you want, but it's under your own terms, and you're doing this against store policy.

    However, what we're talking about are consumables. With consumable items, store policies may be entirely different. You can steal consumables without walking out of the store first. You can't just pick up a Mach 3, pick up some shaving cream, and start shaving without paying for the item first. It doesn't matter if you're still in the store or not.

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