Deaths Resulting From Shoplifting Incidents and Expert Witness Studies
Don’t Chase. Don’t Fight. Don’t Die.
Apprehending Shoplifters is High Risk!
This study concluded in 2017
I am a security expert witness with extensive senior management experience in retail loss prevention and asset protection
Shoplifting is a blight upon retailers. Shoplifting is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in loss to retailers annually. This crime is also firmly entrenched in organized crime that feeds stolen merchandise around the world. The daily risks involved are high stakes.
This information primarily intended for Loss Prevention personnel and store personnel who make apprehensions. The information is anecdotal at best and is intended as awareness to a growing problem. There are no published statistics, even through OSHA, that quantify injuries to store personnel. There is no body of work that accumulates data regarding deaths or serious injury in shoplifter related incidents. These events do happen and with unfortunate frequency.
This summary is ongoing and does not focus on any particular retailer. We do not have any method to determine the accuracy of any content of the articles herein. We have offered no professional opinion regarding of these cases. However, from a Security Expert’s point of view, when a shoplifter dies as a result of an apprehension made by so called “store security”, litigation is sure to follow.
When a store Loss Prevention/Asset Protection associate is murdered, the resounding question is “Why”?
Organizations such as the Loss Prevention Foundation and the Loss Prevention Research Counsel have studied violence in the industry and continue to support awareness and training. I offer the following insights however, this is not meant to be a blanket statement about every retailer nor their employees. Rather it reflects on the fact that despite all efforts, good people make poor decisions. Bad people simply don’t care.
When a Loss Prevention/Asset Protection Associate is murdered:
- A culture exists where apprehension count is the barometer of performance. Further, a recovery of merchandise without an apprehension has minimal importance.
- Training varies throughout the industry however, documentation of training is absent or incomplete.
- The limited use of force, such as redirection only, is disregarded by LP Management. Full contact take-downs and foot chases are still tolerated.
- Training for a reasonable use of force is virtually non-existent. This cannot be taught in a class room or through a compliant training partner.
- The individual LP/AP associate is simply known to be aggressive and the behavior has never been corrected.
- Death by asphyxiation where suspect is restrained in a manner that does not allow them to breathe.
- Death by agent/employee attempting to make apprehension of a person in a moving vehicle.
- Deadly force by Police and armed contract security guards (death of guards) gives insight into the violent nature of apprehensions.
- Police officer deaths: 2.
- Wal Mart Greeters: 2.
- Not included in this list are deaths attributed to police chases of shoplifters.
- Serious injuries far outreach the number of deaths and the use of Tasers and chemical sprays (Mace) is growing in frequency by shoplifters.
2000 – 2017: 84
Top 4 Retailers
Wal-Mart – 30, K-Mart – 7, CVS 5, Rite Aid 4
3-4-17 Burlington Coat
Burlington Coat Factory stabbed to death.
Guard at CVS Pharmacy Chases Down, Kills Shoplifter in Dallas
Man Dies After Struggle With Walmart Security
Shoplifters of TVs held in death of 81-year-old Sears worker
APD: Man dies after altercation with Kmart security
WM Asset Protection Associate Shot and Killed Attempting to Stop Shoplifter
Walmart employees suspended after suspect’s death Update 7/29/16 3 Wal-Mart Employees Arrested, Face Manslaughter Charges After Suspected Shoplifter Dies in Florida
8-11-15, HEB Grocery
Armed shoplifting suspect shot by police at H-E-B has died.
6-26-14 Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza
Los Angeles, CA
Man shot dead by LAPD after confronting Crenshaw Plaza security guard.
2013 (4) Record lowest year since 2007
Fort Worth, TX
Police shoot, kill shoplifter on Tarrant County College Campus
4-9-13 Wal Mart
Suspected Shoplifter Dies After Being Shot by Officer
7-29-13 Wal Mart
Garland Police Officer Shoots & Kills Shoplifter
7-30-13 Wal Mart
Off-duty Conroe officer shoots, kills teenage shoplifting suspect. Update: The officer involved was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
2012 – 12 (Record Year)
Suspected Shoplifter Shot, Killed By Single Shot After Taking a Hostage at Mall.
4-6-12 Wal Mart
Austin Police Officer shot by shoplifter
4-20-12 Wal Mart
College Station, TX
CS Police Release More Details of Friday’s Fatal Shooting Inside Wal-Mart
6-4-12 Wal Mart
Shoplifting suspect dies after being detained at Covina Walmart
6-20-12 Wal Mart
Man suspected of shoplifting screwdriver shot, killed at Woodhaven Walmart
9-21-12 Wal Mart
Margate WalMart Shooting: Shoplifter Kills Security Associate Lewis Jhon, Then Himself
Police Kill Shoplifter Detained in Texas Kohl’s Store
11-25-12 Wal Mart
DeKalb County, GA
Alleged Walmart Thief Dies After Confrontation
12-7-12 Wal Mart
Deputy Fatally Shoots Walmart Shoplifting Suspect
12-12-12 Food Lion
Greensboro Man Dies After Arrest
12-23-12 Long’s Drugs
Man pleads not guilty in death of Longs manager
Springettysburg TWP, NY
York County Shoplifter Killed by Police ID’d
2011 – 9
5-21-11 Wal Mart
Wal-Mart door greeter killed in shoplifting incident
Murder charges added for shoplifting suspect
7-22-11 Wal Mart
Federal Way, WA
Shoplifting suspect shot to death in Federal Way
8-1-11 Rite Aid
Kent police seek shoplifter involved in death
8-5-11 Burlington Coat
Mother, Teen Daughter Drown in Charlotte Floodwaters
8-21-11 K Mart
Fleeing From A K-Mart Loss Prevention Officer A Man Was Struck And Killed By Vehicle
10-18-11 Home Depot
Shoplifting Suspect Dies after Fight with Officer
11-14-11 Wal Mart
Knoxville police identify man killed in WalMart shooting
Visalia Police Shoot and Kill Suspected Shoplifter
2010 – 9
Waterford Twnsp, MI
Kmart worker dies while trying to stop shoplifter.
1-29-10 Wal Mart
Woman dies after confrontation at Walmart
1-28-10 DFS Galleria
Waikiki security guard dies following struggle with DFS shoplifting suspect
2-11-10 Family Dollar
$100M Lawsuit Filed Against Family Dollar. Theft Suspect’s Death Blamed on Vigilante Manager.
2-15-10 Shop Rite
NJ Security Guard Dies Trying To Stop Shoplifter
Police Kill Armed Shoplifter
Alleged thief flees pharmacy, dies in struggle.
Police release name of man killed by officers at Provo Smith’s
6-22-10 Wal Mart
Lauded as ‘good man,’ Walmart worker hurt in shoplifting incident dies
2009 – 10
2-3-09 Wal Mart
Kansas City, MO
Shoplifter Dies After Confrontation
2-19-09 CVS Pharmacy
Los Angeles, CA
Suspected CVS Shoplifter Death Investigated.
Royal Oak Twnsp, MI
Michigan Shoplifting Suspect Dies
E. St. Louis, MO
Schnucks Security Guard is Shot, Killed
4-23-09 Wal Mart
Ft. Smith, AR
Man, caught shoplifting, Commits Suicide in Walmart
6-28-09 Wal Mart
Shoplifting Suspect Shot By Ridgeland Police Dies
8-13-09 Citi Trends
Forest Park, GA
Suspected shoplifter dies after brief chase in Forest Park
9-22-09 Okay Groceries
Store owner faces assault charge after death of shoplifter
New Orleans, LA
CVS Security Officer Shoots, Kills Shoplifter
12-22-09 Wal Mart
Wal-Mart Shoplifting Suspect Dies
2008 – 7
2-10-08 Price Chopper
Security Guard Shoots, Kills Shoplifting Suspect
6-7-08 Wal Mart
Off-duty Dallas officer shoots, kills shoplifter
6-27-08 Canadian Tire
Canadian Tire Shoplifter dies during hot pursuit
8-19-08 TJ Maxx Delta
Michigan shoplifting suspect crushed in trash compactor after fleeing store
DA: No criminal charges in Beaverton WinCo shoplifting death
10-28-08 Kay’s Jewelers
Deputy shot shoplifter 3 times
11-12-08 Wal Mart
Rohnert Park shoplift suspect dies in custody
2007 – 3
Twin Falls, ID
Twin Falls Police give details on shooting.
7-12-07 Toys R Us
Canal mourns loss of volunteer killed while trying to stop shoplifter
Witnesses recount fatal shooting of store guard
2006 – 2
7-3-06 Stop & Shop
North Smithfield, RI
Suspected shoplifter fatally shot
12-6-06 Wal Mart
Fort Worth, TX
Shoplifting Teen Flees, Hit by Car, Dies
2005 – 2
Las Vegas, NV
Metro Police shoot, kill suspected shoplifter
8-8-05 Wal Mart
Suspect’s Death In Wal-Mart Parking Lot Raises Questions
2004 – 7
1-21-04 Giant Eagle
Portage County, OH
Shoplifter’s family granted new wrongful death trial. (Appeal)
CVS Clerk Killed Trying To Stop Shoplifter
4-26-04 Rite Aid
Shoplifter Kills A Guard
5-22-04 Wal Mart
Baton Rouge, LA
Veteran Officer Shot to Death
6-24-04 Wal Mart
Long Beach, CA
Fatal shot ends close-quarters struggle with suspect at Wal-Mart.
8-13-04 Radio Shack
San Jose, CA
Shoplifting suspect killed during pursuit.
9-23-04 Casa Linda
Police investigate death in shoplifting arrest
2003 – 2
San Luis Obispo, CA
Police Probe Death of Physician Held in Shoplifting
9-20-03 JC Penney
Mall Security Guard Dragged To Death
2002 – 3
10-30-02 Lord and Taylor
Retail chain settles in man’s death at hands of security guard. $6M settlement.
11-4-02 Family Dollar
Security guard accused of shooting teen
Maple Heights, OH
Alleged Shoplifter Dies After Scuffle With Officer. ($2.8M settlement)
2001 – 4
1-17-01 K Mart
Police shoot, kill alleged shoplifter
5-23-01 Wal Mart
Woman Wounds 3, Is Shot Dead by Police at Wal-Mart
4-6-01 Rite Aid
Rite Aid Shoplifter’s Death Ruled a Homicide
4-30-01 Rite Aid
$1 Billion Lawsuit Filed In Suspected Shoplifter’s Death (same as above)
2000 – 2
9-15-00 Stop & Shop
Suspect dies after scuffle with police
9-29-00 K Mart
Store Lot Suffocation is ruled Homicide
Our retail loss prevention services offer employee theft investigation training, shoplifting apprehension training, use of force training, shrink initiatives creation, physical security assessments, asset protection, and warehouse security surveys. We also provide security expert witness services for either plaintiff or defense trial attorneys.