dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

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dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

Postby outofmind12 » 20 Oct 2011, 09:15

I had a bit of a strange incident at work last night.

A member of staff alerted me to a obese (very obese) woman with possible mental disabilities on the booze isle attempting to put a 24 can pack of larger in her rucksack.

So the manager was called, as was a female witness, and we went down to see what was going on.

We arrive and i see this fat woman, bending over (wearing a skirt, showing the world her ass and underwear, which honestly made me want to puke) zipping up her bag having just crammed the last of her booty (no pun intended) into it.

A member of staff (female) had stood and watched her put the larger in her bag, and we did not take her out of our sight from that moment on.

We followed her, and watched her push past a barrier on a closed check out, at this point it was clear she had no intention of paying, i wanted to approach her then and just ask her to pay for the items, but the manager told me not to, he wanted her to leave the store.

And she did, at that point I got in front of her, asked her to stop, come back into store and pay for the items in her bag.

This was when all the fun and games started. She denied having anything, said shes paid for everything, then said she has no money. The manager and 4 other members of staff followed us outside (including a female witness), we basically surrounded her and stopped her walking away with the booze. She attempted punching us and the manager, at no point did we physically pin her against anything or grab hold of her (i grabbed her arm when she was trying to punch the manager obviously), we just blocked her escape, eventually cornering her in the trolley bay.

She was shouting, screaming, threatening to punch our faces in (I took a punch in the chest during all this), she refused to open her bag and give us the booze back, so the police were called.

They turned up, took over, the woman refused to let them look in her bag, she wouldnt let go of it, eventually they had to put her on the floor as she was still kicking off. Eventually they got the bag open, removed the 12 cans. The lady claimed to have proof of purchase but of course she did not.

The manager then agreed to take the stuff back and forget any charges, just let the police take her home.

And that was the end of it.

I just found it hard to know what to do in that situation, i refrained from any physical contact with her where possible, one of the store staff did most of the physical blocking, but that was his choice, hes not a contractor, and he doesnt have a license to lose if the woman accused him of anything.

How would you guys deal with a situation like that?
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Re: dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

Postby Mike123 » 20 Oct 2011, 10:17

That sounds like exactly like a situation that i once got into..... :lol:

She was a very very large female who was high on drugs, i was on my own in store with 2 female staff who clearly were not going to assist.

I followed her out, stopped her, identified myself and asked her to come back into the store with me, she refused and lashed out at me, so i took her to the ground and i was immediately surrounded by customers who were shouting "you can't do that, that's assault!!!!" and all the regular bullsh*t.

She was very big and i knew i would struggle to get her back into the store so i decided to just keep her pinned down outside the store where i tried to stop her (covered by CCTV) and store staff phoned the police. She calmed down a bit but then decided to give it another go at trying to get up and trying to scratch me so i just did what i could to keep her on the ground, which resulted in me ripping her top off and due to her trying to kick me, her skirt had also gone all the way up, so there's me in a car park on top of a obese female in a bra and a thong, luckily the Police arrived a few seconds after that and arrested her on the spot, she scratched one of them across the face before they got the cuffs so she was arrested further.. now she's doing 6 months inside 8)

I was watching the CCTV footage with the store manager afterwards and it was quite funny, looked like a Crimewatch rape reconstruction :roll:

I did learn my lesson from that incident, i stopped trying to detain people who were high on drugs when i had no store staff willing to assist and just followed them down the road while calling the Police instead, the station was just around the corner so they were always there within 5 minutes.
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Re: dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

Postby karlbee » 20 Oct 2011, 10:58

I would have treated her the same as any other shoplifter, once she had walked through the exit door I would have challenged her and got her back to the managers office and called the police. If she turned violent I would have used reasonable force, if she has assaulted any of you its another offence committed and further justifies what you are doing. The fact that she is mentally challenged should have no bearing, afterall without been her doctor how do you know if she is mentally challenged or not? It will be the managers descision to press charges and the DPS descision to charge her, let them consider her mental state.
I had an elderly shoplifter who was taking meat regularly, it took me a month to get him. He was very aware when putting items in his bag, on a couple of occasions he dumped the items as shop staff spooked him. When I got him he played the dementia card with the police, saying he couldnt remember doing it and gets confussed. The police recomended a verbal warning, we acepted the recomendation but banned him from the store as he had stated that he takes things without been able to remember. I have no doubt at all that he was fully aware of what he was doing and he had got away with regularly stealing from us, but at the end of the day I got the detecton and the reward and he has to go else where to steal. As for worrying about your licence just follow SCONE and you will have no problems, its hard enough to get the CPS to charge criminals never mind store tecs doing their job. I have had compliants about me in the past but I work for a brilliant boss, he was happy about the compliants as it was putting the wind up the thieving bas**rds, his words 8)
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Re: dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

Postby boxerdoor » 20 Oct 2011, 11:15

you had the manager and a female present to do your job without fear of losing your badge.

the female chose to get violent..

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Re: dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

Postby parajack » 22 Oct 2011, 15:00

:shock: take the booze off her,and replace them with slimfast.. :roll:
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Re: dealing with the mentally challenged in store?

Postby noise stopper » 22 Oct 2011, 19:39

parajack wrote::shock: take the booze off her,and replace them with slimfast.. :roll:

Or put the booze aisle on a treadmill with an uphill gradient! :lol:
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