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  1. #1
    Terminator's Avatar
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    2 fired from Best Buy for tackling knife wielding shoplifter

    Two employees at the Best Buy store at FlatIron Crossing in Broomfield have been fired for the way they tried to stop a knife-wielding shoplifter who stole two cellphones at the store on Aug. 1.
    "I reacted on instinct," said 20-year-old Jared Bergstreser, who was sitting at the "asset protection desk" near the front door.
    "I tackled him (outside the store), and we ended up on the cement," said Bergstreser, who is studying to be a paramedic at Front Range Community College.
    Bergstreser and employee Colin Trapp, 23, who came to his aid, were both fired Sunday.
    Bergstreser said his firing was decided by corporate officials, not the local store, because he didn't follow company policy in his pursuit of the shoplifter.
    "They don't want us to get hurt," said Bergstreser. "I definitely went against company policy. I don't disagree with it (the firing). I put people in danger, and I put myself in danger."
    A Best Buy spokeswoman couldn't comment on the specific case but said it was company policy is not to pursue shoplifters out of the store.
    Bergstreser, who said he has witnessed more than 20 shoplifting incidents during his nearly three years at the store, said that as he was on the ground with the shoplifter, the situation rapidly deteriorated.
    A male accomplice of the shoplifter, who apparently had been waiting outside in a car, began approaching, and the suspected shoplifter produced a knife and started "throwing it around."
    Bergstreser said he jumped back, as did Trapp, who had rushed to Bergstreser's assistance.
    The knife-brandishing shoplifter cut the hand of a female Best Buy manager who attempted to recover the cellphones.
    Her wound, said Bergstreser, bled profusely. An ambulance was called to treat her and Bergstreser, who had a bad case of road rash on one arm.
    The 5-foot-6, 170-pound Bergstreser, who played football at Standley Lake High School in Westminster, said the shoplifter was about 5-foot-11 and weighed about 180 pounds.
    As they struggled, he said the shoplifter "was yelling to his two friends a woman in the car and the guy walking toward us."
    They suspects got away and are still at large.
    Sgt. Scott Swenson, spokesman for the Broomfield Police Department, said no arrests have been made of the shoplifter or his accomplices.
    "It is an open, active investigation," he said.
    Bergstreser acknowledged that Best Buy has a policy that store employees are not to come into bodily contact with customers or shoplifters, a policy designed for the personal safety of the employees.
    He said Trapp, who rushed to his aid, should not have been fired.
    "He (Trapp) wasn't the one who reacted," said Bergstreser. "He came out to help."
    Trapp, who had worked at the store for about six months in asset protection, said Best Buy officials never gave him a clear reason why he was let go. "I asked several times," he said.
    However, it was clear, said Trapp, that local Best Buy officials were very reluctant to fire him and Bergstreser.
    It was a decision from corporate headquarters in Minnesota, said Trapp, a business marketing major who transferred from the University of Cincinnati to the University of Colorado, where he will start classes next spring.
    Bergstreser said that both the manager and general manager at the Best Buy at FlatIron Crossing did not want to fire either employee and that fellow employees at Best Buy have rallied around them.
    "They definitely don't agree with it," said Bergstreser. "It is all corporate."
    Kelly Groehler, Best Buy spokesperson, said the company has a long-standing policy not to address issues related to the termination of former employees.
    However, she said Best Buy has specific policies when it comes to shoplifters.
    "Employees who work in our stores are aware, and trained, on the standard operating procedures for dealing with shoplifting or theft, which includes ceasing pursuit of a shoplifter once they exit the store," she said. "These procedures are in place first and foremost for the safety of our employees. In circumstances like these, we must cooperate with local authorities," said Groehler.

  2. #2
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    I have a brother that works at best buy while he is going through college. He was griping about this policy also. He said the local thugs and hoodlums know about this policy. He says he watches people come in and openly steal stuff because they can't stop them per policy and the PD is so backed up on calls they will only take the report over the phone for documentation only.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
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    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  3. #3
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    Their policy should say "Don't be stupid" and leave it at that.


    Let the employees decide if they want to act or not.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

    "The Wicked Flee When No Man Pursueth: But The Righteous Are Bold As A Lion".

    We lucky few, we band of brothers. For he who today sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.

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  4. #4
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    I'm surprised more stuff isn't stolen everyday. Sounds like easy pickings, grab up a xbox and ps3 and walk out the door. Stupid rule!
    Just because your sign off after you're shift is done, doesn't mean that it's over and put blinders on. You're a cop 24/7 wether you like it or not. If thats something you can't handle, you should find a new line of work!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapper_132 View Post
    I'm surprised more stuff isn't stolen everyday. Sounds like easy pickings, grab up a xbox and ps3 and walk out the door. Stupid rule!
    Thats exactly what goes on at my brothers store. The PD takes a report over the phone for documentation purposes only.
    'Political Correctness is a doctrine fostered by a
    delusional, illogical liberal minority, and rabidly
    promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which
    holds forth the proposition that it is entirely
    possible to pick up a turd by the clean end!'

    A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity. Sigmund Freud

  6. #6
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    It is against BB policy to touch a customer and to purue outside the store. If you can't touch them why are you even pursuing in the store again?

    Meanwhile, fishing in Russia:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that justifies it." -- Frederic Bastiat

    "Certainly there is no hunting like the hunting of man and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never really care for anything else thereafter." Ernest Hemingway

    The opinions given in my signatures & threads DO NOT reflect the opinions, views, policies, and/or procedures of my employing agency. They are my personal opinions only, thereby releasing my agency of any liability, or involvement in anything posted under the username "Five-0" on Officerresource.com

  7. #7
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    I read this earlier. This is Cochese's city. I used to work at that same Best Buy. Yeah they violated policy but really? Fire them? Geez.

  8. #8
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    This is why their crap costs so much. You have to pay for all the degenerates who they allow to steal from them.
    Pleasing nobody, one person at a time.

    That which does not kill me, better start fucking running.

    If I lived every day like it was my last, the body count would be staggering.

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  9. #9
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    Firing wasn't necessarily the best idea, maybe suspend them for a week or two. The company should stand behind their employees.

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    I am a female!!!!! LMAO

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  10. #10
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    Best Buy has deep pockets, guess corporate would rather loose the money in theft, rather than be sued when a POS sues for an employee injuring them when they try and steal.
    Swamp Mafia





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  11. #11
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    Hey Phil where does your brother work, I need some stuff.


    Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer. --Al Bundy

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  12. #12
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    Home Depot has the same type of policy, and yes it's been broken before. Generally they get things like tag info, vehc. description, etc when the shoplifters are followed into the parking lot, but in at least one instance the cops were able to pick the guy up at a house a few doors down and charge him with B&E, attempted B&E, shoplifting, and a handful of other things. A lot of times here, a simple shoplifting arrest can turn into a lot more - like a theft ring.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by armsmaster270 View Post
    Hey Phil where does your brother work, I need some stuff.
    Does he work down my way?


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Not a LEO

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  14. #14
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    Gap Stores has the same policy, so we quit making a priority to go to Gap Store calls.

    If a couple of hoodlums went running out with an armload of merchandise and security or police stopped them and detained them, the Gap Manager would inform us that it was against corporate policy to detain, pursue, or even prosecute shoplifters. They would often ask security or police to let the suspects go without charges. So we started saying f'em when a gap call went out.

    Gap corporate would thank us for recovering their product, but refuse to press charges, even refuse to press criminal trespass orders.

    So now, we'll finish lunch leisurely, write a few tickets... no hurry... i'll get there eventually.
    Here Speeder, Speeder, Speeder


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  15. #15
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    I was the Loss Prevention Supervisor and was fired by Best Buy in early 2001 for getting into a physical altercation with a shoplifter who shoved me twice. I wrestled with him in the foyer, seperating his shoulder. Local PD showed up and arrested him for theft, DOC, and 5th degree assault. Apparently, I "didn't follow the 5 steps of apprehension" that is covered in Best Buy policy and was fired. The upside is that I got out of the "career" mentality that is pushed with that company and got re-focused on finishing my degree.

    Getting fired by Best Buy is one of the best things that's ever happened to me.
    The views expressed in the above post are the sole opinion of the author and do not reflect any official position by the author's employer and/or municipality.

  16. #16
    CTR man's Avatar
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    I presume that most people here on the board knows I work at a distribution center that is on a military base. We also have a small store attached and cameras everywhere. Occasionally someone will get caught stealing.

    What I don't get, is that some people will risk their jobs and / or military service and related privileges just to steal something. Whether it be out of the PX / BX or out of the warehouse itself. If one chooses to steal from AAFES and get caught (which is highly likely), I guarantee you that they will be going to jail and paying restitution. We WILL press charges, and since this is a military base, the charges WILL be on a federal level. AND we have our own on base police. Dept of the Army.

    We had an employee a while back lose her job because she went to Travis AFB to shop and a member of her family chose to steal out of the BX. Though she didn't commit the crime herself, she enabled the family member to do so just because of her privilege to be on most any military base. Guilty by association, I guess. She was supposed to be watching over them.

    If they are in the military and choose to steal from AAFES, I can't imagine what will happen but I can bet it isn't pretty. Article 15? dishonorable discharge? Perhaps those here with current or prior military service can elaborate more. Or any former MP's or DOA LE like Depusm 12 will probably know more than me.


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  17. #17
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    CTR man

    The military get an Article 15 which will usually end up with a loss of pay/rank and fines. The civilians get charged under Federal Law 18 USC (United Stated code) for Larceny of Private property and they pay not only for the item and court costs but $200 dollar fee to AAFES as well and are barred from post (at least this is the policy for civilians at my base). AAFES here goes after shoplifters for anything, I have seen a member of the cleaning crew prosecuted for picking up a mini candybar from the floor. Someone had opened one of the bags of Halloween mini candy bars and one had fallen on the floor. This lady was prosecuted and fired for picking up maybe $0.30 cents of candy off the floor and putting it in her pocket.
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  18. #18
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by depusm12 View Post
    CTR man

    The military get an Article 15 which will usually end up with a loss of pay/rank and fines. The civilians get charged under Federal Law 18 USC (United Stated code) for Larceny of Private property and they pay not only for the item and court costs but $200 dollar fee to AAFES as well and are barred from post (at least this is the policy for civilians at my base).
    Thanks, I knew you would know more than me. I wasn't sure on the DD for the military but I have seen my share of civilians and former fellow co-workers escorted off the base or depot never to return. I did figure that the least the military members would get would be an Article 15. This is most likely AAFES policy across the board. We don't tolerate shoplifting or theft at all. Not one bit.


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  19. #19
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    CTR man

    AAFES here about a 2 years ago was doing this, kids would buy a soda at the food court leave, come back later and fill up the cup they bought and AAFES was charging them with shoplifting and JAG went forward with it till it happened about 2 dozen times and JAG put a stop to it. That in my personal opinion was BS.
    James
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    S&W beats 4 Aces every time

  20. #20
    CTR man's Avatar
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    Agreed. We don't have nearly the amount of kids coming in on base here like a AFB or Army Base AAFES would, though.

    I had to go through a Background Investigation to get hired here. I don't know if it was as in depth as a LE BI but they do check for no felonies or any criminal charges for theft or domestic violence and maybe some other offenses. This is just from what I have been told ( my record is clean ).The whole BI procedure takes three to four weeks, so they tell me.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

    Not a LEO

    In memory of Sgt. Howard K. Stevenson 1965 - 2005. Ceres Police Dept.
    In memory of Robert N. Panos 1955 - 2008 Ceres Police Dept.









 

 
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