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Torts keyed to Best
Koepnick v. Sears Roebuck & Co.
Citation:762 P.2d 609 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1988)
At approximately 6:15 PM on December 6, 1982, plaintiff was stopped in the Fiesta Mall parking lot by a Sears security guard on suspicion of shoplifting a wrench. Based on this suspicion, the security guard called the cops. Plaintiff was detained for approximately 15 minutes before the police arrived. When the police arrived, plaintiff and one of the officers got into an altercation. Plaintiff was handcuffed, and police began investigating the shoplifting allegations. Plaintiff claimed that when he purchased the wrench, the sales clerk placed the wrench in a separate paper bag, stapled it shut, and put it into a larger bag with plaintiff’s other purchases. The investigation uncovered plaintiff’s receipts for the wrench and other Sears merchandise, and the clerk who sold plaintiff the wrench was located and confirmed plaintiff’s story. The wrench was not within the plaintiff’s possessions in the security room where he was being detained. Police then searched plaintiff’s truck, which was parked in the parking lot, to see if they could find the wrench, or if there was a second wrench. No stolen items were found. Upon completion of the investigation, plaintiff was cited for disorderly conduct and released from detention. The entire incident lasted approximately 45 minutes.
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