Judge Prohibits NYC Macy’s Store From Detaining Alleged Shoplifters in Its Basement Jail

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      eridani
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      Just read a David Sedaris short story in a book I picked up at one of my neighborhood Little Free Libraries. in which he writes about a Christmas season in which he got a temp job as a in the NYC Macy’s Santaland. He mentioned that they had a jail on site where they detained shoplifters. That sounded so whacked out that I googled it, and it was true until 2016.

      https://www.theroot.com/judge-prohibits-nyc-macy-s-store-from-detaining-alleged-1790855871

      Last summer, Samya Moftah walked into Macy’s flagship store at Herald Square in New York City to exchange a few items. The process should have taken less than a half hour. Instead, she says, Moftah found herself locked in a jail cell in the basement of the store.

      Moftah was accused of stealing the items she planned to return. In a lawsuit filed by Moftah and viewed by The Guardian, the 53-year-old asked the security guards to look at her receipt to clear up the misunderstanding. She claims that the guards never tried to rectify the situation but chided her for being Muslim and stealing during Ramadan.

      In her lawsuit, Moftah claims that she was approached by a manager and told that she needed to sign some documents and pay a $100 fine. Moftah refused and was threatened with handcuffs. The manager returned and told her she could leave as soon as she paid the new amount, $500. Moftah again refused and claims that her credit card was removed from her wallet and she was charged the full amount. Moftah was then handed over to police, who arrested her and charged her with petit larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in the fifth degree.

      On Monday a New York State Supreme Court judge in Manhattan ruled in favor of a class action lawsuit finding that the store abused two laws governing how stores can treat customers who are found to be in possession of stolen items. Suspects “can be reasonably detained” and can be charged up to five times the amount of the item taken, The Guardian reports, but Judge Manuel Mendez ruled that “Macy’s has combined the power it was given under the statutes by using this power as a double-edged sword instead of a shield.” He found that the actions by Macy’s violated due process.

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      Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction

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