Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 4th Mar 08, 4:38 PM
    • 1,228Posts
    • 3,559Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Vinnie chase the robbers?
    • #1
    • 4th Mar 08, 4:38 PM
    MONEY MORAL DILEMMA. Should Vinnie chase the robbers? 4th Mar 08 at 4:38 PM
    Here's this week's hypothetical situation for you to cogitate on:

    Should Vinnie chase the robbers?

    Vinnie works in a department store sales assistant, serving customers and is paid the minimum wage. As he is tall and hard looking, his supervisor often gets him to work near the exit, in the hope that he'll put off potential shoplifters. One busy Saturday, a thief runs past him and out of the front door, with armfuls of expensive designer stripy shirts. His boss shouts, grab him, pin him down. He wants to help the store, as he likes his job. Should he chase the robbers?

    Click reply to have your say

    Previous MMDs:


    This Forum Tip was included in MoneySavingExpert's weekly email

    Don't miss out on new deals, loopholes, and vouchers

    Last edited by MSE Martin; 04-03-2008 at 7:09 PM.
Page 1
    • weegie.geek
    • By weegie.geek 4th Mar 08, 4:59 PM
    • 3,148 Posts
    • 2,981 Thanks
    weegie.geek
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 08, 4:59 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Mar 08, 4:59 PM
    No chance. I've helped tackle shoplifters myself, but there were something like three of us at the time. This was just over the river from the Gorbals, selling electronics, so there were plenty of shoplifters. I'd never do it by myself.

    I'm not getting stuck with a dirty syringe for minimum wage. Minimum wage = minimum effort. To be honest, I'd have to be getting paid considerably more than minimum wage to risk a one-on-one with a shoplifter.

    The department store obviously go for whatever's most profitable. A certain amount of stuff will get stolen. If employing security guards or installing security cameras would pay for itself, they'd go down that route. They haven't, so that's their lookout. Not the shelf stacker's.
    They say it's genetic, they say he can't help it, they say you can catch it - but sometimes you're born with it
    • gazzak
    • By gazzak 4th Mar 08, 5:31 PM
    • 458 Posts
    • 615 Thanks
    gazzak
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 08, 5:31 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Mar 08, 5:31 PM
    No he shouldn't. Stores have security for that reason, and if they've failed in their duties then why should a poor shelf stacker on minimum wage be expected to pick up the pieces?

    What if Vinnie does take up the slack and chases the shoplifter. Have they provided him with a stab vest?
    • THFC
    • By THFC 5th Mar 08, 1:59 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 8 Thanks
    THFC
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 08, 1:59 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Mar 08, 1:59 AM
    Yes he should chase the robber if he wishes.

    Not because his boss expects him too or regardless of what you are paid.

    He could be seriously hurt on £6 an hour or £10 an hour, you don't know.

    But it's not Vinnies job to catch thieves.

    Too many people turn a blind eye or ignore wrong doing.

    But if Vinnie want's and feels obliged to pursue, then good on him.

    I myself detest crime, people who stand and do nothing to prevent it, and the courts who impose little sentences.

    That's society today unfortunately and i am not an old fuddy duddy, i just respect people and property and treat them how i expect to be treated.

    If i stole, i would expect to be punished, if not maybe i would think this is easy. Fact is i have more to lose by committing crime than i could ever gain and would never entertain the idea.
  • jeffk
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 08, 2:49 AM
    • #5
    • 5th Mar 08, 2:49 AM
    No chance. Nothing to do with minimum wage or the store asking him to, but in this messed up world if he tackles and hurts the shoplifter he has every chance of getting arrested, prosecuted and then sued. :rolleyes:

    If it was something more serious where someone is in danger or getting attacked, then maybe helping outweighs the above risk, but for shoplifting...I think not.
    - Jeff K -
  • lamp
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 08, 6:43 AM
    • #6
    • 5th Mar 08, 6:43 AM
    It's not in his job description. He could be injured, or he could accidentally injure the culprit and get sued. On minimum wage I doubt he will have received training on how to handle such situations.

    If he chases the thief, it is because he is angered by the situation, not because his boss makes assumptions about him and expects him to follow his every whim
    • tallgirld
    • By tallgirld 5th Mar 08, 7:20 AM
    • 475 Posts
    • 315 Thanks
    tallgirld
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 08, 7:20 AM
    • #7
    • 5th Mar 08, 7:20 AM
    His supervisor should chase after the thief or ask the company to employ security.

    He's on crap money and probably isnt wearing full protective body armour.

    His supervisor is taking the mick!!!
  • SRS
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 08, 8:43 AM
    • #8
    • 5th Mar 08, 8:43 AM
    Yes, he should! It should be nothing to do with the amount he gets paid. It's should be about a citizen's duty to society. Where on earth are we heading, if people just stand back and let criminals get away with acts like this, using the excuse that it's not 'their' job to do anything about it, or they don't 'get paid enough' to do anything about it? What does that teach others, especially our young people? Come on, wake up, smell the coffee! We all have a responsibility to shape our society and take it in the direction we want to go. That involves setting examples and upholding standards, doesn't it? Otherwise we will get the society we deserve. And it won't be pretty. Remember, a wiser man than me once observed that all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing ...
    • jillmarie
    • By jillmarie 5th Mar 08, 9:07 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 22 Thanks
    jillmarie
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 08, 9:07 AM
    What's your life worth
    • #9
    • 5th Mar 08, 9:07 AM
    NO WAY. I once worked in a late night off licence and chased after a missing bottle of champagne. My manager went told me I was MAD and the police wanted to know what I would have done if they had pulled a knife. I was told in no uncertain terms that my life was worth more than a bottle of Moet. If Vinnie's manager thinks so little of him and his safty it''s time to say good bye.
    • n3phi1im
    • By n3phi1im 5th Mar 08, 9:21 AM
    • 209 Posts
    • 133 Thanks
    n3phi1im
    This store sucks!!
    Vinnie should quit (taking an armfull of shirts with him too [joke] )and get a job as a security guard - he'd get paid more.
    • A.Jones
    • By A.Jones 5th Mar 08, 9:24 AM
    • 506 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    A.Jones
    Why should he? If the boss isn't running after the thief, then it does not matter that much to him. So why should other members of staff.
    • jet77
    • By jet77 5th Mar 08, 9:25 AM
    • 1,580 Posts
    • 7,687 Thanks
    jet77
    NO - why should he risk himself for minimum wage ... the shops insurance will pay out. Most robbers are armed at least with a knife ... the way they see it is that they aren't risking X amount of years in jail for a do-gooder.
    • golddustmedia
    • By golddustmedia 5th Mar 08, 9:27 AM
    • 796 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    golddustmedia
    He's employed as a "Sales Assistant" not a security guard. If the store wants him to be security he should be employed, and paid, on that basis.

    So I'd say NO, he shouldn't tackle the robber. That's why the shop has insurance and the wholesale value of some shirts isn't worth any injury or abuse he may receive.
    • themadbird
    • By themadbird 5th Mar 08, 9:28 AM
    • 240 Posts
    • 104 Thanks
    themadbird
    Nope he shouldn't it's not in his job description - and although he works for the company, he's not directly affected by the loss, so nope, let the Supervisor run after them.
    Everyone has a photographic memory, it's just some of them don't have film.
    • whosforachat
    • By whosforachat 5th Mar 08, 9:29 AM
    • 68 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    whosforachat
    If you want a security guard, you should pay the wages for a security guard.
    Could Vinnie one day say to his boss "I'm a bot short of money today, so I'd like you to pay me a security guard's salary in addition to mine"?

    If he couldn't then why should his boss suddenly be able to say "I'd like you to be a security guard today"?

    If you want a security guard, you should pay the wages for a security guard.

    As for criticising criminals, we should not be so judgemental: we do not know what has driven them to crime; our society is not fair, and it could be a very good reason.

    Remember, Emily Pankhurst and Nelson Mandela were criminals, having broken the law, and so is the girl who read out the names of the Iraq-war-dead at the cenotaph last year.
  • mbourne2008
    How interesting to see the variety in responses. I have been in more than one situation that involved potentially life-threatening circumstances on account of unprovoked aggression, and I promise it is not something to enter into lightly. This was years ago now, and to recall the encounters still evokes very strong emotions.
    What is going through Vinnie's mind at the point the boss tells him to stop the thief? Some suggestions: "Is he (thief) on drugs? Is he armed? If he tries to kill me, will I be able to react in time? Will my family be taken care of? If I overpower him, will I be able to do it in a controlled way - what if I seriously injure or kill him? Does he have family, children? Do they deserve to get a phone call asking them to come and identify a body?" And the decision to act or not must be taken instantly. Could you?
    Somebody quoted earlier on something about evil triumphing due to the inaction of good men; well, where's the evil here? On the surface, we all jump to the conclusion about the thief being the evil, and the good man is Vinnie, standing by doing nothing. Well, what about the boss? Perhaps he was given a budget to implement proper security, but has spent the money elsewhere. Maybe he's now panicking about the consequences and is attempting to transfer his responsibility to Vinnie. Is that OK? You might argue in that case that the evil is the boss. In standing up to his boss and saying no, Vinnie (the good man) is not doing nothing, he is fighting for what he believes in. I can't imagine that the store will not be insured against such losses, as long as adequate security measures are in place.
    I'll finish with a quote too: "Check rather than hurt; hurt rather than maim; maim rather than kill. All life is precious, and we each have only one."

    Love & peace.
    • JayD
    • By JayD 5th Mar 08, 10:28 AM
    • 517 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    JayD
    Well, I think it would be instinctive to attempt to stop the thief - and with his arms full of clothing, he isn't in a position to do much damage to Vinnie.

    If I were Vinnie I would be grabbing at those shirts and I suspect that in the ensuing tug of war, Vinnie might win a couple, some would get torn, some might get dropped and the thief would make off with the rest. No great shakes.

    Although I agree there is a possibility that the thief might drop the shirts to free his arms to take Vinnie on, I don't see this as a likely outcome. Thieves like to be off and away pretty fast.

    Tackling him has nothing to do with Vinnie's pay or terms of employment - I think it is just a natural reaction to repossess stuff that is being stolen.

    Maybe I am being naive but in this instance, I don't really see Vinnie as being in much danger at all.
  • harryhound
    In this messed up world if he tackles and hurts the shoplifter he has every chance of getting arrested, prosecuted and then sued. :rolleyes:

    .
    Originally posted by jeffk
    I think this says it all, when coupled with the threat of being stabbed with an HIV syringe. (I know someone who was mugged with one of those).

    In these days of CCTV, overcrowded universities of crime, ineffective courts and general me, me, me attitudes, are we surprised that idiots are sufficiently arrogant, stupid or desperate to try a raid in broad day light ?

    I tackled a housebreaker in a similar situation. I think it is fairly safe if they are running and you "rugby" tackle them.
    In my case the thief tried to threaten me with "getting arrested, prosecuted and then sued" and continued to pursue that line of attack, demanding his "rights" down at the cop shop.

    Fortunately the nasty little druggie scumbag had been on the police wanted list for some time. I was able to grin at the old bill and say I had used no more than necessary force to restrain his attempt to resist arrest and put him into the recovery position for safe detention, while waiting the arrival of the police.

    I think I would bring back the ducking stool and put subsidised drugs back on prescription.

    Harry.

    PS
    If I was the boss, I would make sure that "have a go Vinnie", got suitable recognition amongst his peers and give him a bonus.
    Last edited by harryhound; 05-03-2008 at 11:20 AM.
  • willywillwill
    Hi all

    I thought this was an interesting one . People seem to be either (a) itís all about money, Vinnie doesnít get paid enough and/or doesnít get paid to act as security or (b) have a go, itís not about money but about principle. Iím definitely in the second category, if you donít oppose crime then it will only get worse. That said, if the robber is an axe wielding psychopath, Iíd probably run a bit slower than normal!
    Filiss
  • TAKATAK
    No chance. Ive worked in retail for 10 years, and seen several co-workers injured tackling shoplifters. I myself was assaulted, by a young girl as it happens, as I left work - Because we had caught her shoplifting earlier in the day. I probably caught about 50 shoplifters in the last 5 years. No thanks from anyone, no pay rise, I might as well have just ignored them all. Oh yes, and another one we banned found out where I lived and made a habit of damaging my car everytime he and he his 'posse' passed my house. So far thats cost me around £500 in repairs, none of which I can claim on my insurance for, since usually its below my £50 excess, and even if it was just over- I know that If I claim my premiums will just reflect that the following year...
    Thats not even taking into account all the stories Ive seen over the years about security guards and staff in retail being stabbed, shot, injected with dirty needles etc.
    I agree that we all have a social responsibilty to prevent crime when possible. However not in this instance. I dont even agree with people phoning 999 for shoplifters, while people are dealing with calls like that someone could be dying somewhere else, hardly an emergency on the same scale.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,629Posts Today

4,974Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • "Sabrina, you're young. I'm not sure you've the experience I'm looking for in a business partner." Eh? Isn't the pr? https://t.co/IeTxBQq2OU

  • I am predicting the word myself will be misused 6 times in today;s boardroom. What do yourself think? #TheApprentice

  • Not sure how I ever succeeded running a successful entreprise? After all my gardening and garden design skills are? https://t.co/FFnvkjsGDU

  • Follow Martin