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The sheriff of Sacramento County, California, alleged that Target executives obstructed deputies from thwarting shoplifting incidents, despite the store seeking assistance to combat pervasive retail crime.
“We don’t dictate to large retailers how to carry out their duties; they shouldn’t dictate to us how to carry out ours,” Sheriff Jim Cooper expressed in a detailed statement on Thursday.
Cooper disclosed that Target, a major retail chain, had contacted his office multiple times seeking aid with apprehending shoppers, whom the sheriff noted were frequently “known clients.”
The Sheriff’s Office and Target collaborated on a plan to apprehend shoplifters, but the initiative faltered when Target leaders imposed a set of regulations governing the locations and methods for arresting suspects.
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Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper delivering a speech at an event. (Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office/FB)
“During the briefing, their regional security chief informed us that we were not allowed to approach suspects inside the store, handcuff suspects inside the store, or carry out arrests inside the store. They wanted us to take the suspects outside the store… to the rear of the store… in the rain,” the sheriff continued, adding that he “couldn’t even make this up” earlier in his address.
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Shopping carts are situated within a Target store on August 16, 2023. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Cooper stated that the list of regulations was imposed by Target from their end to avoid negative publicity.
He penned, “They informed us that they didn’t want a scene inside the store, nor did they want anyone filming and sharing it on social media. They were averse to adverse media coverage. Unbelievable.”
The National Retail Federation recently released a research report, based on surveys conducted on nearly 200 retailers, exploring the major metropolitan areas in the US most impacted by organized retail crime. Four cities in California made it to the top 10 list, with Sacramento tying for seventh place alongside Chicago.
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Black Friday shoppers exit a Target store. (Paul J. Richards/AFP/via Getty Images)
Cooper mentioned that members of his department witnessed a woman removing a bundle of body wash from store shelves during the operation, but he alleged that Target executives ignored the incident.
“Our deputies observed on camera a woman carrying her shopping bags, strolling down the body wash aisle, and grabbing numerous body wash products. Then she proceeded to customer service and obtained a refund! Target chose to take no action and allowed it to occur,” he wrote.
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“Yet inexplicably, their best response is to discontinue deodorant and hike prices on essential everyday items,” Cooper remarked.
Fox News Digital reached out to Target early on Sunday morning.