Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper has accused Target of impeding law enforcement efforts to combat shoplifting in California’s Sacramento County. In a post on the social media platform X, Sheriff Cooper claimed that Target had solicited assistance from his office multiple times to address shoplifting incidents involving “known transients.”
Cooper revealed that a joint operation was planned between the sheriff’s office and Target to apprehend shoplifters. However, he alleged that Target leaders imposed a set of rules dictating how and where suspects could be arrested. These rules included not contacting suspects inside the store, refraining from handcuffing suspects within the store, and processing arrests outside, behind the store, even in inclement weather conditions.
Expressing disbelief, Cooper stated that Target’s primary concern was to avoid negative press and prevent scenes that could be captured and shared on social media.
The National Retail Federation’s recent study on organized retail crime identified Sacramento as one of the top metropolitan areas in the U.S. affected by such crimes. Cooper recounted an incident during the joint operation where deputies observed a woman stealing body wash from store shelves, and he claimed that Target leaders chose to take no action.
Cooper’s accusations highlight the tensions between law enforcement agencies and major retailers regarding strategies to address rising incidents of shoplifting and organized retail crime. The issue has broader implications for public safety, law enforcement procedures, and the responsibilities of retail establishments to collaborate effectively with local authorities.
As shoplifting and retail crime continue to pose challenges for businesses and communities, the accusations against Target shed light on the complexities of partnerships between retailers and law enforcement agencies in tackling these issues. The incident underscores the ongoing debate about the appropriate roles and responsibilities of each party in addressing the consequences of retail crime.
I can’t make this stuff up. Recently, we tried to help Target. Our Property Crimes detectives and sergeant were contacted numerous times by Target to help them with shoplifters, mostly who were known transients. We coordinated with them and set up an operation with detectives and… pic.twitter.com/2TJCXApGMs
— Jim Cooper (@SheriffJCooper) November 9, 2023