Forum Thread

Illegal searches at warehouse clubs?

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  • Independent
    Greenville, SC
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    I am concerned and this has been one of my pet peeves over the years. When I make a purchase at some major warehouse clubs I am stopped at the door and required to allow them to review my purchases before exiting the building. I am aware of the problems that vendors have with shop lifting. But what gives them the right to violate my Constitutional rights when it comes to illegal searches? If I understand the Constitution correctly, companies or individuals do not have the right to search my property without a search warrant issued for probable cause. It is my thoughts that after I have purchased my goods that the goods are now my property. Yet I am required to stop at the door and present a receipt and have my property reviewed before I am allowed to exit the store. If I challenge this I am told that the vendor is a private club and that if I do agree with the rules, I do not have to be a member. This is not reasonable reasoning. As far as I can tell anyone is allowed to purchase a membership regardless of race, creed, or financial standing as long as the membership is paid for. In this respect it is a vendor dealing with the public in general. I do not feel that any so called private vendor or club has the right to search an individual’s property without a search warrant issued for just cause. As I have already stated this is a principle for me. I am a honest individual and am concerned for the vendors who suffer loss due to pilferage. However searching my property is not constitutional and this practice should be stopped.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    If you don't like the policy don't shop there! Don't you have anything important to complain about other than this foolishness?
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Seriously.....
    I shop there too. This stop before exiting takes about 3 seconds. If this is your biggest problem, get over it.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Charlotte, NC
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    I agree in the sense that if you do not like the policy at certain stores don't shop there. These warehouse shopping centers like Costco, Sams Club, etc, are different than say Target or Walmart. When you create a membership with these places you sign a number of documents agreeing to there policies. A check in at entrance, and a check at the exit is part of there rules. I have actually been stopped by their, "security guards" and questioned for a few minutes as to why where my ID card for entrance to their facility was. And another time I was refused at the door to entrance (fully gated) because I didn't have my ID card. I drove 20 minutes to get there and couldn't even get in. Even though they have all my info and picture on record. All that means nothing because their rules stated no entrance without ID. I didn't complain because those were the policies I agreed to upon request of a membership.

    Oh yeah, and the "search" is usually conducted by either a 80 year old woman who can barley stand, or a teenager who could honestly care less. They quickly glance at your receipt, then glance at your cart, then say good day. The do not do an illegal search of your person. That would be different.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Denton, TX
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    The 4th amendment issues protection against illegal search and seizure of property from the government and its employees/officials. Like anything else, private companies can and often do enforce slightly stricter rules.