Can a store employee look through my purchased items when I already exited the store?

My family and I finished paying for our items and then exited the store. We had no problems, no security detector beeped or anything. We put our bags in our trunk and were about to get inside out vehicle when a store employee came towards us, telling us to hold up. She then told us that she needed to check our bags and proceeded to go through our bags (which were still in the trunk) she kept on rummaging through out things and muttered things like “well that’s weird,” and “hmmm.” Then after a few minutes she was like oh well everything looks okay and left. She said they had to check extra carefully because they had been robbed recently. Is that normal? Are they allowed to search your bags after you exited the store, in the parking lot? (We also showed her the receipt) It was just a bit strange to me because nothing like that has ever happened to me before, except for the usual showing your receipt before you leave. 

13 Answers

  • 4 weeks ago

    It's possible someone claimed they saw you steal,because the person who did the search sounded surprised to find nothing,you should have ask what they thought you took.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Legally, as long as you are on the property, which includes the parking lot, you have not actually left the stores jurisdiction.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Security guards are allowed to look through your stuff if you give them permission by voluntarily opening your trunk when asked to do so. It would have been on you to say "no".

  • 4 weeks ago

    Would have told her to go jump off a cliff, but you had nothing to hide, so whatever.

  • What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
  • 4 weeks ago

    They're allowed to look through your bags, even when they're in your car/trunk, if you permit them. You were under no obligation to let them look through your property. You're not even obligated to show them your receipt when exiting the store (except at places like Sams and Costco where part of your membership agreement allows them to).

    As a matter of principle, I never show my receipt to any of those receipt checker people at the store's exits. If they ask to see my receipt, I politely say to them, "No thank you," and be on my way.

    The store can legally detain you only if they have probable cause to believe that you stole something from them. That usually means they actually saw you take something and not pay for it. Refusing to let them see your receipt does not count as valid suspicion.

  • 1 month ago

    If you are in their parking lot you are they property as much as you are in the store.  If you refuse it would be within THEIR power to call the police.  And as in any other situation is you have nothing to hide why would you object?  Refusing to cooperate makes them more suspicious.

  • 1 month ago

    Yes they can if you let them. Yes that sounds rather weird to me. I know Wal-Mart used to check(haven't seen them since Covid) at the door, or at least ask to. Technically if you say no there is very little they can do about it. If they came out to the parking lot and I had my stuff packed I'd be saying no, let them stand behind my car until a cop comes I don't care cause I don't think they would. I never cared about the quick check as I was going out the door(was just faster and easier for everyone to agree) but don't come to parking lot.

  • 1 month ago

    they shouldnt be checking you if you didnt steal anything

  • 1 month ago

    If you gave them permission to, then yes they can. If you don't give them permission to, then no they can't. Did you ask WHY they were doing it? If it was because they thought you were shoplifting, and you weren't, then tell them to go to hell, and if they think you stole something then to call the cops and have them compare your items with a receipt. 

  • Rick
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    robbing a store by having a friend bring 7 items to the cash register but you only charge him for one of them is fairly common ..........

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.