SUMMARY: Calgary grocery store theft
OFFENCE: Theft under $5000.00
RESULT: Charge withdrawn
DEFENCE LAWYER: Sean Fagan
Regina v. X.X. – August 2018
Charges: Section 334 of the Criminal Code of Canada – Theft
X.X. was charged with theft under $5000.00 contrary to the Criminal Code as a consequence of alleged shift lifting incident at a Calgary large chain grocery store. As with most shoplifting charges, they commence with an investigation by a loss-prevention officer, essentially, they are store security.
Many of the big box grocery store chains have a policy by which they call the police and indicate their desire for criminal charges to be laid, leaving the loss prevention officers with no discretion to release the people, or allow them to pay for the products.
In Alberta, and most of Canada loss prevention officers, security gaurds, bouncers and other non-peace officer status employees have very minimal training in the law. In Alberta, it is a legal requirement to take a course and pass a test to be legally employed in the security guard industry. Unfortunately, the requirements of the exam and course are minimal, with courses advertising that you can complete and pass the course in less than 24 hours. Shockingly, only 2 hours of the course is devoted to the law. This means that security gaurds are often wholly untrained on legal matters such as defence of property, self-defence, and powers of arrest and detention. For the most part, security guards do not have any additional authority over an average citizen. From a defence lawyers perspective, this often means shooting fish in a barrel when taking apart the investigation.
In this case, Sean Fagan was successful at ensuring that the charges against X.X. were completely withdrawn.