Alleged shoplifter dies when CVS employee applies choke hold

I recently returned from the International Association of Professional Security Consultants annual conference in Savannah, GA and a well deserved vacation at Universal, Orlando only to see a Chicago Sun Times news article that has really struck home with the article I recently wrote for Security Technology Magazine titled, "How Litigation Shapes Retailers' Security and Loss Prevention Strategies."

According to the article, "shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday, an employee chased Kyser from the store and put him in a choke hold for what appeared to be several minutes as three other men held Kyser down in an alley in the 2600 block of South Pulaski, witnesses have told the Sun-Times." The "employee" was from the CVS drugstore chain and, from the news accounts, he was trying to apprehend 35 year old Anthony Kyser, an alleged shoplifter, for stealing toothpaste and crayons. Kyser is reported to have struck the CVS employee (reported to be the Store Manager) in an attempt to get away and the employee then applied the fatal choke-hold.

Choke-holds, as a method of subduing shoplifters have long been stricken from the policy & procedure manuals and training regimens of retailers across the country. This is one of those shoplift apprehensions that has really gone badly and I saw in another article where the father of Anthony has already filed a lawsuit.

This case will cause retail establishments to review their training methods and policy on shoplifter apprehension everywhere - or at least it should.

Curtis Baillie - Security Consulting Strategies, LLC