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When Can A Merchant Or Employee Detain And Question You For Theft?

In many states, including Colorado, concealment is theft.  In Colorado, once a store owner, store security, a store employee or law enforcement officer has determined that a person has concealed an item, stolen an item, is attempting or has attempted to commit theft of any property, or is in any way removing property without paying for it, that person may now be detained and questioned according to Colorado Revised Statutes 18-4-407.
Colorado has provided merchants, store owners, store security, and store employees with the ability to protect their property if they reasonably believe a person has committed or attempted to commit theft of their property.
The statute grants a license under Colorado State Law for a store owner or employees to detain a person suspected of shoplifting or theft.  The merchant or employee must be acting in good faith and probable cause which is based on reasonable grounds.  They may detain and question the person suspected of committing theft in a reasonable manner to determine if the person has committed theft or shoplifting.  The merchant and its employees are not civilly or criminally liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention based on good faith.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC