Reasonable Persuasion: A Possible Phenomenon

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Reasonable suspicion occurs when a “reasonably prudent person” would believe that the suspect’s actions show an intent of removing or consuming items belonging to the store without paying for it. Brown v. Winn-Dixie Atlanta, 389 S.E.2d 530, 532 (Ga. Ct. App. 1989); Kresge Co. v. Carty, 169 S.E.2d 735, 738 (Ga. Ct. App. 1969). Lingering around the store with no sense of purpose is considered reasonably suspicious behavior. Brown, 389 S.E.2d at 532; Lord v. K-Mart Corp., 340 S.E.2d 225 (Ga. Ct. App. 1986). The concealment of store merchandise or what may appear to be store merchandise is also reasonably suspicious behavior. Carty, 169 S.E 2d at 738. Furthermore, the actual removal of the merchandise from the store is not necessary to create a reasonable belief of shoplifting. See K-Mart Corp. v. Coker, 410 S.E.2d 425 (Ga. 1991).
A reasonably prudent person would perceive lingering in store as reasonably suspicious. Brown, 389 S.E.2d at 532; Lord, 340 S.E.2d at 225. In Brown, the customer was
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Carty, 169 S.E.2d at 738; Coker, 410 S.E.2d at 42. In Carty, the customer was accused of shoplifting when the security guard mistook her measuring tape for the store’s price tags. 169 S.E 2d at 740. In that case, the customer was seen walking around the store with a measuring tape. Id. At some point the security guard saw her place the measuring tape inside her pocket. Id. There the appeals court held that it was reasonable to believe the customer was attempting to shoplift. Id. at 742. In Coker, the customer was prosecuted for shoplifting even though she did not remove the lipstick tube from the store. 410 S.E.2d at 425. The court ruled that the customer intended to shoplift the tube of lipstick when she removed its packaging and transferred it into an inconspicuous place .Id. (relating to a malicious prosecution

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