The sheriff of California’s Sacramento County accused Target leaders of preventing deputies from thwarting shoplifting incidents despite the store requesting help to stymie rampant retail crime.
“We don’t tell big retail how to do their jobs, they shouldn’t tell us how to do ours,” Sheriff Jim Cooper posted in a lengthy X post Thursday.
Cooper said Target, one of the largest retailers in the U.S., reached out to his office multiple times requesting assistance with shoplifters, who the sheriff said were frequently “known transients.”
The sheriff’s office and Target worked to conduct an operation at the store to nab shoplifters, but the plan apparently crumbled after Target leaders made a list of rules for where and how deputies and detectives could arrest the suspects.
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“At the briefing, we were told by their head of regional security that we could not contact suspects inside the store; we could not handcuff suspects in the store; and if we arrested someone, they wanted us to process them outside… behind the store… in the rain,” the sheriff continued, adding earlier in his comment that he “can’t make this stuff up.”
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Cooper said the list of rules from the company came down to Target wanting to avoid bad press.
“We were told they didn’t want to create a scene inside the store and have people film it and put it on social media. They didn’t want negative press. Unbelievable,” he wrote.
The National Retail Federation recently published a study investigating which major metropolitan areas across the U.S. are most affected by organized retail crime, based on surveys from nearly 200 retailers. Four California cities landed on the top 10 list, including Sacramento, which shared the seventh spot alongside Chicago.
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Cooper said members of his department even watched a woman swipe a bunch of body washes from store shelves during the operation, but he claimed Target leaders turned a blind eye to the matter.
“Our deputies watched a lady on camera bring in her own shopping bags, go down the body wash isle (sic), and grab a bunch of Native body washes. Then she went to customer service and return them! Target chose to do nothing and simply let it happen,” he wrote.
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“Yet somehow, locking up deodorant and raising prices on everyday items we need to survive is their best answer,” Cooper added.
Fox News Digital reached out to Target early Sunday morning.