Last May, a former FBI agent working in security at Target, died after assisting with a shoplifting apprehension. Russell Horner, a 65-year old, collapsed shortly after handcuffing a shoplift suspect. The apprehension was caught on tape and will be used as evidence in the case.
Earlier this month a woman being apprehended by Sears loss prevention team for stealing underwear is caught on tape resisting arrest. The suspect, Vanessa Ojeda, is seen attacking one of the agents and pulling chucks of his hair out. According to news reports, when Police went to arrest Ojeda she was accompanied by a suspect heroin dealer.
Retailers are always concerned about the safety of their employees, customers and even shoplifters – a key topic at NRF’s Loss Prevention Conference next month. When witnessing a crime or engaging someone during an arrest, emotions run high. It is sad to think the suspect’s greed for $1,100 was the cause of so much grief for the Horner family and Target co-workers, or some Hello Kitty underwear is worth the pain suffered by the Sears employee.
Florida Prosecutors are charging Bettis with third degree murder, stating his actions directly contributed to Mr. Horner’s death. Ojeda will most likely be charged with a felony charges in Texas. We wish prosecutors in both cases the best of luck and give full support to the loss prevention and law enforcement professionals who risk their lives every day to keep customers and employees safe.