Complaint Review: Monument Security Inc. - Santa Fe Springs CA
Monument Security Inc. Monument Security: Severe abuse, false arrest, false detainment inflicted on yet another innocent person! Santa Fe Springs CA
Here is another victim of this disgusting company: me.
On Saturday, December 9th, I had been to my daughter's high school Christmas tree fundraiser at around 9:00 am in the morning. Upon returning home, (we live ½ a mile from the school) we then realized that we didn't have the correct stand, so I said “no problem. I will just run to OSH and get a bigger stand.” So I made the short 1 ½ mile drive to Orchard Supply Hardware in Van Nuys. The store parking lot was packed- it being a weekend day in December, where many were shopping for Christmas trees, decorations, etc. So I parked far away from the store – out toward Sepulveda Boulevard in another lot owned by the Verizon shop that is located straight out from the OSH store.
I grabbed a large cart and proceeded into the store, where I put 2 extension cords, some solar walkway lights & three respirators, (recommended for us by AQMD due to our proximity to the recent Skirball and Creek fires).
So I walk through the store with the above items in my cart, and proceeded toward the nursery area, where the Christmas tree stands were displayed, OUTSIDE the store, where many other Christmas items were located.. (PAST cash registers, etc). Please note that many items are regularly located outside the store and you have to walk past registers to get to them. NOTE: There are NO signs stating: “no carts past this point” or anything like that.
Anyway, I put one in my cart along with the other items then turned to my left directly out front of the nursery area to walk through this makeshift Xmas tree "tunnel" they set up, which was
jam packed with people in it. Me and my cart were nearly bumping into other shoppers as they perused the trees inside the tunnel. So, I audibly said “uh oh… looks like a traffic jam” and I literally made a 180 degree turn to go back to the opening of the tunnel, and suddenly two large MONUMENT SECURITY Loss Prevention employees came at me and grabbed me by my arms and began yelling at me. “LOSS PREVENTION! LOSS PREVENTION!! M’AM! M’AM!! WE LET YOU LEAVE THE STORE SO WE COULD SEE IF YOU WERE GOING TO STEAL THE CART AND THOSE ITEMS IN THERE. YOU PASSED THE POINT OF SALE AND ARE TRYING TO STEAL FROM THIS STORE!!! YOU ARE COMING WITH US…”
I was absolutely dumbfounded, and at first had no idea what they were talking about. I just stood there and said “Huh? I’m walking to the Cyclamen over there. I just got this stand right here…” I pointed to the display of Christmas tree stands that were also located past the “point of sale.”
“I just left that tunnel because it was too crowded to walk through. I have never stolen anything in my life! I was going toward the other door that’s less crowded, to go grab these flowers and pay for everything now.”
One of them said “No no no. You were leaving!! Why didn’t you turn around and go back into the nursery?” I said “because there is no cashier there, and your merchandise that I am buying is outside the register area, and the tunnel was too crowded so I was walking along the storefront line. There is merchandise further out from the nursery area than I am even walking!”
These loss prevention men stopped me literally eight inches outside the store, right in front of the tunnel mentioned above where I was walking alongside of. I HAVE NEVER STOLEN ANYTHING IN MY LIFE, and have never been in trouble either. But MONUMENT SECURITY was convinced that I was walking out of the store to purposefully steal the stand and other items; despite the fact that my car was parked WAAAY outside of the OSH parking lot and straight out from the store, opposite of the direction I was walking.
They were extremely abusive; I sat at a table in the back of the store, with one of the managers sitting there silently to serve as a witness (which incidentally, I knew her- I am a regular in the store, yet she acted as if she had no idea who I was and sat dead pan.). As I sat there, the ring leader, a tattooed Hispanic man named Francisco, entered and now there were three of them, who took turns berating me, told me I was going to jail, and asking questions over and over. Then Francisco forced me to take out my wallet out of my purse that they had already thoroughly ransacked, and threw in the center of the table. He said “I want you to count everything in your wallet. Out loud. And show me.” So, I obliged and counted every cent. I had more than $250.00 in cash, obviously plenty to pay for my items, which I was on my way to do when I was forcefully stopped. After I counted my money, they continued to harass me and tried to trick me into saying something incriminating about myself, which I would not do because I didn’t do anything wrong. I was nauseous and feeling dizzy from being subjected to this horrible abuse. I asked if I could have some water and they said “no. You have taken enough.”
I began to cry then. “Why are you guys doing this to me?” You and I both know that I didn’t intend or even attempt to take anything. Why are you doing this? I have never shoplifted in my life! I am also not going to sit here and admit to something that I didn’t do, because I know you are trying to make me say something incriminating about myself with your tactics. I can’t do anything about it if you don’t believe me. Because I know I am telling the truth and I think you all already know that, ” I said.
“I am a very regular customer in here and I was just here four days ago (on 12/5) and I spent more than $300 in here!” This went on and on for hours.
As I sat there, I told them that I have to work and I have a daughter and that she and my family were waiting for me and worried and they said “too bad. You did this to yourself by stealing.” Then, the inappropriate things they were saying became absolutely insane: Francisco announced that his uncle had just been beaten up so badly on the street that he was almost put into a coma and that he was going to go “pop” the gang bangers responsible. I asked what relevance that has to me, and he said “I am just talking to my bros here. Why are you asking me questions?” So I just went silent and was listening to this story- an obvious attempt to intimidate me. After this, he asked me if I had ever been convicted of shoplifting before. I said “no.” He said “except today, right?” In an attempt to get me to admit something. I said “no, not even today…” This type of stuff continued for hours, because I had to wait there for LAPD to show up, and they had been so busy that day that they had to call another precinct to come in, which is why it was taking so long. But I had to wait because, as they kept telling me, that I caused this and was guilty. I kept shaking my head and crying. I am devastated even writing this.
Just then, one of them asked me to describe my car to him because he was going to go look at it where it was in the lot.
He left to go examine my car, for what reason I am not sure…… and the other guy in there other than Francisco came over to me and thrust an iPad with just a signature line on it, and said “Sign this now.” I said, “What am I signing?” Francisco just said “it’s a 490.5. Look it up!!” They made me sign something without showing me what it was- just a blank iPad with a place for the signature. (I now know it's penal code 490.5 which is an agreement to never “trespass into the store again” which makes this even more insane). So I said “I can’t look it up. You have my phone over there.” Just then the guy came back from the parking lot and I asked “did you see my car? It’s far.” He said “Yeah I saw it. It’s pretty far -a ways out from the store.” I said “yeah… my car is in the exact opposite direction from where I was walking with the cart, isn’t it?” He said “Yeah…, it is“ then he turned to the two other guys and said “looks like this one has a new car. Has Toyota of Santa Monica plates.” I said “No it’s not a new car. It’s a very used car. I bought it off a relative’s lease. I just haven’t put the registration stickers on it yet. Why are you asking me about the status of my car?” His response: “We will just wait and see...”
MONUMENT SECURITY needs to be held accountable for abuse of power and intentionally terrorizing innocent people. I wonder how many other people they have done this to, since the holiday shopping season began? I was soon to find out…
So, after more abuse, making rude jokes at my expense, ridiculing that I had worked for the government etc. one of them suddenly lunged forward at me to grab something that was in the middle of the table- at first I didn’t see it and was completely shocked as they lunged toward me to grab this thing (it was an exacto knife, the blade closed inside the handle) as they yelled “hey! That’s a weapon!” I had no idea what they were doing or talking about as I hadn’t reached for it or touched it, or even so much as noticed it before they lunged at me, as if to make up a story that I was threatening them with an exacto knife. I literally laughed out loud then. I couldn’t help it. I imagined myself saying “you guys watch too many cop shows- probably because you failed out of police academy but that’s a story for another day…” But I didn’t say anything. I just shook my head in disbelief.….
Finally, two patrol officers from LAPD West Valley division came. I told them exactly what I am relaying to you and one of them (Det Munoz) left the room to watch the surveillance footage video of my supposed attempted “shoplifting.” When he returned I asked specifically if he had seen the footage video, he said yes and that “Ms. Harvey: Your story is plausible, ” I said again: “So you saw the video. Does it convey what I said had happened? Is the video consistent with what I told you?” They both said in unison “Yes. It does show what you said had happened.” I said, “thank you.” They said they believed me.
Just then MONUMENT SECURITY who had gone out to view my car came in. I said “yeah so I told the police my account of what happened, as you know, and just to clarify, you did confirm that my car was way far out from the store and that I was walking in the opposite direction from it so it would be impossible to be running off with my cart of extension cords and the stand. Correct?”
His reply: “Your car isn’t THAT far out. And we didn’t know at the time where it was, so we still stopped you, and had probable cause…”
I said, incredulously, “Yes but you know NOW where it is, and you just told me a little while ago that it was in fact far out from the store. So now you’re falsifying information on top of everything else, and STILL having me arrested with the LAPD, even after you KNEW where my car was.. “
He literally said “That’s how it goes…”
The police were even a bit irritated at this guy (like I said, they believed me) but it was store policy to arrest anyone suspected of stealing more than $50 worth of merchandise, so even they were a little hesitant as they placed my hands behind my back and put on tight handcuffs and led me out of the store, with Francisco and his crew calling after me “Remember! You aren’t allowed to set foot in any of our stores!” while literally snickering at me in the background; and an entire crowded store of people, now standing there staring at me, my head down, crying, and being led out of the store in handcuffs with two police escorts. They placed me in the back of a police car where they read me my rights. They then asked me some pointed questions, and when I answered honestly and openly, they did tell me they believed me. I was then brought to Van Nuys police station & charged with petty theft.
I was booked, fingerprinted and held there in a cell with four women, two of which were drug addicted homeless inmates (I am not judging-I felt sorry for them), and ordered to sit on a dirty cot in a cell where I was able to make my one phone call-on a dirty payphone in front of everyone in the cell. I won’t go into too much more detail here- except to say that if this ever happens to a female you know, it’s important to note that there is an open toilet with little to no paper supplies in the corner of the cell, also in front of everyone. So, Lord help you if you drank too much water or whatever else before you arrived there.
When my fingerprints were taken, the police said they had a hard time doing a search, and I said it’s because I had top level security clearance so there was an extra layer of authentication needed and since my record was completely clean they would have to do a two layer authentication process, because it was a first time criminal record inquiry since I obtained top security clearance more than 17 years ago. Like I said, I han’t ever been in trouble nor would I steal a CHRISTMAS TREE STAND. Really?
Anyway, to end this saga and to add salt to this increasingly growing wound, because of the actions of MONUMENT SECURITY I was held there for another 6 hours, in a cell in the Van Nuys station, after being falsely arrested, falsely detained, abused in the most obscene and degrading way, falsely imprisoned, intentionally inflicted with emotional physical and mental stress; robbed of thousands of dollars of revenue; lied to and physically “re-traumatized” with osteoarthritis. I just kept thinking about how this could happen to me and why it happens to many people. I don’t get it. And perhaps the most disgusting part of this is the emotional stress my daughter was forced to endure all day, not knowing what happened to her mom, and being unnecessarily traumatized, imagining what might have happened to me . All of this, because of some over-eager, police academy dropout, grudge-carrying loss prevention personnel from MONUMENT SECURITY.
It’s all about probable cause? These people had NO PROBABLE cause to stop me, yet they did it anyway, and it has destroyed me in so many ways.
I did nothing wrong. I not only didn’t intend to steal anything, I also never even attempted to steal anything. They know it. And I know it. And now, whatever the outcome; on behalf of myself and everyone else who has been falsely accused, detained, or imprisoned, I’m standing up to them and will be a voice against this absurd abuse.
So now, the abuse continues as my attorney has repeatedly called and sent demand letters, only to be yelled at and hung up on by the HR director, who I assume to be Scott McDonald. They are required to send these complaints to their insurance carrier – yet the carrier has yet to respond to me, and it’s been since March 23rd. I wonder why? Oh, right. They have other pending lawsuits and I believe a bankruptcy filing. Maybe because MONUMNET SECURITY continually commits FALSE ARREST and a LITTANY OF OTHER ABUSIVE, ILLEGAL TACTICS, all in the name of security? Please. Sorry you failed out of police academy but you still can’t abuse innocent people and expect to not face legal repercussions.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/08/2018 11:35 AM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/monument-security-inc/santa-fe-springs-ca-90670/monument-security-inc-monument-security-severe-abuse-false-arrest-false-detainment-in-1441984. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content
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