On October 10, 2001 at 10:30AM a customer named John Harris was shopping at the Home Depot store located at 50-10 Northern Boulevard in Long Island City, New York. The security guard, Joseph Degurre, was on duty at the time of the alleged offense. Joseph Degurre, an off duty police officer and was given written and signed permission by his higher authority to have the security officer position at Home Depot as a "moonlighting" or secondary job. Mr. Degurre was hired for undercover surveillance in plain clothes. Mr. Degurre followed Mr. Harris and kept a distance of an aisle length, in order not to be detected by Mr. Harris who was acting suspicious while examining a Dewalt drill selection that was of a high retail value in the Tool Coral. Under the penal law, a retailer will meet reasonable cause standards when they rely on eyewitness reports or surveillance to substantiate a suspect's taking store merchandise or other suspicious conduct.
At the Home Depot the highest shrink area is the Tool Coral, which has desirable items at the highest retail price, such as power tools, hand tools, and special accessories. A large majority of these items are large, but some premium pieces such as drill bits are smaller. Mr. Harris went directly over to the Dewalt drill selection and examined the product line for a great amount of time and as he was examining the expensive drill bits he was constantly looking around for unknown reasons. Mr. Degurre continued to the Tool Coral and continued the observation of Mr. Harris due to his suspicious behavior while he was examining the pricey drill bits. After a great deal of time passes by, Mr. Harris decided on a package of the Dewalt drill bits and proceeded to the stores register to make his purchase. Mr. Degurre walked by the Dewalt section and noticed that a box of the pricey equipment was opened and that the drill that was inside was now missing. .
Under the law, Mr.