ACCRA - A.D 2018

DATE:  2 ND MAY, 2018
SUIT NO:  BD 2/2014


i. Introduction:

[1] To paraphrase from the Quebec case of UMAN V. ZELLERS INC., 2001 CANLII 21934 (QC CQ) which dealt with similar facts: “The present case puts in conflict the right and the need of commercial establishments to protect themselves against shoplifting which is a scourge and those of individuals to the protection of their reputation, integrity and dignity, rights protected in law.”


[2] This is an action for false imprisonment. The gist of such an action is the imprisonment. So far as Mr. Niibi Ayi-Bonte a royal of the Ga State, Mechanical Engineer, Politician and a Lawyer is concerned, what took place is this: On June 6, 2014 he visited the Osu shop of the Defendant Company in the company of a staff at his office known and called “Ayawaso Chambers” to purchase some items. He says after he purchased the items he needed, he approached the payment counter where the items were scanned, a bill was given and he paid immediately and the items were “packed in the customized rubber bag of the Defendant Company and handed over” to him.


[3] He says whilst exiting from the shop, the anti-theft alarm at the shop went off and all attention was fixed on him and the security men working for the Defendant rushed on him. According to the Plaintiff in the curious view of other shoppers he was held aside and searched like a common thief or a shoplifter. He says his body was searched and the carrier bag containing the items bought was thoroughly searched but no stolen item was found. It is also his case that the security men compared the receipt issued from their cashier with goods he had purchased.


[4] Throughout the search according to the Plaintiff he was not allowed to move “as they embarrassed me with the search”. The Defendant security personnel only allowed him to go when they did not find ant stolen items on him. According to the Plaintiff being a shop he patronizes often and is known to some of the cashiers, the incident caused him so much humiliation, pain and trauma as a result of the search. He says his lawyers wrote to the Defendant to complain about the incident but he was “contemptuously ignored”. So far as the Plaintiff is concerned the incident has created a scar on his integrity”.


ii. The Action

[5] In this action the Plaintiff is asking for damages for false imprisonment and compensation for the trauma, humiliation and pain suffered by him. He is also seeking an Order directed at the Defendant to render an unqualified apology to him and published at “all premises of the Defendant for a period of one month”.


[6] By a writ of summons filed on the 4th day of September, 2014 the Plaintiff claims against the Defendant the following reliefs:

a. An order directed at the defendant to render an unqualified written apology to the plaintiff and same published at all premises of the defendant for a continuous period of one month.

b. Damages for false imprisonment

c. An order directed at the defendant for the payment of an amount of two hundred and fifty thousand Ghana Cedis (GH250, 000.00) as compensation for the trauma, humiliation and pain suffered by plaintiff

d.. Compensatory cost


[7] An appearance was entered on September 30, 2014 and statement of defence was filed on October 9, 2014 after service of the writ and statement of claim. The Defendant denied substantially, all the allegations and claims of the Plaintiff. It was averred in paragraphs 10, 11 and 14 of the Statement of Defence in particular that:

10. In further answer to paragraph 8 of the Statement of Claim the Defendant avers that the alarm drew the attention of the sole security man stationed at the exit and one of the shop floor supervisors on duty.

11. The Defendant again states that the security man then politely asked to verify the contents of the Plaintiff’s shopping bag which had been given to him upon making his purchase.

14. Again, the Defendant states that the verification of the items bought by the Plaintiff was done close to the exit of the shop where the alarm had gone off and in a very polite and congenial atmosphere which did not invoke any animosity and ended on a very cordial note without drawing any attention to the person of the Plaintiff”. The Defendant also averred that “at no point did the sole security man stationed at the exit of the shop make physical contact with the Plaintiff”.


iii. The Issues

[8] At the close of the pleadings, both parties filed issues for determination by the Court. The Plaintiff formulated five issues and the Defendant also formulated three additional issues. All the issues were adopted by the Court and same were set down. The issues were as follows:-

Issues filed by the Plaintiff:

1. Whether or not the Defendant falsely imprisoned the Plaintiff.

2. Whether or not the Defendant’s conduct defamed and ridiculed the Plaintiff.

3. Whether or not the Defendant subjected the Plaintiff to dehumanizing treatment thereby breaching his fundamental human rights.

4. Whether or not the Plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs claimed on the writ of summons and statement of claim.

The Additional Issues filed by the defendant on 14/11/2014 are;

5. Whether or not the sounding of the anti-theft alarm the security personnel of the defendant conducted a thorough search of the Plaintiff’s person and the carrier bag in his possession.

6. Whether or not the Plaintiff was during the alleged search surrounded by well-built security personnel of the defendant who did not allow him free movement.

7. Whether or not the security personnel of the defendant acted in a manner that caused the defendant serious trauma, humiliation and pain


[9] Admittedly, several issues have been raised by the parties for determination by the court but with respect, most of them can hardly be described as relevant. In the opinion of this court, there are only about three or so critical issues which are very central to the determination of the controversy between the parties herein. The rest may be at the periphery and the court is not obliged to make determination on them although evidence might have been led on them. Indeed it is the policy of the law that only those issues which are germane to the determination of a case which must be decided by the court and not irrelevant issues although the parties might have led evidence on them.


[10] The Court of Appeal (Coram: Sowah CJ, Abban and Osei-Hwere JJA) has stated the law in DOMFE v ADU (1984-86) 1 GLR 653 that the primary facts which a trial judge might find as having been proved to his satisfaction were those necessary to establish the claim of a party or in some cases the defence and which had been alleged on one side and controverted on the other. The rule establishes further that the trial judge was not required to make findings of fact in respect of irrelevant matters on which the parties had led evidence when such findings would not assist in the determination of the issues involved in the case.


[11] Applying the above stated principle to the instant case, my view is that the main issues for determination in this case which can be gathered from the pleadings and the evidence offered in this case are:



1. Whether or not upon the sounding of the anti-theft alarm the security personnel of the Defendant falsely imprisoned the Plaintiff.

2. Whether or not the Defendant Company’s personnel subjected the Plaintiff to dehumanizing treatment and thereby ridiculed and defamed him.

3. Whether or not based on the evidence the Plaintiff is entitled to the reliefs endorsed on the Writ of Summons.

I think findings made on the above issues should dispose of the matter. I now proceed to address the issues and shall first deal with the re-stated issue 1.


[12] It is not in any serious contention that on June 6, 2014 the Plaintiff visited the Defendant’s Company’s shop and after his purchase and on his way out the anti-theft sensormatic system was triggered. The evidence establishes that as a result of the alarm the Plaintiff was stopped by the security personnel of the Defendant Company who searched the shopping bag which contained the items purchased and verified his receipt. Now, to my mind the crux of the controversy is the circumstances of the search and the reasonableness of the Defendant’s Company’s personnel action.


iv. Legal Analysis & Opinion of the Court:

[13] The deployment of anti-theft device in commercial establishments is an acknowledged feature of contemporary society. The court’s factual observation in UMAN V ZELLERS supra comes in handy here purely for illustrative purposes. The learned Judge in the Uman Case stated:

“Commercial establishments have no choice but to install equipment that protects them against theft. This is even for the benefit of consumers who, as is known, pay their purchases more expensive to offset the significant losses caused by thieves. This right to fight shoplifting has been recognized by case law. Thus, in Lessard-Charland v. Cumberland Pharmacy , Judge André Surprenant writes:" In a world of consumption where shoplifting has become epidemic, no one can claim to be surprised, offended or humiliated to be intercepted at the exit of a store and ask if he/she has paid for all the goods purchased, by an employee in charge of security in this store, especially if the latter acts without malice, with all the civility required, and having a reasonable cause to do so. "

To my mind, the operative words from the quote above are “…acting without malice, with all the civility required, and having a reasonable cause to do so” in the context of security intervention following the triggering of anti-theft devices. This is a factual determination to be made in the context of the action herein.


[14] The action for false imprisonment concerns an individual's right to liberty and freedom in relation to the state and other persons either natural or artificial. The law in regard to false imprisonment is stated in 33 Hals., 2nd ed., pp. 37-8 as follows:

Any total restraint of the liberty of the person, for however short a time by the use or threat of force or by confinement, is an imprisonment To compel a person to remain in a given place or to go in a given direction against his will is an ... The gist of the action of false imprisonment is the mere imprisonment; the plaintiff need not prove that the imprisonment was unlawful or malicious, but establishes a prima facie case if he proves that he was imprisoned by the defendant; the onus then lies on the defendant of proving a justification.


[15] The law was even more concisely stated by Lamont, J., in the old case of Washburn v. Robertson (1912), 8. D.L.R. 183 at p. 185:

“An action for false imprisonment lies when the liberty of a person has been restrained against his will without the authority of law. As soon as imprisonment is proved, the defendant must establish that the imprisonment was not his act or was justified; 6 Ency. Laws of Eng., p. 20”.


[16] The tort of false imprisonment is defined by Street on Torts, (13th ed.) at page 269 as an:

An act of the defendant which directly and intentionally causes the confinement of the plaintiff within an area delimited by the defendant.

Clerk & Lindsell on Torts (13th ed.), para. 681 at p. 346 have also defined false imprisonment as the "complete deprivation of liberty for any time, however short, without lawful cause."


[17] The Court of Appeal in ATTA AND ANOTHER v AMOASI AND ANOTHER[1], delivered itself per Francois JA (as he then was) that:

Imprisonment is "the restraint of a man's liberty." Any form of constraint that deprives a person of his liberty of free movement whether it amounts to a confinement within the four walls of a room or notionally, as the show of force which clamps fetters on a person's freedom of locomotion, will by definition, amount to imprisonment. The imprisonment however has to be total and the question at the end of the day will be whether the plaintiff still had a choice for the free exercise of will and movement. Guidelines are set by authorities for determining whether restraint is complete or whether an avenue for escape is still open.


[18] Basing myself on the law as espoused above, I am of the opinion that the determination of whether or not a person has been detained must be made in context of each case and the facts as presented. To my mind the act complained of must be seen in the light of all the surrounding circumstances. Perspective is of utmost importance in considering the law and principles as stated above because a true perspective is only possible when all the relevant facts are considered, seen and put in proper context. It is also important to note that if the restraint is only partial, leaving a reasonable means of escape, then no false imprisonment has occurred.


[19] From the law a Court called upon to consider whether a person is falsely imprisoned ought to look at the circumstances and to determine whether or not the restraint and/or the imprisonment was lawful. I shall therefore apply the law with the evidence heard at trial.


[20] Now, it is the case of the Plaintiff that although the Defendant Company’s security men had the right to do their work if they suspected him of theft, in his opinion the manner they carried out their work was wrong and unreasonable. Giving evidence in support of his claim Mr. Ayi-Bonte did testify that although he agreed that the security man who searched him had a duty to do his work he trampled on his right as a citizen and a shopper. Explaining further he testified that after the sensormatic machine went off the first time and he was searched and nothing was found on him, when it went off the second time the security man still held onto him. Accordingly, he testified that he was embarrassed and his reputation was injured, he added.


[21] Under cross-examination, this is what the Plaintiff said as captured in the proceedings of Wednesday June 14, 2017.

Q: You also state that there were macho men correct?

A: These were strong looking men.

Q: I am suggesting to you that only one security man approached you when that the antitheft alarm went off.

A: That is incorrect and the conduct of the defendants’ personnel has embarrassed me and still continues to traumatise me.

Q: How many times did the anti-theft alarm trigger?

A: I cannot count the number of times but I recall that after they found nothing stolen in my bag and they allowed us to go the alarm sounded again. This happened in the presence of their office manager, a rasta haired man and when I complained he just walked away.

Q: So sir when it triggered the first time they took your receipt and checked it against the items you bought is that correct

A: That is what they did but what I found wrong with the conduct was that civility demands that a suspect is taken to separate room and searched.

Q: Did you object when they took your receipts and checked with the items in the bag?

A: No because I wanted to prove my innocence.

Q: Did they forcibly take the bag and the receipts from you?

A: They held the bag and I voluntarily submitted it to them.

Q: After they checked and everything was ok what did they do?

A: After they checked and whiles I was complaining about the way I have been searched a lady called Mercy Lamptey whose name I got to know because of the name tag on her breast pocket enquired from the cashier whether he removed the seal on the drink I bought.

Q: Was your body searched or the items in the bag cross checked against the receipt?

A: My body was searched after they found out that the items listed on the receipts had tallied with what was in the bag and they went further to search my body.

Q: You were taken to a room for that to happen is that correct?

A: I was not taken to any room I was searched close to the exit point.

Q: I am suggesting to you that the search was not conducted at the entrance.

A: That is not correct I was searched towards the entrance in the full glare of everybody…..

Q: Are you saying that every time the sensors at the exit is triggered is because of theft is that what you are saying?

A: I do not work for Shoprite so I would not know how their machine is configured.

Q: Did the personnel in anyway maltreat you in the actions trying to ascertain if a reason the alarm triggered is because of something on you ?

A: They embarrassed me. If the search had been conducted out of the purview of other patrons I wouldn’t have a problem but they did it in a full glare of the public.

Q: You emptied your pocket without being told to do so.

A: I did so to prove my innocence …..

Q: The security personnel that approached you only wanted to check the receipts against the content in your bag but you only decided to empty your pocket.

A: That is not entirely correct. They rushed on me held the bag and I handed it over to them and after reconciling what was in the bag with the receipts which I gave to them and they didn’t find anything wrong they proceeded to search my body and in prove of my innocence I emptied my pocket.

Q: I put it to you that the evidence that they proceeded to search your body is not correct and that you decided to empty your pocket yourself without being told to.

A: It was in the course of searching my body and attempt to prove my innocence was when I emptied my pocket.

Q: I am also suggesting to you that if the defendant wanted a body search conducted on you they would have escorted you to a room for that purpose.

A: I don’t know their modus operandi but I can say that they searched my body in the full glare of the public.

Q: I am also suggesting to you that you searched yourself and not the defendant searching you.

A: That is incorrect.

Q: I am suggesting to you that the security personnel was working within his remit by checking the ticket against the items in the bag

A: Much as I agree that he has a duty to do his work he trampled on my right and my reputation which he had seriously injured.


[22] Now, it has been submitted by learned Counsel, Mr. Joseph Bernard Ashalley on behalf of the Defendant in his legal submission filed on 19th day of March, 2018 that the Plaintiff voluntarily offered himself to be searched, that he did not object to his brief detention and even aided the security personnel by emptying his pockets himself. To learned Counsel therefore, the Plaintiff consented to his detention however brief.


[23] Further learned Counsel has submitted that a key element of False Imprisonment as stated in the definitions from the case of MANSOUR v EL NASIR EXPORT AND IMPORT CO [1963] 2 GLR 316 and ATTA v AMOASI SUPRA is that the detention must be unlawful and without justification. In this case learned Counsel has submitted that Common Law privilege given to shopkeepers ought to be invoked in favour of the Defendant. To Counsel, it is clear that the security personnel of the Defendant acted in accordance with the rules because the search was conducted on the premises of the shop; that the sounding of the anti-theft alarm gave them reasonable grounds upon which to search the Plaintiff and no force was used and the security man was civil. In effect Counsel says the search was legal and lawful and therefore the detention was the natural consequence of the search.


[24] In contrast, learned Counsel for the Plaintiff, Mr. Justice Yakubu Abdulai has equally submitted that the Defendant’s security men did not have the right to restrain the Plaintiff in the manner they did as they did not find him culpable of shoplifting as they presumed. Counsel’s further view is that the Defendant’s security men action was wrongful and unwarranted “particularly when the officers had searched the Plaintiff for the second time without finding any stolen item in his bags or on his person”. According to learned Counsel the continuous detention of the Plaintiff was therefore without any legal basis and “the Defendant ought to suffer the penalty thereof”.


[25]As indicated above the issue of false imprisonment ought to be resolved base on the circumstances and facts of the case. It is not open to doubt that the Defendant’s security personnel confronted the Plaintiff when the anti-theft alarm went off the first time. To my mind that certainly was reasonable and within the ambit of their duty and the law for after all they had to be sure that indeed the customer’s purchases and the receipt he had were in sync. However, in this case it is being alleged that even after they searched the Plaintiff and had satisfied themselves that his purchases and his receipt tallied, when the anti-theft alarm went off for the second time they still held onto him. The question then is what was the justification for doing so? That piece of evidence was given by Mr. Samuel Annang the Plaintiff’s witness and same was corroborated to some extent by the Defendant’s own witness. Let us hear both Mr. Annang and Mr. Addo Tetteh (a witness for the Defendant) when they were cross-examined.


[26] Mr. Annang’s evidence was given on Wednesday July 18, 2017. Under cross-examination by Mr. Ashalley the following was elicited:

Q: Did you by any chance decide to leave and was restricted by the Defendant?

A: Yes.

Q: How were you restricted?

A: For one we didn’t have our bags back, two, the security guy who took us to the place wouldn’t let us go.

Q: I am suggesting that at no point did you and the Plaintiff decide to leave and were restricted in any way by the security personnel.

A: We were restricted.

Q: How long did this whole incident take?

A: Honestly I can’t tell but it was awhile…..

Q: You also state that when you tried to exist again the antitheft alarm triggered again, is that also correct?

A: Yes.

Q: When the incident happened again, were you taken to the very spot you had been taken to the first time.

A: Yes in the same manner it happened the first time.

Q: Was a new search conducted on the Plaintiff body?

A: Not that I remember.

Q: Was the Plaintiff’s bag searched again?

A: Not that I remember.

Q: So when you were escorted there, what happened?

A: The same security guy marshalled us to the spot and it was then that the Plaintiff insisted that he wanted to speak to the person in charge because there was no reason to keep us”. [Emphasis Mine]


[27] Mr. Tetteh Addo’s evidence was on Tuesday November 14, 2017. Under cross-examination by Mr. Daniel Osei for the Plaintiff the following evidence was elicited.

Q You told this court yesterday that whole incident lasted for more than a minute, how many times did the alarm go off?

A: Twice

Q: You also told the court yesterday that when the alarm went off the first time you cross checked the receipts against the items in the bag. Can you please tell the court what you did when the alarm went off the second time?

A: When the alarm went off the first time I took the yellow polythene bag and ask the Plaintiff to pass through the security censor when he did that the alarm sounded again, then he begin to empty his pocket by himself to show me what he had on him without me asking him to do so.

Q: And all of this you still maintain took less than a minute

A: Yes

Q: Was the Plaintiff alone when he came to the shop

A: I cannot remember him walking alone”


[28] Demeanour as a measure of credibility can often be misleading and should not, standing alone, be determinative. However examining the Defendant’s witnesses’, in particular Mr. Addo Tetteh’s testimony in the light of its internal consistency and its consonance with the other evidence heard and before the Court and with the probabilities inherent in the circumstances, it is my judgment that his evidence led generally is not worthy of any credit on the key parts relevant to the issue before the Court and I do not believe him. I found the Defendant’s witnesses were often evasive, belligerent and unresponsive during cross-examination. For instance, in an incident such as this, no real evidence by way of CCTV footage, security officers’ notes etcetera are available according to the Defendants. Mr. Okyere who testified was not at the shop when the incident happened, and Mr. Addo who claims he was present was selective as to what he was prepared to tell the Court and admit. He did not present himself as a witness who was being entirely candid. His testimony was given with a view to the Defendant’s own interest rather than in accordance with the oath which he had taken. I was not impressed with him as a witness.


[29] From the available evidence based on the facts and circumstance of this case I find that whilst the initial detention was lawful the subsequent detention of the Plaintiff after the anti-theft alarm went off was unreasonable, not justified and affront to common sense especially after the Plaintiff’s carrier bag had been searched and he was within the premises and purview of the security personnel. I shall therefore resolve the rephrased issue one in favour of the Plaintiff. I now come to consider Issue 2 - Whether or not the Defendant Company’s personnel subjected the Plaintiff to dehumanizing treatment and thereby ridiculed and defamed him?


[30] It is the case of the Plaintiff that he has been defamed because of the nature of the search, the location and time the search took place. According to him he was embarrassed and his dignity as a former Member of Parliament, a Royal of the Ga State and an Engineer and a Lawyer has been bruised and tarnished.


[31] Undoubtedly, an action for defamation is a personal action based on injury to one's reputation or that the words complained of have a tendency to lower one in the estimation of others. In this case the Plaintiff’s complaint is that people in the community would perceive him as a thief. The Plaintiff’s Counsel has submitted that “the way and manner Plaintiff was treated and the circumstances was obvious to onlookers and passersby”. Counsel conceded that in this case words were not used but with some amount of force says the law should not be limited to words only because in this case the Plaintiff was subjected to a ”humiliating conduct in public for several hours”.


[32] I must say that based on the law and the evidence I have no difficulty in dismissing the Plaintiff’s claim for defamation. Firstly, it is obvious that Counsel has embellished the evidence when he submitted that his client was subjected to “humiliation for several hours”. The submission is not borne out of the evidence. Secondly, in the opinion of the court, every case ought to be looked at in the context of the circumstances and facts to fit the nuances of a particular situation, it is clear based on the evidence and looking at the circumstance of the case that the Plaintiff has failed to meet his onus in so far as the issue of defamation is concerned. The Plaintiff has invited the Court to draw an inference from the circumstances of the search and juxtapose same with the background and stature of the Plaintiff to conclude that his reputation has been damaged. The Court’s simple response to the invitation is that the process of drawing inferences from evidence is not the same as speculating even where the circumstances permit an educated guess. I am required to assess the evidence in the light of common sense and human experience. It is important to point out that supposition or conjecture is no substitute for evidence and cannot be relied upon as the basis for a reasonably drawn inference in this case. A reasonably drawn inference requires an evidentiary foundation which in this case is lacking.


[33] One thorny issue that engaged the attention of Defendant’s Counsel and the Plaintiff at the trial was whether or not Plaintiff can point to anyone who has confronted him about the incident and or can point to anyone in the community who knew of the incident. This is clearly borne out from the answers given by the Plaintiff under cross-examination as captured below on June 14 and 15, 2017:

Q: Can you identify anyone that saw you when the incident happened?

A: I cannot identify anyone by name and face but there were many people in the shop.

Q: Have you heard any report in the media about you on this incidence?

A: I have not read in any media outlet about this incidence and I also do not know who and who may have been informed about the incident and saw the event.

Q: How long did this whole incident take.

A: I would not be able to tell.

Q: I suggest to you that that it didn’t take up to 10minutes.

A: I cannot ascertain that fact …

Q: Is it correct to say that after this incident you visited the shop for more than four occasions?

A: It is correct since the incident I have visited the shop several times but had to gather courage to go in there.

Q: And all those several occasions the alarm had not triggered since?

A: That is so I never received any embarrassment”.


[34] From the evidence, the Plaintiff was unable to demonstrate any tangible harms resulting from the incident at the Defendant’s shop. There was no evidence from persons in the community including close family members, colleague lawyers and the general public that they have had negative impression of the Plaintiff as a result of the incident at the Defendant’s shop. Indeed, from the evidence the Plaintiff continues to buy groceries from the Defendant’s shop even though he contends the officers there have lowered his reputation and defamed him. In my respectful opinion there is no air of reality to the assertion and therefore the reframed issue 2 above is resolved against the Plaintiff.


v. Conclusion:

[35] In the light of the foregoing reasons and applying the principles as enunciated in the authorities, to the circumstances of the present case, I resolve the reframed issue as to whether the Plaintiff is entitled to his claim in his favour partially. The Court shall grant the Plaintiff damages of GH¢5,000 also order the Management of the Defendant Company to write an apology letter to the Plaintiff within 14 days after this judgment. The Plaintiff’s Cost shall be assessed at GH¢10,000.


[36] In conclusion, therefore, the court will DISMISS ALL the other claims endorsed on the writ of summons by the Plaintiff


[37] But, I cannot conclude this judgment without making an observation. I am troubled by the concluding submission made by both Counsel. The Plaintiff’s Counsel wrote that “Defendant cannot continue to take Ghanaians for granted and not suffer consequences thereafter. A judgment in Plaintiff’s favour will be a wake-up call on Defendant and like-minded institutions and individuals that the modern Ghanaian can no longer be taken for granted”. Counsel for the Defendant on the other hand wrote “Should the Plaintiff be entertained lots of customers would bring in similar actions whenever our sensormatic system is triggered and this will cause a lot of hardship and a drain to our resources especially where the Defendant has lots of people stealing from their shops”.


[38] In my respectful opinion, both Counsel have missed the point. The arguments made are not anchored on law but emotive innuendo. For the record and without disputing the fact that commercial establishments both locally and foreign-owned have been responsible for troubling conduct in cases of suspected shoplifting, this Court cannot be called upon to “punish” a shop merely because it is foreign-owned. That would certainly amount to persecution and that would be wrong and unacceptable. In the same vein, if the Defendant Company is minded to save itself from lawsuits then it should properly service its anti-theft machines and train its personnel. It cannot allow its personnel to do what they want and when sued ask the Court to let them off because they face challenges of theft. As the court noted in the UMAN case supra: “In closing,… this decision is not a safe conduct for merchants against unjustified triggering of alarm systems. Every effort must be made to improve the control procedures and to reduce the occurrence of such incidents, otherwise the courts will be more severe in the future, in situations of this kind.” A word to the wise…