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Verify: Can Walmart legally require you to show a receipt?

There's no law that allows a store to demand your receipt, but Shopkeeper's Privilege in Texas allows a store to detain a suspected shoplifter.

HOUSTON — Receipt checkers who stop shoppers before exiting Walmart are a well-known feature. Although most people will stop without argument to produce their receipt, do you have to?

To verify, we went to Fort Bend County Pct. 3 Constable Wayne Thompson.

“There is no law (penal code) that allows a store to demand you show your receipt,” explained Thompson. “You can walk on by if you wish.”

However, it can get a little tricky, according to KHOU legal analyst Gerald Treece, who explained a law called Shopkeeper’s Privilege in Texas.

Shopkeeper’s Privilege allows a store to detain a suspected shoplifter for a limited amount of time if there’s probable cause.

Although not showing a receipt alone isn’t enough reason for detention, it can compound with other suspicions the store may have leading to detention.

Even though a customer isn’t legally required to show a receipt at Walmart in Texas, they are required to show one at Sam’s Club and Costco, according to Treece.

Since those stores require a membership with their own terms and services, as soon as a person signs the terms and conditions, they have agreed to show their receipts.

If you have something you’d like KHOU to verify, send an email to Verify@khou.com.



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