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Artifact 2 Search and Seizure, Discussion Board Question, Week 6, Legal Aspects of Security, SMGT 415

Discussion Questions Part III Choose one of the Chapter Eight selected case studies to comprehensively brief to the class. Identify and discuss all the salient points. Part III THE PEOPLE (Plaintiff) vs. VIRGINA A. ZELINSKI (Defendant), docket No. Crim. 20284, Supreme Court of California, May 24, 1979. On March 21, 1976, Virginia Zelinski was charged with unlawful possession of heroin after being detained and searched in Zodys Department Store when she was observed stealing a blouse and placing it in her purse. She was also observed stealing sandals and a hat for which she put on her feet and head. Zelinski also took a straw bag and put the purse she brought with her in the store into the straw bag. Zody Department Store loss prevention detective Bruce Moore, observed the defendant's stealing the before mentioned items. Detective Moore notified another detective by the name of Ann OConnor who is also a detective for Zodys Department Store. Detectives Moore and OConner stopped Zelinski outside the store and placed her under arrest for theft and escorted her back in the store. A pat down was conducted ensuring no weapons were on her person by detective Pat Forrest. As they were searching her purse the detectives found the blouse and also found a pill vial. The detectives went even further in their search after finding the blouse and opened the pill vial to find a balloon with a fine powdery white substance which they believed to be a type of drug. The police were notified and upon arrival took custody of Zelinski and possession of the pill vial. Zelinski was charged with unlawful possession of heroin. According to the case file in the text the defendants appeal involves two questions (1) whether store detectives Moore, OConnor and Forrest exceeded the permissible scope of search incident to the arrest, and open, (2) if they did, whether the evidence thus obtained should be excluded as violative of the defendants rights under federal or state Constitutions (pg. 397). Store detectives and security guards have no more power than the average citizen conducting a citizens arrest. Security companies are hired to protect the employees property. The security guards should have conducted the search for weapons only and waited to turn over the defendant to the police without conducting any other search. The narcotics obtained unlawfully during the search were concluded to be against the Fourth Amendment and therefore was an unreasonable search and seizure. The judgment against Virginia Zelinski was reversed.

Nemeth, C. D. (2005). Private Security and the law, (3rd ed.). Burlington: Elsevier ButterworthHeinemann.