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A security agent walks the floors at Macy's in New York. Claims over racial profiling at department stores in New York have helped expose the practice in more than 40 states of retailers holding shoplifting suspects and assessing fines, even if a person hasn’t yet technically stolen anything. At Macy’s flagship store, suspects are held in cells, asked to sign an admission of guilt and pay hundreds in fines.

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Stores have free rein to recoup shoplifting losses

Outside the view of paying customers, people accused of shoplifting at Macy’s huge flagship store are escorted by security guards to cells in “Room 140,” where they can be held for hours, asked to sign an admission of guilt and pay hundreds in fines, sometimes without any conclusive proof they stole anything.

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