Walmart shopper sues over shoplifting accusation

A man is suing Wal-Mart Stores, claiming he was wrongfully accused of theft and unlawfully detained for two hours.

Alexander Ulteanu filed a lawsuit Oct. 21 in Cook County Circuit Court against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., and three employees.

According to the complaint, Ulteanu was shopping at the Walmart in Niles, IL on Aug. 22, when he selected a number of items to purchase, proceeded to a checkout counter, waited for the cashier to ring up the total, and paid the cashier.

Ulteanuas claims that when he approached the exit with his fiance and a friend, two loss prevention associates grabbed him, accused him of theft and took him to a small, windowless room where they interrogated him. Ulteanu says the store manager was present for some of the time, supervising the two employees as they told him he could not leave the premises.

The suit states that Ulteanu remained detained hours after he had given the employees his identification and after they had confirmed that he did not steal the merchandise in his possession. He was then released without notifying a peace officer.

As a result of the incident, Ulteanu claims he suffers from sleeplessness and anxiety, has sustained damage to his reputation.

He is seeking more than $50,000 in damages and is represented by attorney Alexander M. Tolmatsky of Chicago.

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