Nebraska Revised Statute 29-402.01

Chapter 29


Shoplifters; detention; no criminal or civil liability.

A peace officer, a merchant, or a merchant's employee who has probable cause for believing that goods held for sale by the merchant have been unlawfully taken by a person and that he can recover them by taking the person into custody may, for the purpose of attempting to effect such recovery, take the person into custody and detain him in a reasonable manner for a reasonable length of time. Such taking into custody and detention by a peace officer, merchant, or merchant's employee shall not render such peace officer, merchant, or merchant's employee criminally or civilly liable for slander, libel, false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.


  • Laws 1957, c. 101, § 1, p. 361;
  • Laws 1963, c. 157, § 1, p. 556.


  • Where the detention of a suspected shoplifter was unreasonable because it continued after the detainers knew their suspicions were groundless and that they had made a mistake, merchant held not protected under this section. Latek v. K Mart Corp., 224 Neb. 807, 401 N.W.2d 503 (1987).

  • The words "a merchant's employee" do not include a merchant's agent who is not an employee. Bishop v. Bockoven, Inc., 199 Neb. 613, 260 N.W.2d 488 (1977).

  • A telephone alert between cooperating store managers advising the location of one suspected of previous shoplifting does not constitute a civil conspiracy against the suspect. Dangberg v. Sears Roebuck & Co., 198 Neb. 234, 252 N.W.2d 168 (1977).

  • Instruction defining arrest in almost verbatim language of 5 Am. Jur. 2d, Arrest, was proper. Schmidt v. Richman Gordman, Inc., 191 Neb. 345, 215 N.W.2d 105 (1974).