REI Boilerplate Response to the May 8th ATM/Loomis/Arrest Incident

On May 8th, 2009 I was arrested at the downtown Seattle REI after I took a picture of an open ATM then refused to show my ID to Loomis employees, REI security or Seattle Police officers Officer GE Abed (#6270) and Officer Debra Pelich (#5976). One week later, REI has responded with a boilerplate message to members and customers that had written in about the incident. Several people have forwarded me a copy of it. So, I'm sharing it here.

It's worth noting that one week later, REI has not made an effort to contact me. I am a member. They have my phone number, email and mailing address. Even if they didn't, my contact information is not hard to find. It's also worth noting, even though REI is claiming that they "did not request a trespass to be invoked", the police report says otherwise. Either REI or the Seattle Police is lying.

From: Public Affairs <publicaffairs@rei.com>
Date: Fri, May 15, 2009 at 4:58 PM
Subject: REI Seattle
To: [MEMBER EMAIL]

[MEMBER NAME] -

Thank you for your email and the opportunity to explain the incident that occurred between one of our customers and a security company servicing an ATM in our Seattle store. It is unfortunate that the situation escalated to the point that the police were called by the ATM security officers and the customer was detained by the police. At no time did REI detain the individual and we did not request a trespass to be invoked. We do not intend to enforce the trespass issued by police, and the customer is free to visit our store in the future.

We appreciate people sharing their varied points of view about what should or should not have happened at the store. We regret that the matter couldn't be defused before the police became involved. One step we are taking is to discuss with the ATM security company ways to prevent the circumstances that led to this problem.

We value your membership in the co-op and hope to serve your outdoor needs in the future.

Megan Behrbaum
REI Public Affairs

So, there's that. If anyone else gets a different response and cares to share it, I'll publish it here. Thanks to everyone that has been supportive through this. And thank you to the people that shared your emails to REI with me.

So are you going to seek legal action or are you satisfied that you've abandoned all credibility by going the media whore route? apporpirate response, I agree totally with your position in this little altercation, but seriously where do you get off calling yourself an 'anarchist'... In a state of anarchy the dumb guys with the guns would of filled you with lead... You are exactly the opposite, you are relying on the laws and liberties of government to protect you and uphold the rights that...the goverment bestows upon you In a true anarchy you wouldn't have the constitution to fall back on, survival of the strongest would tend to favour the big guys with the guns and bullet proof vests in this scenario wouldn't you think? I just thought you might enjoy this little story Mr. Becker. http://www.king5.com/topstories/stories/NW_060209WAB-armored-car-robbery-shooting-TP.40866014.html "LAKEWOOD, Wash. – An armored car driver was shot to death inside a Wal-Mart Tuesday afternoon and the search is on for two suspects." misobeno - Thank you so much for putting this up. I have been reading all of the latest posts and was hoping someone would. on to shane.. As a member of the armored industry for 8 years now, I'd like to take the opportunity to provide you with even more information. I'll start off with an admission that the way the Loomis crew approached you was a bit excessive. However, I feel that if that had been more polite, you would have still be the defiant "anarchist" you claim to be. The crew's intent was inline with policies and procedures in our industry. There have been kidnappings of employees or their families because of their affiliation with an armored car company. I'm sure you have heard of the recent tragedy where a Loomis guard was MURDERED just south of you. The Loomis statements of 'we don't know you or your intent' is completely true. WE HAVE NO CLUE WHO YOU ARE. We don't know if you are trying to cause a distraction where the attack would come from another direction. We don't know if you recognized that one of the guards lived on your block and you intend to ransom his family. You mention that you can find ample amounts of information about the inner workings of ATMs on the internet. Good for you. Why do you need to add to the pile? Again, you are correct in that we are not Law Enforcement. We are citizens who are just trying to do a job so we can go on with life like everyone else. We carry a firearm for our protection from people who mean to do us harm. I think it's reckless and childish that you posted the address of the local Loomis branch. Yes, it's out there but, again, why point that out? Did it make you feel better? I'm trying to refrain from personal attacks, I don't know you, while I am fully aware that they will come my way. Bring it. I just hope that you are able to learn a little something from this experience and maybe imagine what it's like being in the shoes of others before you act without first considering that.