Retail Theft

Retail theft program (RTP)

What is the retail theft program?

The Retail Theft Program (RTP) was developed in 1989 with a handful of stores and a couple of contract security companies. Today there are approximately 120 participating stores. The RTP is an alternative reporting procedure. In lieu of reporting a misdemeanor theft (shoplift) or criminal trespass to the police, the RTP participants notify the police in writing (Security Incident Report). The program both saves time for the retail companies -- as they don't need to wait for police follow up at the scene -- and frees up police resources for other types of response.


The RTP participants will do the following:

  • Detain the suspected shoplifter per store policies/procedures.
  • Obtain or attempt to identify the subject.
  • Call SPD Communications to obtain a SPD case number and determine warrant status.
  • Prepare a Security Incident Report clearly describing the incident.
  • Issue a written Trespass warning to subject.
  • Photograph the subject for future ID purposes.
  • Release subject to self or to the Police Dept.
  • Mail the Security Incident Report to the Seattle Police Dept. Data Center.

Each case will be sent to the RTP Detective for review. The RTP Detective will submit the reviewed case to the City Attorney's Office to be reviewed for charges.


Security Incident Report Form

RTP Manual

Trespass Admonishment


Adrian Diaz, Chief of Police
Address: 610 5th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98104-1900
Mailing Address: PO Box 34986, Seattle, WA, 98124-4986
Phone: (206) 625-5011
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The Seattle Police Department (SPD) prevents crime, enforces laws, and supports quality public safety by delivering respectful, professional, and dependable police services. SPD operates within a framework that divides the city into five geographical areas called "precincts".