At ALTO, we take pride in celebrating every win that stems from the dedicated work of our teams across the United States. Cases will often take extended periods of time, ranging from months to even years before arriving at a resolution, with our on-site and legal teams working diligently throughout the process towards a positive outcome. In this post, ALTO Staff Attorney Lexi Colon delves into a recent success achieved in partnership with our retail client and public . The case demanded two months of collaboration involving the store team, our ALTO professionals, and law enforcement to reach this win.
Can you explain the background of this case, outlining how this disruption was lowering employee morale and causing an unsafe store environment?
The store team submitted multiple incidents on the ALTO app about a repeat offender, which were then reviewed by our Customer Success Specialist. The repeat offender was going to the store on a daily basis and stealing multiple items, leading to frustration and diminished morale amongst the store team. During one incident, another shopper felt the need to intervene, which caused a dangerous situation for everyone in the store. The store team were extremely discouraged to see the offender back at the store 24 hours after reporting an incident to the local police department.
What were the steps that culminated in the offender being formally charged and ordered not to revisit the store?
Over the course of two months, the store team submitted continuous incident reports detailing the offender’s disruptive actions. I attended court throughout this process to advocate for the store team as well as a felony charge for the offender. In addition to this charge, I spoke with the prosecutors to ensure the resolution included an order prohibiting the offender from returning to the store. The combined efforts resulted in a comprehensive resolution that emphasized the seriousness of the offenses and maintained the store’s safety.
Why is patience so crucial when working towards a favorable resolution in cases such as this?
There is a saying that goes: “The wheels of justice turn slowly, but grind exceedingly fine.” During my time as a prosecutor, I learned firsthand that it does take time for a case to go through the legal system. Therefore, it’s important to show up. A distinctive aspect of ALTO is our proficient team of staff attorneys and our commitment to being present at court hearings, ensuring that there is a dedicated advocate standing up for the victims. This, in effect, serves as the motivation for me to persistently strive for a win.
Dedicated victim advocacy was crucial in this win. Why does advocating for victims hold such significance in cases like this and align with ALTO’s purpose?
In instances when retailers fall victim to crimes, there is a tendency to overlook the employees who routinely work in these stores, and who dedicate a significant portion of their daily lives to work. I think it’s very important to remind people that these individuals should not have to go to work with a sense of threat or danger hanging over them.
For you, what was one of the biggest challenges that stood out to you in this case? How did it feel to overcome it and make an impact?
The primary challenge in this case was apprehension. Nevertheless, we provided comprehensive guidance to the store on how to create detailed reports with as much information as possible, aimed at presenting an exceptionally strong case with supporting evidence to the local police department. The amount of reports from the store team and their detailed information are what resulted in successfully apprehending the offender.
What motivates you daily in your role within ALTO?
Every day is different with ALTO, which is one of my favorite parts of the job. My drive stems from the opportunity to contribute positively to the community on a daily basis. Moreover, I enjoy meeting with members of the store team, attentively listening to their concerns and assuring them that I am vigorously championing their safety when I go to court. The amalgamation of diverse daily experiences, the motivation derived from serving the community, and the interpersonal interactions with store team members collectively underscore the impact of my role at ALTO.