For the scenario we’re discussing, the most action that any store employee could have legally taken would have been to ask to see your receipt, to determine whether the milk had been paid for or not. If the cashier had accidentally overlooked it, the most they could have done would have been to simply allow you to pay for it or voluntarily leave it behind. But stalking you, laying in wait, and then forcibly taking something out of your cart, either before or after going through the checkout line, because of suspicions of theft? Any decent attorney representing you would have a field day with that one. Even going to small claims court without formal representation, the judge would be all over the store for inappropriate conduct. And any store manager should know that.
even if she hadn’t told the cashier the stuff was there, it is part of the primary cashier’s job to check for anything left in or on the cart. If the cashier hadn’t rang it up it was not her fault. I know I do not lift heavy items off my cart anytime I grocery shop, but instead push the cart to where the cashier can hand scan them.
Add to it that the woman was squatted down and laying in wait for Helen, that would have me tearing the roof off the store. How embarrassing to be assaulted in such a manner.
Also, by the rules, at least here in okey, they cannot accuse you of theft/shop lifting until you have left the store. Because until you leave the store, no theft has occurred.