Does Costco have the right to check your receipt?

There was an interesting story this past week about a guy being illegally detained by Costco employees.  He felt he didn’t need to show the receipt checker his receipt when walking out and tried to walk out right past them.  At that point he was stopped by 3 employees, one being the store manager.  They grabbed his cart, refused to let him leave, and demanded to see his receipt, the contents of his cart, and inside his handbag.  This guy wasn’t trying to steal anything, he just believes strongly in protecting his fourth amendment right (guards against unreasonable searches and seizures).

Eventually the employees let the guy go, but the cops came when he was in the parking lot.  He had to listen to lots of lectures from the manager and cops, but I don’t think he ever had to show his receipt.  That is a lot of grief for not having someone quickly glance at your receipt and mark it with a sharpie.  According to U.S. law, Costco would have to see you commit a crime to detain you, but did you know that according to the Costco membership agreement there’s an unconditional consent to search?  If you didn’t consent to a search Costco would probably simply revoke your membership.  Definitely not worth it in my opinion!  What are your thoughts on this subject?

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