Have you ever been stopped at an exit after checking out to show your receipt in Colorado? I have had to do this a handful of times in my life and I have always had the proof of purchase in my hand when leaving. There have been many times where the store employee would look over everything, move items, etc. to make sure that all the items matched what was on the receipt.


This is a regular occurrence if you shop at Costco. That's just how it is there. Sam's Club too. Walmart has been notorious for checking shoppers' receipts when leaving the store. One question that comes into many people's minds is, do you legally have to stop and show your receipt?

Do You Legally Have to Show Your Receipt When Leaving a Store in Colorado?

According to the Colorado Revised Statute 18-4-407, the answer is about as clear as mud. See below:

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If any person triggers an alarm or a theft detection device as defined in section 18-4-417 (2) or conceals upon his person or otherwise carries away any unpurchased goods, wares, or merchandise held or owned by any store or mercantile establishment, the merchant or any employee thereof or any peace officer, acting in good faith and upon probable cause based upon reasonable grounds therefor, may detain and question such person, in a reasonable manner for the purpose of ascertaining whether the person is guilty of theft. Such questioning of a person by a merchant, merchant’s employee, or peace or police officer does not render the merchant, merchant’s employee, or peace officer civilly or criminally liable for slander, false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, or unlawful detention.

KDVR was much better at defining what this actually meant. According to KDVR, unless the store suspects that you or anyone else has committed a crime such as theft, the employees who check the receipts at places like Walmart or Target cannot force customers to show their receipts when exiting the store.

Establishments such as Costco and Sam's Club are a little bit different, however. Since you agreed to the terms of the membership of the warehouse clubs, these stores can ask you to provide your receipt upon leaving the store.

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