Monday, February 23, 2009

talking shop

First Beej, then Jerry, told their tales of shoplifters. Probably anyone who has spent time in a tour of retail employment has a shoplifting experience or two to tell.

Me, I never actually got to say, "AHA! Caught you RED handed!" My experiences were more of the after-the-fact variety, like going to straighten up the dressing rooms and finding a bunch of old clothes in there and putting two and two together.

I worked at a Gart Sports while I was in college, and I recall this guy coming up to my register - that was me, Cashier Abby - with some expensive basketball shoes and a couple of other choice items. I ran his credit card and got the instructions to hold the card because the account had been cancelled (THIEF!).

So I told Mr. Shoes with the stolen credit card, oh so professionally, "I'm sorry, this credit card has been cancelled, I have to hold on to it, do you have another form of payment?". To which he innocently replied, "What? Really?', before magically bolting from the store. Like BOLTING from the store. You know how on cartoons, one minute, the little cartoon character is there, and the next he's not there, there's just a cloud of dust? And there's the sound effect of a gunshot? That's what Mr. Shoes did.

And he didn't even take the shoes. I mean, he'd already broken the law, right? Might as well make it official. They were still sitting right there on the counter.

Betcha he kicked himself for that later.

My only other close brushes with shoplifters included a couple of my thieving coworkers...

... but that's another story.


  1. well, he's smarter than the average criminal. Didn't want to further dirty up his record.

    That was kinda wierd though.

  2. I was hoping for a "I-chased-him-down-in-the-parking-lot-and-beat-him-with-the-shoes" ending!

  3. I unlocked the cassette cabinet to let a couple of girls peruse the rock & roll tapes. I trusted them, plus they were a couple of "popular" hotties and I was the geek that worked at Radio Shack.

    As they were leaving, a brand new tape fell out of one of the girls' hidden grasp and crashed to the floor. The other girl tried to act surprised, "Oh, were you gonna buy that?"

    She paid the $7.92, but man they were SO busted. And they weren't that hot any more, either.

  4.'t kick himself. He didn't have the shoes.

  5. Oh that Herb ... what a card! ha! I never worked retail behind a register, but I did work the counter, with the register on the end of it, as a *shudder* waitress. I got took for 50 bucks by a 'quick change artist' which I'd never heard of until it happened to me.

    I think he probably would have gotten away with more had I not looked at a lady regular customer, sitting close by, and her eyes were all wide open and you could barely notice her shakin her head "no" which at that point I told the guy he was confusing me and that we were done and I slammed the register shut.

    She told me after they'd left that I should let the manager know what happened, so that if my drawer came up short, we'd know why. I phoned him, he came down, took the drawer and all the tickets up to that point and sure'nuff ... 50 bucks short.

    He called the police and I filled out a report describing them, what they ate and what kinda car they were driving when they left. It was in the paper the next day about those two 'who got away' with 'several hundred dollars' from 3 local restaurants ...

    Sure learned a lesson that day! Not as dramatic as my being tear-gassed story, but worth a good nod of the head, eh?

  6. I have to live vicariously through you and your amazing adventures (and those in the comments) one ever lifts from McDonald's.

  7. I watched a manager at Kohl's chase down a couple of teen-age shoplifters once. He was kind of overweight and having a hard time catching up, but he did it. It was kind of exciting!