Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Thick-Ass Thieves

The other night a group of young men entered the store. Of three of them, two entered with shopping carts. We had all noticed what was going on while they filled their baskets and were waiting at the door when the one young man who previously entered without a cart made an attempt to leave with one full of items.

"Hi. Can I help you with anything?"

"Er..."

"Where are you taking that shopping cart?"

"I forgot my wallet and I was going to go outside to my car to get it."

"With the cart?"

"I didn't want anyone to take my stuff while I was getting my wallet."

"You
betcha. Say, why don't you let me watch your cart so no one will steal your stuff and I'll put it over here by the service desk. Just get in any line when you come back in with your wallet and we'll bring the cart over so we can ring it up."

"Okay..."

"Do you want us to page your friends so you can meet up with them?"

"I didn't come with any friends."

"Okay. You betcha."

That's basically how it went. The visitor departed and didn't return with his wallet. Not that anyone expected him to. A few minutes later his partners also left the store, leaving behind another set-up cart full of goods down an aisle with a straight run to the door. The items in the carts were itemized and had they managed to get away the store would have lost over $1200 in products. The contents of the carts contained items that represented every department of the store. Some items had little value while others were pricey products like alcohol, DVD's and over-the-counter, yet expensive medicines. This time we recovered the items but it is unknown how many times that day someone else managed to get outside with a loaded cart, something under their coat or just in their hands. Organized Retail Crime is big business and sadly, this scene is probably being successfully repeated multiple times daily at nearly every retail store in America.

10 comments:

  1. On their behalf, I can say they're becoming quite creative.

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  2. Oh, yeah, the perils of working retail. In the department store I worked at, I remember one incident involving a woman with a baby in a stroller. The woman left the baby with a stranger outside the store, and then walked into the store and tried to steal a couple of designer handbags. She got caught, and was hauled away from the store, screaming "My baby! My baby!" the whole way. The woman turned out to be from a retail theft ring. She ended up in prison, and her baby ended up in foster care. I can't tell you how sorry I felt for that baby to be born to a mother with such screwed-up priorities. :-(

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  3. Chris: They walk around using their Bluetooth headsets to communicate with each other. They operate just like the undercover Loss Prevention guys pretending to shop, yet totally evil.

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  4. And when the economy goes south, the thieves get thicker.

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  5. Bluetooth? 0.0
    they're technothieves now, uh?
    Next they will join Hydra.

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  6. Jeez. I can't believe they thought it would work. "I forgot my wallet."

    In real life, there are no Lex Luthors.

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  7. Why not push the cart out a fire door and into a waiting vehicle?

    Sure, the exit alarms go off, but plenty of people ignore them. And you're already in the car and on your way out of there. Hopefully you've cased the best exit and so on.

    If you're really smart/keen, you leave an innocent friend there who's trying to close the door, pretending that he slipped and knocked it open accidentally.

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  8. Good plan except for, you know, it won't work. Enjoy your time in jail.

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