First, a disclaimer to all shoplifters: 90% of the time, the workers know exactly what you’re doing. You aren’t sneaky. It’s just a matter of time before we catch you. And then you need to ask yourself, is it really worth it?
People will steal anything.
Any time I hire a new person, they’re always shocked by what kind of empty packages they find in the store.
Half drank sodas
One piece of gum out of the package
One pair of underwear out of a 4 pack
One battery out of a 10 pack (a personal pet peeve, we have smaller packages…)
One magic eraser
I could go on for hours. I could probably list everything I sell at my store on here, because I’m sure at one time or another it’s been stolen. It’s no longer a shock to me to find the empty packages. I’ve been doing this for too many years now. I just expect it. People will steal anything.
What does shock me now is the excuses they use when they’re caught.
-Old woman shoving dog treats into her purse- “Well, they’re expensive and the shelter doesn’t give them to people when they adopt dogs!” Um…don’t adopt a dog if you can’t afford to feed it? Maybe?
-Same old woman with shampoo- “It’s not what you think!” Um? “I was just seeing if it fits.” What? (This woman has since been asked to shop elsewhere)
-Lady wandering the store, slowly putting merchandise into her purse as I follow a few steps behind- “Oh, I don’t want any trouble!” Ok…so why are you stealing? “I’m broke!” Takes $5 candles, $10 hair products, and fingernail polish out of her purse. Ya know, when I’m broke, these things are the least of my worries. “Please don’t call the police, I’ll just pay for it.” I thought you were broke? (Best part of this one is when she ran out so fast she forgot her bag and when she tried to run back in, she faceplanted into the door because you’re supposed to pull…)
-Lady dropping expensive medicines into her purse- “Oh, I’m going to pay for it!” From in your purse?
-Man tries to walk out with red bull cans shoved into every pocket- Can I have those red bulls back? Man holds up hands, “What red bulls?” The ones visibly sticking out of your back pockets and hoodie…?
-Teenage boy beeps as he’s walking out the door, turns back to me- “You wanna search me?” He holds his hands up in the air, shirt lifts up to reveal the hair products shoved down the front of his pants. Gross.
-Teenage boy shoving a car air freshener down the front of his pants as I round the corner- “I’m going to pay for it!” From in your pants? Ugh.
Is a car air freshener worth going to jail for? Do you really want to pay a fine for some dog treats? Community service for hair products? Come on… Not a single time have I caught people stealing something they actually needed. If I catch someone stealing stuff to make dinner, maybe I’d have a different attitude. But when you come in to steal things you can live without…I just don’t get it.
Also, quit shoving things down the front of your pants.