Stop, Thief!

Well, tonight was interesting. Had some crazy klepto lady come into our store tonight and try to steal $300 worth of merchandise.

What started it off was, Angela (store manager) had just opened up a box from the back and was putting stuff out on the shelves, but had to go to the front of the store for just a minute. When she came BACK, there was an empty case for a voice recorder sitting on top of one of the boxes. So we figured whoever stole it had to still be in the store. Well, it so happens the lady was talking to one of our employees, who mentioned something about the stolen voice recorder. So the lady takes off, and the alarm goes off while she’s going out the door. So ashlie asks to check the woman’s bag that she was carrying, and then she starts acting like she has a phone call and wanders back over to the other side of the register, where she starts trying to covertly (didn’t work) get rid of the stuff she’d stolen (which turned out to be a few phones as well) and left it on the counter.

By that point, we realized she’d been stealing things, so the six of us kept an eye on her for what ended up being the next TWO HOURS. I went to help her find a pen that she was asking about, and while I was looking, I noticed her making strange movements behind me. Her hands were shoved behind a shelf on one of the gondolas on the pen aisle, so I started pointing out the pens while keeping a good eye on her. At the moment, I thought she was actually trying to steal MORE things, but she was actually trying to get rid of other stuff she still hadn’t disposed of. We could see several things in her back pockets as well, still wrapped in the plastic that apparently she’d forgotten about?

Of course, due to stupid company regulations, we can’t actually call the police on her without permission from the LP office, who of course, didn’t answer their phone for the entire two hours she was in the store. We had an officer who was parked in the parking lot (he’s there most every day), so I drove over to him, and told him the situation, and asked if he’d take a walk into the store, just to maybe scare the woman off. We mentioned that the police were on the way as we passed by the woman again, and she about had a heart attack, haha. She still just kept walking around the store, and we just kept stalking her the whole time.

Once the officer came in, we told him who it was, and he started walking the store, close to her, and she ACTUALLY STARTED A CONVERSATION WITH THE OFFICER! I guess she was just trying to act innocent. But anyway, after a while, he left the store, and told us he’d be waiting outside, and in the event she set off the alarms again, we would have authority to search her belongings. Well she eventually came to check out (with a pack of post-it notes), and we actually had all of theses boxes, and items that we’d recovered from places she’d left them, sitting at the register when she went to check out, and she totally pretended not to notice them. As she started to leave, she noticed that the police officer was still out there, and suddenly remembered “she still had something else she needed”, and went back into the store!

Stop!So we go around and start following her AGAIN, and she actually tries to pocket ANOTHER phone! That and, the voice recorder she originally stole was in her hand, wrapped in the daily sales flyer (was pretty obvious she had it though), and she started to walk down the aisle where those were, and kristi met up with her and asked if she needed help, and this lady actually handed her the voice recorder and said “I’m looking for tapes to fit this player”, pretending as if it was hers, LIKE WE ACTUALLY DIDN’T KNOW SHE’D STOLEN IT! She then handed it to Kristi and told her to keep it, and changed her story to that she found it on the counter, and it just LOOKED like hers. So at this point we’d recovered just about everything, but she still had one phone in her bag, and we knew that (possibly more, we never did get to look in her bag)

But yeah, she went and purchased those cassette tapes, and then walked out the door (where there were now TWO cops) and proceeded to her truck (which for the record, is Alabama license plate number 25G409L, I wrote it down) and ended up flooding her engine trying to get her car started and get the heck out of there. One of the officers drove up next to her, and got her to roll down the window, and unfortunately I didn’t get to hear the conversation as I was watching from the store, but long story short, she didn’t get arrested, but she is permanently banned from entering our store. If she does, then we can have her arrested on trespassing charges. Didn’t leave me happy, as I was hoping to see her thrown to the ground and handcuffed (Yeah, I’m cruel like that. :) ), but I guess it’ll suffice.

I kinda hope she comes back, in a twisted way. :D

On the bright side though, we all earned witness rewards for recovering the merchandise, so I guess that’s some consolation.


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