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    Category: Criminal/Illegal

    Should Have Maintained Radio Silence

    | USA | Awesome Workers, Criminal/Illegal, Technology

    (I work in a stereo shop in a not-so-savory neighborhood. We see stolen radios A LOT. It’s really obvious when one is stolen. We also log EVERY serial number sold, just in case.)

    Customer: “I just bought this from my friend. I need it installed.”

    Me: “Okay, what kind of car is it going into?”

    Client: *gives car info: an older Nissan pickup*

    Me: “Well, this is from a Toyota, so we can’t reuse the parts still on it. We’re going to need new install parts. It also looks like the main radio harness is missing, as is the faceplate.”

    (Faceplates are removable as a security feature. They basically cost as much as the radio does, just to prevent theft. Harnesses are almost always left behind when stolen because they unclip and thieves think ‘how much could it be?’)

    Me: “Check with your ‘friend’ if he has them. Otherwise it’s $150, plus $65 for the install and install parts.”

    Customer: “$150!? Are you f***** kidding me!?”

    Me: “No, sir. $40 for the harness, $110 for the faceplate. I can have them here in three-to-five days; it’s a special order.”

    Customer: “Well, how much is this radio?”

    Me: “They’re on sale right now for $129.99. Install is the same price; I still need the same parts.”

    Customer: “That’s f****** crazy! I just paid $50 for this. You’re telling me the parts cost more than a new one!?”

    Me: “Well, that would be a great deal if you bought a radio with all the parts. For half a radio, it sounds like you got scammed by your friend. The parts cost so much as a deterrence to theft.”

    Customer: *just stares; I struck a chord with those words*

    Me: “So would you like me to order the parts? Or would you like to just get the same one installed, brand new, with a warranty, for less?”

    Customer: “I’ll take the new one.”

    (The customer hands me his keys and gives all his info: name/address/phone number.)

    Me: “Great, I’ll give you a call as soon as it’s done.”

    (He left. I ran the serial; it was sold by us. I called the client. He confirmed his car was robbed, even faxed a police report. We called the police and informed them we recovered stolen property. Moral of the story is, we called him down, he paid for the work, walked out, sat in his car (with the stolen radio still in it) and was arrested in our parking lot. Caught a thief, and sold him a radio at full price, with install. Customer who got robbed gave me a $100 tip. Not a bad day.)

    Her Ranting Leaves You Breathless

    | VA, USA | Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Technology

    (I work in a call center for a small cell phone company. I get a call from an elderly lady about her service.)

    Customer: “I need my information to go to a different company.”

    Me: “I’d be happy to help—”

    Customer: “My phone got stolen and I’m on breathing treatments and I need a phone so I’m getting a [Other Company] phone.”

    Me: “All right, I’d be happy to help. Now, I see here that your services are currently disconnected. I do apologize. You would need to pay this balance to reconnect your service before we will be able to take your number to [Other Company].”

    Customer: *starts crying* “My phone got stolen and I can’t afford to pay this. I got texting removed at [Store] in West Virginia and reported it stolen! I didn’t do any of those charges. I’m going to tell all of my friends and family to leave you!”

    Me: “I do apologize, ma’am. I’d be happy to help and see if there’s something we can work out with you.”

    Customer: *immediately stops crying on a dime* “I’m not paying it! My bill is only supposed to be $30 a month!”

    Me: “I do apologize; I’m seeing your bill is actually $50 a month. I do see overages on your account but I’d be happy to check with another department to work with you.”

    Customer: “You don’t understand! I couldn’t get to the store to report my phone stolen because there’s only one cab in [City] in West Virginia! I couldn’t get to [Store]! My phone was stolen!”

    (The customer continues to go on for several minutes in constant ranting and doesn’t let me speak at all.)

    Me: “Ma’am, I do apologize. I’m not seeing that phone was suspended or that it’s listed here that it was reported as stolen. I’m also seeing that you’re calling from the phone—”

    (The customer then hung up. But you know… For someone on breathing treatments she certainly was long winded! I hope she found her phone!)

    Learning That Theft Is Not A Game

    | Roanoke, VA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids

    (This exchange is short, but occurred years ago while working at the front register of a local office supply retailer in the area. The way this building is set up is that you pass through two sets of doors, connected by a small hallway with glass panels so that we can see people entering/departing. I finish ringing up a young woman and her son, who has remained very quiet throughout the entire purchasing exchange. Then this happens.)

    Me: “Thank you for your business. Have a nice day.”

    Customer: “Thanks. Let’s go, [Son].”

    (The two make their way out; I happen to glance at them as they are walking away and notice the boy keeping his hands tucked behind his back. He is holding a small computer game disc out of view. At first I didn’t see it as theft; I couldn’t remember if I had rang it up. Regardless, I stepped over and before they got halfway through:)

    Me: “Sorry, miss, did you want me to bag his game as well?”

    Customer: “Wha-? Game?”

    (She then turns and sees what her son is holding, becoming pale and suddenly frantic. She snatches up the game and the boy’s hand, charging back into the store telling me how sorry she is and that she is making him take it back right away. I just stand there sort of in awe.)

    Her: “Wait until your father gets home!”

    Son: *says nothing, hanging his head, walking sulkily out the door behind his mother*

    Me: “Ah, well, then…” *under my breath* “…good luck, kid.”

    Crime Can Be A Vicious Cycle

    | London, England, UK | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Extra Stupid, Transportation

    (A couple of weeks ago the bicycle that I had owned since I was eight years old was stolen, right outside my shop. I was at work at the time and the CCTV we have can’t pin the culprit as he was in a blind spot. The police have been as unsuccessful as well. As my only method of transport, I have to go by foot which takes 40 minutes. I’m behind the counter one day, when…)

    Customer: “Excuse me, can I park my bicycle in here? Some guy got his stolen the other week so I don’t want to take any chances.”

    Me: “Sure, just park it up by the counter and I’ll—”

    (Before I can finish, the customer brings the cycle — MY CYCLE — in and rests it against the counter.)

    Me: “—k-keep an eye on it for you.”

    (The second the customer turns around the corner, I’m on the phone to my manager to ring the police. When he comes out of the office he notices the cycle and is just as baffled as me.)

    Manager: “What’s going on here?”

    Me: “A gentlemen just came in with this. He’s gone into the produce aisle but I’m certain that he’s the thief.”

    Manager: “Right. You stay here. I’ll speak to him.”

    (Without another word, my now-furious manager had rounded the corner and gone to have a word with the gentlemen in question. Not a second later I could hear swearing at the top of the gentlemen’s lungs as he came running down the same aisle and reached for my bike. My instinct kicked in and I held on to the back wheel as much as I could as he shouted for me to ‘f*****g let go’. He gave up sooner than anticipated as my manager charged at him, so he sprinted for the door. However, the police were waiting outside for him, and in a flurry of swearwords the crook was brought to the ground and arrested there and then. How did I know it was my bicycle? The dingus had forgotten to remove my water bottle which was attached to the frame and had my name on it! I guess crime doesn’t pay!)

    The Blade Isn’t As Sharp As The Employee

    | NH, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal/Illegal, Liars & Scammers

    (A customer comes in with a an 8 1/2″ circular saw blade and he wants to return it.)

    Customer: “This blade isn’t going to work for me.”

    Me: “Oh, do you want to go down and see what would work for you?”

    Customer: “No, I just want to get my money back.”

    Me: “Well, in that case, sir, do you have your receipt?”

    Customer: “No, I threw it away.”

    Me: “Oh, let’s see if I can find you in the system.”

    (Our system holds transactions for about three months. It is easy to find a customer if they paid with a card.)

    Me: “Um, I’m sorry, sir. I am not able to find you in the system. When did you buy this saw blade?”

    Customer: “I was in here yesterday!”

    (The customer is getting a bit irritated.)

    Me: “Do you have our [Business] rewards card, sir?”

    Customer: “F***, no! Why would I have your s****-a** card?!”

    Me: “In that case, sir, would you hold on a moment? It looks like I’ll need to get my manager because this is not in the system at all.”

    (I call my manager over and he asks all the questions I already did. I notice something is off: we carry this particular brand but we only stock one at a time, which is what the computer says we have currently. Sure enough, when I got to the shelf, that particular blade is missing, I head back up to my manager and pull him aside.)

    Me: *very quietly* “Sir, I have reason to believe that the customer is trying to return a stolen item.”

    (The customer is getting quite fidgety and very annoyed.)

    Manager: *to the customer* “Sir, I’m going to call the cops. Not only did you steal this, you tried to return it by getting what it was worth out of us as well. We have your face and license plate’s number on our cameras.”

    (The man bolted out of the store and ran away leaving the saw blade on the counter. I got 100 bucks for catching a shoplifter!)  

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