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Category: Criminal & Illegal

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Arts And Crafty

| FL, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers

(I’m the closing manager for a craft store and one of my cashiers calls me to the front. A woman with a baby carriage is attempting to return a collection of high-priced marker sets without a receipt or the original card. I’ve seen this enough to know that she’s stolen these sets and wants the cash. I explain the store policy and refuse most of the return, only allowing about $42. Without a security team, there’s not much else I can do. After following her around the store for about three hours, she comes up to the till.)

Me: “Oh, did you find everything you need? Oops, there’s a marker set on the bottom of the carriage. Let me get that for you.”

Customer: “Oh, thank you! I forgot I put it down there.”

Me: “Of course! Looks like some items slipped under this bag. Let me get this out of the way so you can grab the other items.”

(She purchased about a third of the items, $42 worth, from the carriage and swiftly left the store. The remainder, including what I pulled from under the carriage? About 250 dollars worth of various marker sets and small items. Huh. Glad for the confirmation about that earlier return! I personally thanked all my employees and passed along a note to the head manager.)

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Returner Burner

| TX, USA | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal

(It is thirty minutes until closing time when a woman strolls in with a large bag of items, mostly brand name clothes – easily three hundred dollars worth of merchandise. Of course she has no receipt and so I will have to give her store credit. I process the items; there’s a lot of things so it takes a while. My phone rings and I notice it’s a call from inside the store.)

Me: *on the phone* “Customer service.”

Coworker: *on the phone* “Get her driver’s license number.” *hangs up*

(I ask the woman for her license, and while she digs for it, she gets out her phone (she didn’t dial anything nor did it ring) and pretends to tell someone she’s at [Store] doing some returns. I glance at my coworker and the people greeter, who is part of loss prevention, and they are both scowling. My coworker is shaking her head. I know they’re thinking the same thing I’m thinking. I write down her DL number and put it under my counter and continue to ring up the returns.)

Woman: *peers over my counter* “I need that piece of paper back.”

Me: *puzzled a moment, and also somewhat annoyed at having my concentration broken* “Hmm? Oh, uh…”

(I realize she wants her license number back. I don’t know what to say as I’ve never had to do a transaction this big before.)

Woman: “Can I have that piece of paper?”

(My coworker walks back by.)

Coworker: “When we do a transaction this big we have to take the driver’s license number. We keep it confidential.” *she gives me a look*

Me: “We’ll destroy it when we’re done here, okay?”

(The woman goes to the display across from the service desk, of electronic toys, cell phone accessories, etc. She picks up a set of earbuds and drops them into her purse.)

Me: “I have to scan that!”

Coworker: *quietly, to me* “Force of habit.”

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The Strongest Generation

| The Netherlands | Bad Behavior, Criminal & Illegal, Family & Kids

(I am 16 years old and helping my grandpa shop in the supermarket near closing time. My grandpa survived the Second World War. He survived being captured by Germans, at 16 years old, and lived through forced labor, starvation, and the eventual fighting to liberate the Netherlands, at 21 years old. As an older man, 82 at the time, he is still quite fit, tall, and strong.)

Grandpa: “[My Name], can you go and get some ham and cheese for me? I’ll get the bread so we can make some grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.”

Me: “Awesome! I’m on it, gramps!”

(I make my way to the aisle that contains the ham and cheese and find only one package each of ham and the cheese left. I luck out, as it’s near closing time. I pick them both up and turn around only to find myself surrounded by three guys. )

Me: “Can I help you?”

Customer #1: “Yeah, you can actually. You can start by giving us your ham and cheese.” *makes a grabbing motion*

Me: “What? No! Why would I give this to you? I obviously intend to buy this.”

Customer #2: “Shut up! Just give us the d*** ham and cheese.”

Customer #3: “We could always just kick your a** and take it from you?”

(At this point I’m absolutely astounded. Not only am I being “robbed” in the middle of a supermarket, but they don’t want my money; they want the darn ham and cheese. Before I could even say another thing, a soft but deep voice speaks to them.)

Grandpa: “I ask you kindly to leave my grandson alone.”

(All three “customers” turn around in sync and see my grandpa standing there, smiling at them.)

Customer #2: “Or what? You’ll give us an ear full and scold us?”

Customer #1: “F*** off, old man.”

(At this point the first guy grabs my arm and is trying to take away the groceries. When this happens, my grandpa leaves his cart and walks straight past the first two guys. He grabs the guy by his shoulder, then his wrist, and pulls it back in one fluent motion. The guy screeches in pain as he gets slammed into the nearby doors.)

Grandpa: “I’ll ask again. Leave my grandson alone.” *turns to the other two* “I suggest you move away or I’ll break this guys arm.” *pulls it a little*

Customer #1: “Ow, ow, ow! Stop it! You’re bending my arm too far!”

Worker: “What’s going on here?!”

Customer #2: “F*** this. Let’s get the h*** out of here.”

Customer #3: “Let’s go, man.”

Worker: *through a wall phone* “Hello, boss? Yeah, I’ve got some hooligans here who seem to be attacking some of our customers. Can you call the cops?”

Customer #2: “I’m out!”

(Grandpa lets go of Customer #1 and they all make a run for it.)

Customer #1: “F*** you guys!”

(All three then bolt towards the main exit.)

Worker: *obviously concerned* “Are you guys okay?!”

Me: “I’m good, just a little surprised by my grandpa’s quick moves.”

Grandpa: “Hey! I might be old, but that doesn’t mean I’m slow! Besides, they were bullying my grandson.”

Me: “More like robbing me… for ham and cheese of all things!”

Worker: “Are you serious? They weren’t after your money… they were after your groceries?”

(I nod.)

Worker: “That’s insane! They are in a supermarket, for god’s sake!”

Grandpa: “The stupidity of people will never cease to amaze me.”

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Wearing The Bracelets Of Persecution

| AB, Canada | Bigotry, Criminal & Illegal

(Two women come in and pick out several hundred dollars worth of things. This is something that we watch for because it is an excellent tactic for shoplifting. Eventually they approach the counter.)

Girl #1: “Why are they watching us?”

Girl #2: “It’s because we’re Native, isn’t it?”

Me: “No, we have employees stationed at various point through the store at all times to create the optimal experience for customers to be able to locate an employee without much issue.”

(I watch the girl slip a bracelet into her pocket.)

Me: “So with the bracelet in your pocket, your total will be [Total]. And in fact they are one for [Price] or two for [Better Price].

Girl #1: “There is no bracelet in my pocket.”

Me: “That’s because your friend grabbed it while you were trying to cause an issue about your race. I watched you.”

Girl #2: “I’d like to speak with a manager.”

(My manager has been watching on the cameras in the back room. We have video of the girl blatantly taking the bracelet. The manager comes out.)

Manager #1: “Girls, security has been alerted. You have two options here. You can hand over the bracelet and pay for ALL of the items, or face prosecution.”

Girl #2: “You have no proof.”

Manager #1: *points at the camera* “We do.”

(They hand over the bracelet and a gift card.)

Me: “This gift card will not be sufficient to cover the costs of these items.”

(At this point security shows up and escorts them out of the store and asks if we’d like to pursue charges. Thinking they learnt their lesson, we chose not to go forward with charges but did place a ban on them from returning. On my next shift:)

Manager #2: “So, what happened the other day?”

(I explain what happened.)

Manager #2: “That’s not what [District Manager] said. She heard from the girls’ mother. Apparently they called her to lodge a formal complaint after the girls said you called them [derogatory term for Native women].”

Me: “Um, no, I called out the one girl for attempting to steal an item. Then security escorted them out.”

(They launched a full investigation into the incident and finally the girls broke down and explained that they were angry that I had caught them and lied to get me fired.)

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Needs To Change Your Change Tactics

| Cheshire, England, UK | At The Checkout, Criminal & Illegal, Liars & Scammers, Money

(I’m volunteering at a charity shop. Most of our customers are elderly or middle-aged. On this particular day I’m helping another volunteer put a picture up when a man in his early twenties comes in. He looks around for just a minute or so and grabs a card from the stand at the front of the shop.)

Man: “Just this card, please.”

Me: “Of course. Do you want a bag to put it in?”

Man: “Whatever.”

Me: “Just £1.00 then please.”

(The man takes a note out of his pocket. I take it and start to sort out the change and pass it over to the man.)

Man: “Wait a minute, love. I’ve got some right change here if it’ll help you out. If I give you some coins back can you give me a note?”

Me: *feeling a little confused* “Erm, okay. That won’t be a problem.” *I count the change; I realise he’s left me short* “Sorry, I need another £1 coin.”

Man: “Really? Okay. Tell you what. I’ll give you some coins to make that right. You just give me my money back and we’ll be even, right?”

Me: “Okay.”

(I feel uneasy but give him the money, and he starts to rifle through the notes he has again.)

Man: “Actually can you change this for me instead?”

(He’s leaning over the counter, is quite intimidating, and I am starting to realise something isn’t quite right.)

Man: “I just want my change!”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’ve given you the money you need.” *I close the till*

Man: “But you still owe me change!”

Me: “I can call my manager down to deal with your request if you like?”

(I called upstairs to the manager and told her to double-check the change I had given the man. She came down to confront him and he looked shifty and decided to just leave, despite me “owing him change.” I told the manager everything that happened and she checked the till – he had somehow taken £10 from us, and had tried to take more. We reported him to the police and found out he had tried this on in a few other shops, including a well-known supermarket where he’d threatened the cashier. I later found out that this was a short-change scam or change-raising scam, where the scam artist confuses the cashier to get their money back plus extra. I printed out a warning and left it in the staff room. A few months later another man came in and tried the exact same thing. I said no, closed the till, they caught him on camera leaving the shop, and he was taken in by the police.)

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