Hats Off To His Final Attempt

, , , , , , | Legal | August 27, 2019

My three siblings and I all started work in the service industry as soon as we were old enough, and out of all our experiences, my favorite Crazy Work Story is my younger sister’s.

She works in a store in the mall that sells very fun but very expensive clothing and accessories and that actually has a policy allowing employees to confront shoplifters. One day, a young guy — college-age — comes in wearing a bulging, heavy coat. Everything about his demeanor and the way he tries to avoid the employees screams, “Shoplifter!” from the moment he enters. My sister tries to keep an eye on him until he asks to go in a fitting room.

Their fitting rooms aren’t groups of stalls separated by sex but actual closet-sized rooms behind regular doors in the wall. They can only be opened from the outside by employees with keys, but, of course, customers can open them from the inside without a key. My sister unlocks a room for him and continues to keep an eye on it after he goes inside. As soon as he leaves, his coat now bulging even more, she peeks inside and sees that the room is full of anti-theft tags.

She catches up with him and asks him what all those anti-theft tags are doing in the fitting room he was using. He silently shakes his head, holds up his arms, and shrugs. The motion causes two of her store’s hats to fall out of his coat. According to my sister, “It looked like he just gave birth to them!” I can’t picture the scene without hearing a sitcom laugh track.

Well, mall security is called, and an empty-your-pockets ritual is conducted in her store’s back room. He hands over thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff from multiple stores in the mall, completely covering the table, including several very expensive gadgets from a certain computer store. Charges are pressed, and my sister is tasked with returning all the failed-to-be-stolen goods back to where they came from. (I am livid that the computer store, which had stood to lose the most money had she not caught the guy, didn’t give her a gift card or something as a reward!)

I guess the moral of the story is, if you get away with stealing thousands of dollars’ worth of stuff, quit while you’re ahead and don’t push your luck trying to steal a few hats.

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