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He Is Broke But The Alarms Are Not

, , , , | Right | April 15, 2020

I am working part-time as a cashier to make extra money, and we were all trained to stop potential theft whenever we can without being accusatory, to risk escalating the situation. I am very good at this and even win an award one year for stopping the most potential theft before it left the store.

One day, it’s very slow, I’m the only cashier on a register, and I get a call from another department about a customer. They say he’s wearing a sweatshirt with one of those front pockets, which is stuffed with merchandise they watched him stash in there, and is heading towards the registers with a basket full of more merchandise. 

He doesn’t even stop; he just walks right past my register and into the vestibule. The alarms go off and he stops, so I call out to him:

Me: “Sir, sorry, the wheeled baskets all have sensors to keep them from being taken outside of the store. If you’ll come back in, I’ll put your purchases in a bag.”

Customer: “Thanks.”

The customer comes back in with one hand pulling the basket and one still in his bulging sweatshirt pocket. I bag the stuff in the cart.

Me: “May I see your receipt real quick?”

Customer: “I don’t have one.”

He abandons everything that was in the basket and tries to walk out again, and the merchandise he’s got in his pocket sets off the alarms again. I see that our Loss Prevention officer is on the way over.

Me: “Sir, if you’ll step back inside, my manager needs to speak with you.”

Customer: “I’m so sorry; I’m just really broke right now!”

He flashed a big, apologetic grin and ran out the door.

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