No Honor Among Thieves

, , , , , , , | Legal Right | January 30, 2019

The emergency callout in the supermarket chain I work in is “Mr. Steed.” I’ve heard it several times throughout my time working. Every single time I’ve heard it, it’s always been a stealthily calm, “Mr. Steed, could you please come to [aisle/service desk]? Thank you,” to deal with a customer who’s starting to get verbally abusive or threatening. Nearly all the altercations have happened at the registers, and the staff there are good at de-escalating situations, while I work in the deli at the other end of the store, so I usually don’t even hear the altercations.

I’m working in the deli, serving customers as usual, when I hear extremely loud shouting from what sounds like a group of young men, erupting from the direction of the registers.

The store announcement is desperately screeching, “MR. STEED! MR. STEED! MR. STEED!”

Many of the customers around me are looking extremely nervous, and some customers from the fresh produce section hurry over to the group of customers waiting at the deli, I assume looking for safety in numbers. I start seriously wondering if I should open the deli gate and let customers in behind the counter, just in case there is a serious risk to their safety. There is another, equally desperate, “MR. STEED! MR. STEED! MR. STEED!” call, I can hear all the able-bodied grocery boys running to the front, and the shouting at the front registers continues for about twenty seconds or so until I assume they are tackled by all the guys who answered the Mr. Steed call.

As I can’t see what’s happening and understandably, none of the customers want to investigate, I don’t find out the bizarre extent of what happened until about half an hour later, when one of the cashiers comes up to the deli during her break.

It started off as an apparently standard shoplifting gig that got caught. It was a group of three or four guys, and the cameras caught them stuffing things into their backpacks, so when they got to the front registers the cashier had to do a bag check. During this check, when all the stolen items were emptied from [Thief #1]’s bag, a wallet came tumbling out onto the pile.

It turns out the wallet belonged to [Thief #2], which I thought was rather funny, but evidently [Thief #2] did not find it so funny. An all-out brawl ensued right there at the registers, which explains the testosterone-saturated shouting I heard. Apparently, stealing from the store is fine, but stealing from your fellow thieves is not!

Doesn’t Register The Police Standing RIGHT THERE

, , , , | Legal | January 29, 2019

At my supermarket, we get the occasional dumb customer. Who doesn’t? Turns out, we even get dumb thieves!

A guy walks out with some shopping without paying. We can’t stop him this time, but we now know what he looks like.

Later that week, he turns up in the store before opening, having walked in through our back room which was open for deliveries. The guy is spaced out of his mind. My store manager calls the cops who arrive shortly after. Apparently, he is no stranger to them. But beyond the trespassing, they can’t really do anything. The camera footage of the theft earlier in the week is still being processed, so he is released by the police.

Later that same day, he returns! Having sobered up quite a bit, he is looking around very suspiciously and is watching all our staff really closely. Thinking he wants to steal something again, we keep an eye on him and call the cops again. When they show up, they follow him around for a bit, talk to him, and convince him to go to the register. Since he hasn’t stolen something this time, they can’t do anything. They follow him to the register and stand next to him. When it is his turn at the register, he hands over his shopping, gets it scanned, and then tries to just walk away with it without paying! The officers waste no time and, of course, arrest him. Talk about a silver platter!

His Crowning Stupidity

, , , , | Legal | January 28, 2019

(I work for a small business that does horse trails through an area of public forest that is technically “Crown Land” — i.e. belongs to the Queen by default — and has some conservation rules. We have been having difficulty with a man owning a neighbouring property who wants to use the crown land as his own. He has gone as far as shooting at our rides from a distance, and police have been involved several times at this stage. After a long day of work, in which we dismantled some obstacles he left on the land, he pulls up at our worksite to yell out of his car. It is just me, a teenage girl, and my boss, a short, middle-aged lady.)

Neighbour: “You cut my fences!”

Boss: “No, we haven’t. We don’t go on your property.”

Neighbour: “You cut the fence by the river!”

Boss: “The river isn’t on your land. It’s crown land. It’s illegal to fence off public land for your own use.”

Neighbour: *now shouting* “I own up to the river edge—“

Boss: “No, you don’t. Your property line is 30m from the river.”

Neighbour: “I have permission from the owner to use it!”

Boss: “No, you don’t. Crown land has no owner.”

Me: *mostly to myself* “Well, it does have an owner.”

Boss: “What?”

Me: “The Queen?”

Boss: “Oh, my God.” *to the neighbour* “Are you trying to say the Queen was like, ‘Oh, sure, no problem’? How dumb are you?” *loudly, to me* “Hang on while I call the police.”

(The neighbour left immediately. We continued to destroy every fence he built illegally to block our rides.)

Delivering The Criminal Right Into Your Lap(top)

, , , , , | Legal | January 25, 2019

I’m helping my friend out in his recently opened computer shop. One day a man comes in; he looks like a businessman. He says that he’s opening a new office in Amsterdam and he needs computers and printers for ten workers. My friend shows him some models of printers and laptops and desktops, points out some possibilities to save money, and gives some advice on back-ups and antivirus software.

The guy seems to be pleased with the advice and orders desktop PCs, laptops, and printers to an amount of 15,000 euros. While my friend is busy doing the paperwork, the man casually mentions that he has a Skype-meeting in a few hours and asks if it would be possible to take one laptop now and pay it later with the rest of the order.

My friend says it’s no problem and tells me to prepare a laptop and install Skype on it. I tell the customer that it may take some time but the guy says he’ll wait.

When I’m in the back room, my friend comes in and tells me to call the police. He goes back into the shop and starts talking to the guy. I call the police and tell them to come because my friend told me so. I couldn’t give a reason but I know it’s urgent that they come.

Ten minutes pass and the police enter the shop. My friend tells them to arrest the customer for fraud. The police are reluctant but when the guy tries to make a run for it, they arrest him.

Turns out that my friend was warned about this kind of scam. The customer never intended to open an office. He just placed an expensive order so that my friend would give him a laptop for free. If my friend would have gone to deliver the order he would have found out that the company doesn’t exist and that there was no office at the given address.

My friend would have ended up with a lot of costs for returning the devices and one 1000 euro laptop missing.

He said he became suspicious when he was explaining things to the guy. The man really didn’t listen and was constantly asking for the most expensive portable devices in the shop. Why would you want to buy ten laptops at 1000 euros a piece when you just were told that laptops that cost only 500 euros would be good enough for sending and receiving email?

Don’t Do The Crime If You Can’t Even Stand

, , , , , | Legal | January 24, 2019

(I am at the front counter, barely in view of the liquor section. I spot a man hanging around there for about ten minutes, and then he attempts to leave casually with his suspiciously bloated coat.)

Me: “Excuse me, sir.”

(The thief stops dead.)

Me: “Could you open your coat, sir?”

Thief: “Why?”

Me: “Please open your coat.”

(The thief proceeded to walk towards the exit when he slipped and fell flat on his front, smashing all the bottles he had kept hidden in his coat. The drinks gushed out and the glass fragments were lodged into the thief’s chest, causing him severe bleeding. He was quickly rushed to the hospital where he received stitches and a pair of handcuffs for attempted robbery.)

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