Pokémon Go After Him!

, , , , , , | Right | June 19, 2018

(I work alone most days, as it’s a small store and the start of the work week is usually pretty slow. I’m also a fairly short woman at 5’3″ and come across as pretty meek. I’m currently working on a stock reorder, when a man I’ve never seen before comes into my empty store.)

Me: “Hi there! Anything I can help you find today?”

Customer #1: “Do you guys sell Pokémon cards?”

Me: “No, sorry. We don’t carry them.”

Customer #1: “Do you buy cards?”

Me: “No, we don’t, but [Other Store] does. It’s what they’re known for, actually. Is there anything else I can help you with, though?”

(A married couple comes through the door and starts looking at the shelves of chess sets next to it. [Customer #1] gives a quick look over his shoulder and shakes his head.)

Customer #1: “That’s fine. I’ll just look around.”

(He then moves further into the store towards the rack we keep our card sleeves on, so I assume that he’s interested in finding something for his card collection. I greet the new customers and inform them that if they need anything they just have to ask, but they’re pretty content and continue to look over the games there while I go back to my previous task. Two minutes later, I can hear this strange rustling just to the side of me behind the counter.)

Me: *to myself* “That sounds like wrapping paper. What the…?”

(That’s when I see something moving out of the corner of my eye, and turn just in time to see [Customer #1]’s arm pulling back around the corner of the counter with a sealed box of an expensive and popular card game that we store under the gift wrapping, some of which was hanging over the lip of its shelf and had brushed against his arm while he was reaching inside. I immediately go after the guy as he shoves the whole box into the front of his hoodie.)

Me: *in a surprisingly loud and stern voice* “EXCUSE ME?! Give that back to me, right NOW!”

Customer #1: *barely looks at me as he starts to run for the door, with the box clearly outlined on his stomach* “What?! I didn’t take anything!”

(The guy is at least a foot taller than me and is built like a linebacker, so even while I’m running after him, I’m thinking to myself, “Just what am I going to do if I catch him?” As he hits the door to shove it open, though, the husband’s arm snaps out and grabs the thief’s arm before anyone even realizes what he’s doing, and they both go tumbling out into the street with the wife and me close behind.)

Customer #1: *struggles to pull himself free of the arm-lock he’s suddenly found himself in while the other man holds on to him tightly* “Let go! You can’t do this!”

Me: “Give me back the d*** box!”

Customer #1: “I didn’t take anything!”

Me: “I can see it!”

(I start to reach for the box, ready to rip his hoodie open on the spot, even as a crowd gathers around to see what all the noise is about.)

Customer #1: “Fine! Whatever!” *scowls at me as he opens his jacket and hands the box back* “Now let go!”

(With that, he finally pulls his arm free and stomps off through the crowd before any of us can say anything about it.)

Wife: *to her husband, clearly worried about him* “My God! What were you thinking?!”

Husband: *gives a small shrug as he watches the other man storm away with a look of surprise* “I wasn’t. I just did it… He’s really big, huh?”

(Though not as short as me, this gentleman is still a good three or four inches shorter and 75 pounds or more lighter than the guy he nabbed at the door.)

Me: “Thank you so much! I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t have grabbed him when you did!”

Husband: “Ye-yeah. I’m really surprised I did, too.”

(He chuckles a bit as he becomes more aware of just how badly things could have turned, then hugs his wife.)

Husband: *in a joking tone* “I don’t suppose there’s a dumb heroics discount, huh?”

Me: *completely serious* “Yes. Yes, there is, sir. What can I get for you?”

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