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Retail Staff Can Tell Who’s Naughty Or Nice

, , , | Right | December 20, 2021

It’s a Monday night before Christmas and I’m closing at work. It’s already been a little strange on this shift today, but we’re still doing our jobs and making the store look good for the next day. I walk past an aisle in our toy department and see a gentleman looking at model cars.

Me: “Are you finding everything okay?”

Customer: “Yeah.”

I don’t think much of the exchange and continue on my way. A little while later, probably ten minutes to closing, I walk past a Christmas aisle and see this same customer with something in his hands. A few minutes later, he walks out of the building holding nothing. I’m on my way to the front to check for more returns to put away and spot a coworker.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker]? Will you go check that aisle?”

We walk over to the aisle together and find three things from our toy department in Christmas bags sitting on a shelf. We grab them and walk over to our manager, who’s hanging around the front ready to close up for the night.

Coworker: “[Manager]! We just stopped a thief!”

Me: “We think. That guy who just walked out left these over in that first Christmas aisle.”

[Manager] tells us to put the bags over on another register for our boss to check in the morning. I do and then walk back toward my own department to finish cleaning up. I happen to spot a relatively large bag laying on a shelf where it doesn’t belong. I put it back and catch my manager on his way to the office after locking up.

Me: “Hey, [Manager]! I think that guy might have been in [my department], too. I found a big bag out of place.”

The placement of my aisle and the aisle he had been in when I’d seen him before means he will likely be on camera in those areas, in addition to walking in and out of the building.

Manager: “Well, he’s getting coal in his stocking this year.”

I don’t remember the number of items, but we’re pretty sure that our manager being up front deterred the guy from walking out with stolen merchandise. And that’s why that policy exists!

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