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The Thrilling Heroism Of Orange Shirt Guy

, , , , , , | Legal | May 4, 2020

I am running the register at the lumberyard of a hardware store I work at. It is incredibly busy this afternoon. Just then, a young guy with a tool bag is approaching the exit from my right side. He is a scrawny-looking twenty-something white guy with black curly hair and he wears square black glasses. I look over at him and begin my usual customer service spiel.

Me: “Hello, sir! Do you need help with anything?”

He looks at me and holds up the bag.

Bag Guy: “Oh, uh… I already paid for this. My buddy is behind me with the receipt.”

Before I can ask him for more information about this buddy of his, he walks toward the exit. Bear in mind, the store has two sets of sliding doors, so he has only passed the first set.

In the vestibule between the two sets of doors, there is a coworker sitting near the second set of sliding doors. He is there for two reasons: to watch the door and make sure no one tries to enter in that way since it is designated as an exit only, and to update a running counter application that we have on the current number of customers in the store.

We have this happening because of CDC guidelines of allowing only a limited number of people in our store due to current events.

The coworker sees the bag guy heading toward him and notices me trying to ask him about the receipt. He approaches and asks him for a receipt. The bag man pretty much gives the same spiel about the receipt. The coworker tries to get him to stop and produce a receipt, but he keeps walking out of our store.

He is a shoplifter.

At this point, there is nothing we can do. Management forbids us from trying to chase down or confront anyone that steals from us. There are two reasons why this rule was put in place:

  1. The shoplifter could get violent and assault any employee who tries to stop him or her. The thief could also pull out a weapon like a knife, gun, or mace and use it on the employee, causing injury or death.
  2. Given how lawsuit-happy some people are, the thief may decide to sue the store for wrongful detainment, harassment, discrimination, and so forth. And considering that companies are fearful of lawsuits filed against them, it is a PR nightmare, especially if it turns out the man or woman was innocent.

So, the doorman and I, along with two more coworkers who had tailed the thief, are watching him walk away, feeling rather angry. Suddenly, a rather obese old man in a bright orange shirt runs out the door after the thief. [Orange Shirt] is a regular customer who comes in and buys any leftover non-stock and damaged goods from us for renovations of properties he has.

[Orange Shirt] manages to catch up with the thief, who has been walking towards his truck and not really paying attention. [Orange Shirt] confronts the bag thief, who thinks that [Orange Shirt] is a worker here. He gets rather cocky toward [Orange Shirt].

Bag Guy: “You can’t do anything against me.”

Orange Shirt: “Yeah, I can, because I don’t work there.”

Realizing this, the thief gets rather angry at [Orange Shirt], possibly trying to intimidate him.

Bag Guy: “You think you’re some kind of bada**?”

[Orange Shirt] is having none of it. He stands his ground and glares at the thief.

Orange Shirt: “No… I know I’m a bada**.”

The thief realized he was fighting a losing battle, so he gave up the tool bag and walked away, looking angry. My coworkers and I had a laugh after seeing this, and [Orange Shirt] came back in the store with the tool bag.

Managers checked the tool bag and it was stuffed with a complete toolset worth hundreds of dollars. Apparently, he had been spotted cutting open random tools and stuffing them inside the bag to try to sneak out with them.

What an idiot.