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They Paid For That Crime

, , , , | Right | March 3, 2023

I work in a small supermarket. Tonight, it’s really calm and I’m using this time to tidy up our clothing section while my colleagues work the registers. We have one fitting room and regularly verify that no one has left clothing inside.

The curtain is closed, and I notice there is a basket in there, but there are no feet on the ground. I knock on the wall and call for a customer. No answer. I go in and find in the basket two sweaters on their hangers. Oh, looks like someone decided not to buy them and didn’t leave them out on the rack. I’ll put them back. But as I’m checking that there isn’t anything else, I find a 20€ note. Oh, no; the customer left, and a note fell out of their bag. I’ll bring the basket to my supervisor at the front of the store — as per procedure.

Wait… is this the packaging of a comb, half torn, and with the comb missing? Oh, and there is a second one? Looks like someone went to the fitting room to discreetly steal a couple of combs and didn’t notice a note falling out of their bag.


Giddy with schadenfreude — it’s retail; you get fun where you can find it — I bring the basket to my superior and take out everything: the sweaters, two hairbrushes in their packaging, and three torn pieces of comb packaging. And the 20€ note. My supervisor comes to the same conclusion I did.

Supervisor: “It’s an act of God.”

Me: “And we’re pretty sure the customer won’t ever come back to get their money.”

The best is yet to come. I checked the price of the combs on my register: together they came to not quite 11€. My superior told me to check them out and “pay” using the note. This way, we wouldn’t have to register a theft. We put back the sweaters and the hairbrushes and spent several minutes laughing at the person who tried to rob us… and left with the less expensive items in their basket.

Whoever you are, unlucky would-be thief: thank you. You really made our day.

I don’t know what my supervisor did with the change, and I don’t care.

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