I’ve done more than my fair share of retail, so yeah, I’ve seen plenty of shoplifting.
The one that really sticks in my head though was when I was 11; me and a schoolfriend used to walk past a little sweet shop on the way in to school. The owner and sole staff member was this really nice elderly guy, and the prices (and some of the stock) were some years out of date. One day, a group of much larger boys came in- they took it in turns asking the owner for something off the back shelf, and as he carefully measured out their 25p worth of whatever, the rest of the group were just stuffing their pockets with everything that they could grab.
I just stared at my friend; we both really wanted to say something, there was no way we, or the creaky old guy could physically stop them, (and this was pre-mobile phones- no filming or calling anyone). It was obvious they did this often.
The shop suddenly closed for good the next year.
Years later, I worked at a newsagent/convenience store chain in a somewhat notorious area. The commonest things stolen were bacon, cheese and alcohol; of those, the alcohol was for consumption, the cheese and bacon would be sold round the local pubs.
One guy banned from that shop also used to shoplift at the charity bookshop I volunteered at up the road; we’d see him stealing from the 20p ‘last stop before pulping’ discount section. It was too pathetic to stop. At that point, it’s just a compulsion.
I’ve had someone try to pull a scam on me while working at an event selling burgers and stuff too- came up, carrying a toddler, from polite to yelling in seconds, claiming that he’d just come and bought a hotdog and a pulled pork sandwich and I’d given him change for £10 rather than the £20 he’d paid with. Two problems with that: 1) I’d only sold one hotdog that day, and it definitely wasn’t to him, and 2) the items he listed came to move than £10… Luckily the manager- though an asshole of the first degree- was aware the guy was a scammer and blew up at him without even questioning me.
One last one- my parents had a tourist attraction with gift shop which I worked in as a teen. One of the regular groups we had in was the local problem school- for kids expelled from multiple schools. I remember them coming round once, and all 3 of us staff watching them like hawks (having been warned that they were likely to shoplift by the school) as they wandered round the shop waiting for the bus. None of us saw anything suspicious… until the teacher stopped them all on the way out and made them all empty their pockets, as none of them had brought any money.
It was genuinely impressive. There was heaps of stuff. Like an entire mob of Artful Dodgers. By the end, if one had pulled out my wallet- locked in the office at the other end of the building- I wouldn’t have blinked. They were definitely learning something at that school…