Did you witness shoplifting?

Oh, I forgot about one instance that happened when I was in my early 20s. A friend of mine accompanies me to a local guitar/collectible shop where I’d bought several things. IIRC, I was just shopping, didn’t have anything specific to buy. I browse for a bit, and talk to the store owner for a few minutes, and decide that there’s nothing there I can’t live without this week. So I say good bye to the shop owner, collect my friend and go out to the car.

We get in the car and my friend pulls out a toy that he had lifted and starts bitching about how the owner was watching him and following him around, and this act MADE him just have to shoplift it. Nothing that was going to break the store itself, but fucktard didn’t need it by any stretch of the imagination, and his excuse just made me angrier. I told dumbass to fuck off, and he can forget riding with me anywhere from now on. He was lucky I didn’t kick the crap out of him and then make him walk the 15 miles or so home (and if his older brother wasn’t also my friend, I might have). That store owner knows me and had been good to me, and if he realizes what my friend did he’d associate me with his idiotic fucking behavior. The friendship wasn’t over, but I didn’t go anywhere with that guy other than his own house after that. After all, he couldn’t really steal anything there.

I had a guy in front of me at the grocery store 5 months ago I don’t know if he was stupid or pulling the most obvious scam.

Showed up to check-out with a full cart. Underneath the cart (where you usually put the long heavy bags like dog food or bags of rice) he had a bunch of folding fabric chairs for some reason (Grocery store was selling folding chairs for $15 each to promote some Summer thing). Guy put all the stuff in the cart onto the checkout counter and mysteriously forgot to put the folding chairs onto the counter or tell the checkout person about the chairs despite the fact they were super obvious to everyone behind him.

Somehow checkout person caught this, leaned over fully to visually acknowledge the folding chairs in the cart and told the guy bluntly “Hey I’m going to need you to bring those chairs up for me to scan them” and then the guy SLOWLY pulled about six chairs out and had them scanned in. What a bizarre thing to try to shoplift.

Did anyone else do the “old switcheroo” with the open 6 packs of bottled beer back in the day? That’s technically shoplifting, where you buy a six pack of a cheaper beer, then replace one of them with a more expensive but still same sized bottle. Makes that beer the “bonus” beer. I’ve only done it a few times in my life but I knew others who swore by it, they would even make half the bottles tbe more expensive brand and the cashier’s never noticed apparently.

I saw a woman pay for an item with the exact change. The cashier did not ring it up, but wrote something on a pad of paper next to the cash register. I assume the cashier was keeping track of how much money in the drawer he was going to take home at the end of the day.

Yes, several times.

Nothing. I have no idea what happened afterward, nor do I care.

In my experience, corporations invest significant effort via signs, contracts, and legions of attorneys to ensure they limit their responsibility to me as much as possible. They claim no responsibility if my car is damaged/stolen in their lots, if their product fails and costs me, if they fail in some way regarding payments or data breaches or frankly, any imaginable problem they might cause – through ignorance, accident or otherwise. They ain’t responsible for nuthin’

This defines my responsibility and duty to them as their customer. In fact, I’m merely following their lead as regards any obligations during our transactions. Absent a signed contract accepting all liability and promising to cover all future costs including healthcare, lost work, and damage to possessions from their thieves, I perform no services for them at all. Neither security, inventory protection, criminal apprehension or even as a witness. In a similar vein, I also refuse to take on any of their management’s duties such as evaluating employees or the corporation’s systems without payment at my normal hourly rates.

I treat them exactly as they treat me.

A couple I used to know suggested I grocery shop where they did, saying you couldn’t beat the prices. They also had double coupons or something.

One weekend I was at their house, smoking and drinking. They got out a pile of newspapers and showed me how to clip coupons. Then we all drove to the supermarket where they were going to introduce me to the owner and the cashier they were in cahoots with.

The owner wasn’t there, but the cashier was, so they gave her the coupons. Eventually they’d get a fraction of the value once the owner totaled it up. But since the owner wasn’t there, they showed me their other scheme.

The cashier was the owner’s accomplice, but was also cheating him. They grabbed a cart and filled it up with stuff. When we went through the cashier’s line, she only rang up the cheap stuff. Can of corn? Punch in the price. Loaf of bread? Charge for that. Family pack of steaks? Slide it right by. Their full cart should have been around $200 but instead they paid $18.

I never went back to that store, and gradually ended our friendship. I hope they all got caught.

There were a few times in my youth where I did that. Not with a different brand or even a different price. IIRC, it was Smirnoff drinks. I think I’d buy, say, orange and swap one for a lime or something. At least the person who bought the other six pack probably wasn’t too broken up about it. It’s not like they bought a 4 pack of Dragon’s Milk and found a Guinness in there.

Now, having been on the other side of that, it’s really annoying when I find a six pack with one or two bottles swapped out. I end up having to sell the bottle and remaining 5 pack at a discount or sell all the bottles individually. For a while I had someone stealing cans of Guinness. About once a week I’d find the cardboard 4 pack ripped open and a can missing. To make it even worse, I’d put the remaining three cans out individually, and instead of swiping one of those next time, they were still ripping open another four pack.

This made me chuckle a bit. I guess the cashier didn’t hold to the “honor among thieves” code.

Many, many (like 30) years ago, my dad, who owns the store I work at, said one thing he always keeps an eye out for…and he still does, to this day…is a piece of paper with numbers jotted down on it. Saying that, while it could be nothing, it’s also not uncommon for cashiers to be doing exactly that. Keeping a running total of how much the drawer “owes” them for money they collected on items that weren’t rung up.

I had a bunch of friends that worked at a local fast food place. They knew the most common item to be ordered at the drive through worked out to (for example) $4.94. Since they knew a lot of people would pay with a 5 dollar bill, they’d go to work with a pocket full of nickels and pennies and make the change out of their pocket.

It’s a different life being 16 years old, when you have no issue risking your job (or getting in legal trouble) for an extra 10 or 15 bucks per shift.

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…

At MW, that’s about 2-3 hours pay.

Spotting an open drawer is another I learned from a very early retail job I had. Don’t ring the sale, make change, collect the funds when cashing out.

When I worked fast food for a while, we got an ultimatum that came down from above, we had to get biggie sizing percentages up. It even came down that if they were not over 20% (I think, it was 20ish years ago), then we would be written up.

So I started keeping money from when people ordered just a drink, keeping track of that, and using that to pay to biggie size enough orders to not get into trouble.

Not shoplifting, but I saw someone shooting up in a bathroom stall at Macy’s and turned them in to the store cop.

Never thought about that. That’s probably why some registers (like the ones we currently have) won’t let you do anything if the drawer is open or the journal receipt has run out or opened up (ie when you’re changing it).

Fun fact: All registers, or at least all register I’ve worked on, have a small hole on the bottom that allows you to reach in and release the drawer. That way you can open it without power, which is helpful during a power outage.

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that.

However, all registers that I’ve seen have a keyhole, and can be opened with that key, even without power. Usually, they can be locked as well, so even the register cannot open them.

Yup, it’s exactly why the registers are set up like that. Once you know to look for it … The fraud can also be for tax reasons on the ownership level, of course.

I had one that would dine and dash…so he was dumped.

Why did you do that? He wasn’t harming you, or even Macy’s itself. If someone is reduced to shooting up in a Macy’s restroom, that person has got enough problems of their own already without some do gooder Concerned Citizen ratting them out to store management

You do you.