Strange experience in a big-box store

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03Lightningrocks
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#16

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:20 pm

:smilelol5:

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n5wmk
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#17

Post by n5wmk » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:39 pm

C-dub wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:58 pm
Loss prevention dude needs to get better at his job. Acting like a stalker enough that others notice is not "blending" into the background.
Several decades ago, when I was a teenager, I was shopping in a department store. IIRC, I was looking at 8-track tapes. (OK, many decades ago... :lol: ). I noticed a guy hanging around watching me, and following me around the store, and I guessed that he was a loss prevention guy.

Back then, I wore cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Being a teenager, with more ideas than smarts, I walked into another aisle and slipped my wallet down into one boot and put my car keys under my hat. The guy thinks I've tried to conceal a tape or something, and comes up to me and wants to know what I have hidden. I was still in the store - hadn't yet walked past the register or out the door. I suspect today they would at least wait until the suspected shoplifter was outside.

Anyway, when I showed him my wallet and keys, he got pretty irate, and told me he'd be watching me every time I came in after that.

I thought it was kind of funny at the time, I guess. Chalk it up to being a teenager.

But like this present day loss prevention dude, he wasn't very good at his job, if I noticed him so easily. I never even thought about shoplifting anything so I wasn't looking out for anyone, and yet I realized what he was doing.
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C-dub
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#18

Post by C-dub » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:55 pm

n5wmk wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:39 pm
Anyway, when I showed him my wallet and keys, he got pretty irate, and told me he'd be watching me every time I came in after that.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#19

Post by Pawpaw » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:30 pm

n5wmk wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:39 pm
C-dub wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 2:58 pm
Loss prevention dude needs to get better at his job. Acting like a stalker enough that others notice is not "blending" into the background.
Several decades ago, when I was a teenager, I was shopping in a department store. IIRC, I was looking at 8-track tapes. (OK, many decades ago... :lol: ). I noticed a guy hanging around watching me, and following me around the store, and I guessed that he was a loss prevention guy.

Back then, I wore cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. Being a teenager, with more ideas than smarts, I walked into another aisle and slipped my wallet down into one boot and put my car keys under my hat. The guy thinks I've tried to conceal a tape or something, and comes up to me and wants to know what I have hidden. I was still in the store - hadn't yet walked past the register or out the door. I suspect today they would at least wait until the suspected shoplifter was outside.

Anyway, when I showed him my wallet and keys, he got pretty irate, and told me he'd be watching me every time I came in after that.

I thought it was kind of funny at the time, I guess. Chalk it up to being a teenager.

But like this present day loss prevention dude, he wasn't very good at his job, if I noticed him so easily. I never even thought about shoplifting anything so I wasn't looking out for anyone, and yet I realized what he was doing.
I had a similar experience in the mid 70's when I was stationed at Altus AFB, OK.

I had ridden my motorcycle to the local Gibson's (remember those?) right outside the base. When I got off the bike, I removed my helmet and re-fastened the chin strap. A motorcycle helmet makes a pretty convenient hand basket when you're only getting 2 or 3 small items.

It only took me a few minutes to find the items I wanted and drop them in my helmet. While shopping I noticed this guy watching me and doing a very poor job of blending in, so I spent the next 30 minutes or so leading him all around the store. I picked up and examined many items before putting them neatly back on the shelf. I doubled back many times and occasionally left one aisle only to turn around, while out of his sight, and return to the same aisle. I made him scramble a couple of times.

I finally went to the check out and removed one item at a time from my helmet and placed them on the counter. I then turned my helmet right side up and shook it. I looked straight at him and held my helmet up so he could see it was empty. I asked the checker if he was a new manager or something and she said, "Yes." I told her he was terrible at watching for shoplifters and she laughed.

After paying for my items, I saw him stalking toward the register while I went out the door. I don''t think he was too happy with me.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#20

Post by treadlightly » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:57 am

We're not in a large town. Word of mouth travels quickly. I don't think anyone I know by name connects me to the conversations I had in the store, which is fine, but there was a thank-you to "the gentleman and his wife" getting shared around on Facebook. I don't use Facebook. My wife found it. I don't think I caused any offense or added to anyone's fears.

I'm also now more cognizant of how best intentions can be misinterpreted, which is a good thing. I hope the store doesn't fire the loss prevention guy, although his tactics could stand tuning.

When I was a little younger - in 1975 or thereabouts - a friend and I considered offering a Christmas security service. We would hire out for theatrical performances. One of us would play the irate store employee, and the other would express depths of shame and anguish while being led through the store after purportedly being nabbed for shoplifting. We thought that would scare off thieves.

I think we would have made a fortune, but there were irresolvable disputes over who would get to be righteously disgusted, and who would have to grovel, wail, and weep.

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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#21

Post by puma guy » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:29 pm

surprise_i'm_armed wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:52 pm
Aren't loss prevention people supposed to be doing their monitoring of shoplifters on CCTV?

Then once they have the theft on video, they approach the perps on the floor?

SIA
CCTV can't always catch the perps. In this case he was noticed, but apparently not by the person he was surveiling until he was pointed out by the poster. A loss prevention agent/person can't approach/stop/apprehend an alleged shoplifter until they have exited with out paying.
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Re: Strange experience in a big-box store

#22

Post by Soccerdad1995 » Mon Feb 10, 2020 2:47 pm

I have a similar story but I was the "weirdo" in that case. I had just started my career as an auditor for one of the "Big 6" (at the time) accounting firms. Being new, I tended to get assigned a lot of inventory observations, because most people dislike them. I was to observe the Hickory Farms store at a mall as they counted their inventory. But they first wanted me to casually observe some of the store operations without disclosing who I was.

So I showed up an hour before they closed and took note of how they greeted customers, etc. Unfortunately, I was also supposed to observe them ringing up a sale. And they had no customers that wanted to buy anything. So I waited around a bit. Then after the 4th time they asked if I needed any help, I decided to observe from across the hallway. Long story short, mall security came up to me and asked me to leave because they had gotten complaints about a suspicious person.

It didn't occur to me until later that I should have just purchased something small.
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