Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Shoplifting Causes Stress

Today, after I dropped Callie off at school, Micah and I went to Target.  It was going to be a simple visit to get some more big plastic storage bins.  I'm really OCD about the kind of bin I want, and for whatever reason, I can only find these at Target.

As frequently happens at Target (and Costco), I was completely distracted by all the things I still needed to buy and all that Target could provide for me.  Thank you Target.  I perused the aisles and bought some groceries, a skirt, a workout shirt, paper towels...the list goes on.  Needless to say, the cart was rather full.

I went to buy my things and there were only TWO check-outs open.  That was frustrating, but it was ok because it gave me time to think twice about some of my "unnecessary" purchases.  But, it also gave me plenty of time to justify those...necessary...purchases.  I noticed the young man in front of me.  He was, oh, I don't know...maybe in his 20's.  He was nice looking, well, actually, I noticed he was quite good looking.  Really nicely dressed.  Tall.  He actually reminded me of a much taller, slightly darker, version of Usher.  Not bad, right?  He stepped out of line to look at the gum.  And because I'm so kind, I held his spot for him.  He thanked me.

And then, something unusual happened.

He seemed to just kind of not be in line, but then be in line.  I can't explain it.  It was odd, but whatever.  To each his own.  I thought he may be wondering if the line was worth the purchase.  He was holding black pants under his arm as he waited.

And then, he just walked away.

I kept watching him.  It was just too odd.

He walked passed the sensors, and they didn't go off.  Then out the door.

As he was walking out the door, I said to the cashier, "Um, that man didn't pay for those pants, and he's walking out the door."

She looked up as she was scanning, "What?"

Then the woman next to me said, "Yeah, I saw him.  I think he's shoplifting."  

She wasn't acting fast enough, so 2 Target associates who were passing by, I grabbed and said, "A man just walked out the store without buying the things he had in hand.  He was right in front of me."  My heart was racing and I began to shake -- not noticeably to others, but I was really shaken.  WHY WERE THEY NOT RUNNING?  Why didn't I run?

They got on their walkie-talkies and then we saw a few guys run out.

They never got him.  It was too late.

As I was walking to my car, I had so many questions and thoughts....

* Why didn't I say something sooner?  Well, because I wasn't sure if he was really going to steal it or not, and I didn't want to look like an idiot if he was just going to the elevators.
* Why didn't I stop what I was doing to go after him myself?  I had a lot of reasons for that.
* Why did that guy even steal it?
* Did he know I was watching him and figured he was just going to do it anyway?
* Was he as stressed out as I was, or did he get some high from the thrill?  Because I was totally stressed out for hours after.
* Why didn't the dang Target employees act faster?!  grrr
*  And why didn't the woman next to me, when she said she saw him too, not say anything?
* Stealing in this city must be so much easier since they got rid of plastic bags.  I know it sounds silly, but if you don't have a bag, people just carry out their purchase in their hand, under their arm, whatever....just like this guy did.  And no one thinks twice.

* Why did I come to Target?  Oh yes, to buy the plastic bins....that never made it into my cart.  In fact, I didn't even get to that aisle today.


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