Sunday, March 14, 2021

Loss Prevention

As I mentioned in this post, I haven't been doing much writing so far this year, and since the move last Monday I've been unpacking and setting up the beautiful new apartment. This afternoon I had the first "I could use this in a story" experience that I've had in a long, long time. 

At my new local Pavilions they have two entrances (one on either end of the store) and because of the lockdown have designated one door for entering only and the other for exiting only. As I was entering, a woman was coming out of the same doorway with a full cart. She had a bunch of stuff, including a couple cases of dog food and most notably four very large bottles of tequila. The cart got stuck on the door track and I assumed she was just having trouble pushing the cart over it, so I stepped back to give her room. Just then a guy came up behind her and I assumed he was going to assist her. That's not what happened.

The guy told her "nice try" and she proceeded to stride away into the parking lot. It turns out the guy was an employee and he was holding a device that locked the cart as she was trying to leave with a cartful of groceries she hadn't paid for. They didn't go after her, and the guy and another female employee who was stationed at the door seemed almost amused at the brazen attempt.

Once I realized what had just happened, I was shocked that someone would try to just waltz out of the store with stolen items and not even panic when caught. I asked the female employee, "People actually do that?" Her response: "All day long."

I'm thinking loss prevention might be a bit more exciting job than people realize. Years ago, at a Guitar Center, one of the employees told me a story about a guy who tried to steal an $11,000 guitar by shoving the neck down one of his pant legs, then covering the body with his shirt. And then he tried to nonchalantly walk stiff-legged out of the store. People are crazy. And stupid.

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