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Thread: Thief allowed to leave, only for her "accessory" to return later to pay.

  1. #1
    John Sanderson is offline Lifetime Member

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    Thief allowed to leave, only for her "accessory" to return later to pay.

    I had recently been hired by a liquor store for Loss Prevention Services. While at the store a young woman (a weekly regular) came in asking for a pint of Hennessy. With the cashier being in the bathroom I began to process the sale. After viewing her ID I scanned the pint into the register and put it onto the counter. She then proceeded to hand me a "paper debit card" which comes with new wallets. I handed it back informing her I needed a real card. She stated she left it in the car.

    As she left the store I noticed the bottle in her hand so I followed her to the parking lot where she got into the passenger side of a large commercial truck (driven by a male driver) I saw her arrive in. As soon as the door closed I used my phone to take a high resolution photo of the truck and company ID number where it was parked, another as it completed a U turn, and another of the back of the truck as it drove away. Knowing already how this would all play out I casually walked back inside and awaited the return of the cashier.

    Once the cashier returned I went to the management office to make a copy of the surveillance video. I then informed the owner I had witnessed a shoplifting but would have the money by the end of the day. He was upset and didn't believe I would be able to collect on the stolen bottle.

    I then contacted the company who owned the truck used in the shoplifting and spoke with the male driver's manager. I informed him that one of his trucks was used in a shoplifting and I needed the driver to return to the store. Although seemingly upset, the manager asserted he had nothing to do with it but would talk to the driver the next day. While trying to reason with the manager I saw I was getting nowhere.

    I informed the manager that unless we could work together to resolve this I would contact the police and press charges. I also voiced to him the trucks delivery route, letting him know, I knew, where to find the truck with the police for an arrest and subsequent impounding of the vehicle.

    As I continued, the manager tried interrupting. I politely asked him to hear me out and that I would listen to his response. I continued telling him I would take a photo of the driver and the truck and put it on the door to the store with a warning that this company employs thieves. At the conclusion of my narrative to the manager he asked if he could call me right back.

    About 15 minutes later he called back stating the driver would be back on the following morning, insisting there was nothing he could do. So I replied by stating I would begin carrying out my narrative immediately. The manager, not wanting the negative attention to the company, insisted the earliest he could have the driver return was in 4 hours. I advised him this was not a situation I was willing to negotiate and we ended the call.

    15 minutes later the male driver walked into the store at the same time my phone rang. In the store was the driver and on the phone his manager. I advised the manager the driver was in the store and I would call him back.

    The driver began explaining he had spent the night with the girl who asked him for a ride to the store before he began his work and that it was her who stole the bottle, not him. I replied by informing him that he was an accessory to a crime and that I don't care if he pays for it or if she does, but it needs to be paid immediately. Again the driver tried to explain how this was not his problem, so I gave this response:

    "Sir, settle down. I don't know you and I don't know the girl. All I know is the two of you came here and now a $22 bottle was seen going into your vehicle. What this all boils down to is one of the three of us has to pay for the bottle".

    I asked if the girl was with him to which he replied, "No". So I replied she apparently will not be paying. I then said I work here to make money, not lose money, so I won't be paying for it. I finally asked who should pay for it?

    After a moment of silence he pulled his credit card to pay. I told him I would accept only cash because there was already dishonesty existing in the transaction. He paid cash, left the store, and the neighborhood found out that for the first time in over 30 years of business, the local liquor store has a loss prevention detective now.

    Theft is down 95%.

  2. #2
    Donna Reagan's Avatar
    Donna Reagan is offline Administrator
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    Re: Thief allowed to leave, only for her "accessory" to return later to pay.

    John, this is an extraordinary report from the streets.

    The woman who is a "regular" may not return. I am pleased to see you not pursue beyond capturing video or images. I have seen where guns came into play, and $20 is not worth even surviving a gunshot. But this seems to be a careful unique situation where you were comfortably safe while pursuing the ownership.

    Still, I have heard that some ownerships in your area are those not to mess with because they can be fronts for (others).

    Be safe,

    Donna


    Donna Reagan

  3. #3
    John Sanderson is offline Lifetime Member

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    Re: Thief allowed to leave, only for her "accessory" to return later to pay.

    Over the years I have become a very "in the moment" person. Actively weighing options continuously.

    I also avoid physical altercations with females whenever possible. So being in the moment and knowing she would eventually return, and has, was one factor. The fact she arrived in a commercial delivery vehicle added other collections opportunities.

    Dealing with some businesses in the area can be dangerous for several reasons. One reason is that the other store I do loss prevention for is just outside local housing projects.

    At this location theft was a big issue long before my arrival. So the ownership began a wall of shame, where photos of thieves were posted. Only problem is our low income neighbors view this location as their store. The first and only two people added to this wall turned up dead within a week. Coincidence or not, they stopped adding pictures.

    Another reason it's a bad idea to "poke" businesses in low income areas is because of certain drugs being sold out of them and being protected in a very different manner.

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