what's going on?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

i experienced something completely surreal a few hours ago that still has me shaking my head in disbelief.

last night i was minding my own business trying on clothes in an unattended fitting room at the target in steelyard commons when i couldn't help but listen in on the conversation that was happening right outside the door.

a family was discussing shoplifting.

and when i say "family" it was two adult women, probably in their 40's, giving two younger boys, probably 10 or 11, shoplifting tips.

"keep your head down from the cameras", one of the ladies directed.

"wow, that's a camera? you can barely see it up there", one of the boys responded.

"if they don't get your face, then they can't get you", the other lady piped in.

meanwhile i'm standing half naked in my fitting room with my mouth gaping open in disgust seriously considering opening the door and firmly pointing my finger in the shoplifting teacher's face and shaking it repeatedly.

but by the time i got dressed the professional shoplifting crew was gone and i couldn't help but feel like i should have done something, or at least let these people know that someone was listening to their lesson.

the whole damn situation just left me upset. i'm not naive, i understand stuff like this happens but actually listening to it live and hearing the voice of a boy who doesn't know any better already being pressured into shady situations at such a young age made me depressed.

does this kid even have a chance for something better?

and the cycle continues...


  1. you didnt even get a peek at them to give security a heads up? You, YOU of all people didnt try recording the conversation with the voice recorder on your phone?

  2. On one hand, it's almost your civic duty to call them in.

    On the other hand, they are obviously struggling. So it's almost like pointing a finger at someone who steals bread to feed his family.

  3. fatty, it all happened so fast!

    mitch, yeah i would have totally said something or reported them if i had seen them :/ - but like i said, by the time i got dressed and out of the fitting room they were gone...

  4. Oh my gosh, I am disgusted. Now those two poor boys are going to think that is normal and ok. You are right, it is a vicious cycle.

  5. It's is sad and crazy what this world is coming to. A friend of mine is a pharmacist at the Steelyard Wal Mart and the stories he has from a "typical" day at work are just unbelievable.

  6. There's some great parenting right there. Geez.........

  7. That's outrageous. Totally unbelievable, and yet, I totally believe it.

    People suck, man.

  8. ugh, i so know what you mean about feeling like you should have done something. but then when i try and replay situations like that in my head to figure out what i should have done, the options are never... great. like, what, run out of the dressing room in a bra and alert the fitting room attendant that you think some people in the dressing room might try to steal something? hardly the best option, you know? gah.

  9. I probably would of yelled something over the door... Your right though, so sad that these boys won't know any better!

  10. If it makes you feel any better, when I worked retail an employee had to actually witness the shoplifting. We couldn't simply confront a possible shoplifter based on another customer's word. Obviously, there's a huge concern that it may have been a mistake or the person reporting the incident may have had an ulterior motive!

    This story is so sad. I've witnessed shoplifting attempts outside of stores I've worked in, but never with children involved. In those cases, I quietly told a store employee and then finished my shopping. I have no idea if anything ever came of it.

    We all pay for theft with higher prices and irritating anti-shoplifting measures like video games behind glass, wires attached to leather coats and the refusal of returns without a receipt. So annoying!

    I don't equate this to stealing a loaf of bread to feed a family. There are plenty of other options if you're that strapped for cash. Corrupting a child in that way is not something a good parent does because they're temporarily struggling. It's something a criminal does as a way of life. Uggghhh.

    Since this just happened last night, it might be worth calling Target. Obviously, they can't stop the theft. However, maybe they'll see the merit in employing someone for $7 an hour to monitor the dressing rooms! And, I'd bet my life this family will be back very soon.

  11. So what's your shoplifting advice? I would advise hiring the services of a helper monkey or seeing eye dog.

  12. That really sucks, Alexa. You can only hope that Target (which I'm sure deals with shoplifting all the time) has the right security detail to be able to catch people like that without needing the assistance of people like you, who have good intentions and want to help.

  13. Very sad. I think I would have said "You are talking about stealing and everyone hears you. Stealing is WRONG."

  14. Wow. That's so sad. That kid will be the long lost soul who is serving a life sentence before his 20th birthday.

  15. That's pretty sad. But soon their luck will run out for sure.

  16. That story would have been better if you ran out of Target half naked wildly swinging your purse at the air.

    I believe that is how all shoplifters are deterred.

  17. geesh! people are pretty ballsy!


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