“Suspected” – A Short Story - Part 2

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"Suspected" - Part Two

Meaghan rewound the tape from the camera once more to confirm her new findings. Played once more on the tape was the video of Miss Bebinn slipping behind the makeup counter, lowering her purse, and reaching into the shelf under the counter. The evidence of the video footage was convincing enough to Meaghan that she had been wrong and wrongfully accused her employee Wren. Video footage doesn’t lie. I better fix my mistake and apologize to Wren , she thought.

She headed towards the office phone and took action in the correct path of what she had no choice in doing as the general manager of the Saffron Fortune store. Meaghan first dialed the intercom to the security office to finally, officially report the missing inventory and let the mall know of the theft event that occurred earlier that night.

The security office made a note in store’s file in their office and sent one of their night security guards that were finishing up locking the store. Moments later, Meaghan heard a knock on the office door. She hurried over to the door and opened it for the security guard in the doorway to let him in. “Hi Meghan. I received word that there has been a situation we need to take care of,” the security guard, Tim Belken, said.

“Yes Tim. I wrongly accused one of my employees of stealing some makeup but found according to the tapes here that it was indeed a regular customer and my other employee was truthful all along. I had searched the customer’s bag but found nothing though, so it must have been hidden really well on her,” explained Meaghan.

“Do you mind replaying the security tapes again so I can verify my siding with you? Then together we can call the police for an official criminal report of the theft.”

“It’s no problem. I don’t mind at all replaying it.” Meaghan rewound the tape for the third time and pushed play once more. This time she had the company of another set of eyes viewing the tape besides her own. Sure enough on the tape, the same exact image played on the screen.

There was silence in the room while Meaghan showed the evidence as Tim analyzed the tape. When the tape ran its course, only then did the verbal noise begin again. Tim spoke first, breaking the quiet. “You are correct in your findings Meaghan. This needs to be taken care of right away. I am now completely on your side. I will assist you in reporting this and recovering those items,” Tim said.

“Thank you Tim. Let’s report this now and take care of this quickly so I can go home and get some sleep,” said Meaghan. She walked back over to the phone in the office and picked it up. Her fingers pressed down the appropriate numbers, 9-1-1, to reach the police, and ended it in pressing the ‘speakerphone’ button. The air of the phone hissed as it worked its way to reaching the destination of the call.

“Hello. 911, what is your emergency?” The dispatcher’s voice traveled through the machines.

Tim was the first to speak again. “Hello. My name is Tim. I’m a security guard at the Blandine Orpheus mall. We need to report a theft. Right next to me is the general manager of the store that had been stolen from.”

“Okay. Can you put her on the line for a moment?”

Meaghan spoke next to verify she was present. “Hi. My name is Meaghan Holmes. I’m the general manager of the Saffron Fortune store in the Blandine Orpheus mall. A few pieces of our makeup had been stolen.”

The dispatcher said, “Thank you for your presence. We have sent a car to the mall. They should arrive shortly to assess the damage and fill out the report.”

Both Tim and Meaghan replied at the same time before the call ended. “Thank you for your help. We will be at the door to let them in.” After the words spilled out, the loud click floated from the phone to signify the end of the call. Tim and Meaghan hurried to the store’s door to let the police in.

Tim unlocked and opened the front door to the store when he saw the policemen appeared on the opposite side. “Hi. I’m Officer Mingue and this is Officer Sygone. You called to report a theft?” said Officer Mingue.

“Yes we did. The mall office and security office have already been notified. I’m one of the security guards, Tim Belken and this is the general manager Meaghan Holmes,” said Tim.

“Please show us where and what has been taken, Ms Holmes,” said Officer Sygone.

Meaghan replied, “Certainly.” Meaghan lead the way to the makeup counter and showed the policemen which area of the display cases had makeup missing. She pointed out which items that had been stolen. Meaghan picked up the inventory sheet of paper that she had placed there before heading to the front to wait for the police to arrive. The sheet indicated exactly the items that were missing.

The officers noted the information into the theft report. “Uh huh. I see, Ms. Holmes. Thank you for the information,” Officer Mingue said.

“Do you know who committed the theft crime?” Officer Sygone added.

“Know? Yes I certainly do. She’s one of our regular customers unfortunately,” said Meaghan.

“Can you describe them?”

“We can do better than to just tell you. We can show you. It’s all on the security tape in the office. We’ll be happy to show you them,” Tim, the security guard, said.

“Great! That works out perfectly. Lead the way,” said Officer Mingue.

Meaghan led the officers to the office through the back room with Tim not far behind her. Once inside the room, she rewound the tape again and pressed play once more. The screen repeated the images it played previously in the night of Miss Bebinn quietly swiping the makeup from behind the counter. Meaghan explained the actions that took place right after the unnoticed theft before it was too late. She explained that the alarm had been set off and they checked her bags, but turned up with not finding any of the items. Meaghan ended her story at the part of contacting 911.

“Could you please freeze frame the image of the culprit?” asked Officer Sygone.

“Sure. We’ll freeze it and I’ll print a copy of the photo for you right now officers,” said Tim. He began the process before he stopped speaking. In no time at all Tim had the print out and handed it to the officers.

“Thank you for your cooperation; both of you. We’ll take this information back to the station, process it and recover your stolen products.”

They all walked to the front of the store and Tim and Meaghan said ‘goodbye’ and ‘thanks’ to the officers. After the policemen left, Meaghan headed back to the office to collect her belongings. “Well, Tim, it’s time for me to finally go home and get some sleep. Thanks for all your help,” said Meaghan.

“As soon as you’re done gathering all your things, I don’t mind walking you out to your car,” Tim said as he walked with her.

“Thanks. I appreciate it.”

The next day in the morning, Meaghan was still at home getting ready for another day of work at the store. The ring tone of her cell phone rang to indicate an incoming call. She grabbed her cell and answered it. “Hello. Meaghan Holmes speaking.”

“Hi Ms. Holmes. This is Officer Mingue. I’m calling to let you know we’ve located and recovered the stolen items, and arrested the lady, Darla Bebinn, this morning. We will stop by the store later to return the items,” Officer Mingue said.

“Oh that’s great! Thank you so much for all your help!”

“You’re welcome Mam. Have a good day.”

“Thank you. Bye.” The call disconnected on Meaghan’s phone shortly afterwards, and threw it into her purse. She locked up her house and headed to work for the day.

Meaghan arrived at the store moments later and started on her checklist to prepare the store. At around 10:00am, Wren walked through the door and into the store to start her shift. The manager appeared from the office and back room and noticed Wren settling into her duties at the makeup counter. “Wren, could I speak with you in the office for a few minutes? Don’t worry, it’s not anything bad,” said Meaghan.

“Sure, Meaghan,” said Wren. Meaghan hurried back to the office with Wren in tow.

“Wren, I would like to fix my mistake of accusing you yesterday of stealing the makeup. I apologize for suspecting you. I’m deeply sorry for that. I hope you will forgive me. After both you and Vivian left last night, I watched the security tape and found that it was indeed Miss Bebinn who unfortunately has stolen from us. The situation has been taken care of, Miss Bebinn has been arrested, and the items have been recovered. I thought you should know the update. We will figure out a compensation for you for the misunderstanding, Wren. Okay?” Said Meaghan, the general manager.

“I accept your apology, Meaghan. I’m glad that the situation has been taken care of. Thank you, the compensation would be great,” said Wren. “I’m going to go back out to the floor now to continue my shift.” Wren exited the office and went back to the makeup counter to be ready to take on the new day of work.

© 2012 Alyssa Scheidemann

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