10 Ways For You and I to Help Spot "Farm League" Shoplifters
"Farm league" shoplifter steals sunglasses
Did you, as a consumer, realize that the crime of shoplifting nets thieves more than the biggest drug cartels in Mexico and the United States? True. And I did not make an error when I said that shoplifting is a “crime.” This is something that most Americans do not know and more pathetic, do not care.
“Hey, we do not want to be involved. Just let us shop for our goods and retire to our comfy home without any interaction with anyone else.” This is the thinking of most American consumers—even those who witness shoplifters in action. “None of my business,” these non-caring consumers say, but it is your business. When you gripe about paying a higher price for a weed eater this past week than you did three weeks ago, did you know that the price increase was most-likely due to the high-losses of shoplifting?
I’m one who gives the benefit of the doubt to anyone. I can understand if a shoplifter has never, even from youth up, been taught that shoplifting is a crime committed without a gun. And they have been misled by someone who is “fencing” the goods these uneducated thieves bring him, that shoplifting’s not hurting anyone. No murders committed. Just a few CD’s, DVD’s and some small power tools.”
Shoplifting leads to an arrest
Casual thieves are the most-dangerous thieves
But contrary to the easy-belief that shoplifting isn’t costing anyone anything, it is costing—the store where the goods were lifted and the consumers who patronize the store. It’s not a matter of saying, “Awww, the store’s insurance will cover the losses. These big stores do not lose anything.” Today in 2014, only a complete-fool would think or say this stupid statement.
I know your next argument. Why do we have the police? Answer: Do you really expect our police departments to keep a couple of officers patrolling inside your favorite store on a full-time basis? If they did, and the crime rate went up, you would blame the police department out and out for concentrating on the “little stuff,” like shoplifting and letting meth dealers go free. Some people cannot be pleased.
So it’s up to us consumers to “step-up,” and do our part in helping to stop shoplifting. I did not say that we run out and buy a gun and a pair of sunglasses to look inconspicuous, but being able to spot a shoplifter when they are “on the prowl.”
It’s a tough job spotting a professional shoplifter, so I suggest that we start at the bottom and learn our way to the top when we start to spot shoplifters. Let’s begin by learning to spot the pro-shoplifter by spotting the less-than-average shoplifters.
I am sure that you have already guessed my title:
This thief slips on an extra pair of pants in the dressing room
Even celebrity, Winona Ryder was arrested for shoplifting
Be observant – watch discreetly the people around you. The most-successful shoplifter is someone you see often in a store. Be observant of inconsistencies. A 90-pound elderly woman enters store wearing a tank-top, but leaves wearing a heavy winter coat. See the inconsistency?
Watch for – groups of people who hang out in one department—near an item that is easy to get out of the store such as DVD’s or cell phones. And if you see a shoplifter actually placing an item in their shirt or in their pants, tell an employee where, whom and what you witnessed and let them handle it.
If you see a person with glazed-eyes walking down the candy aisle tearing-open various candies and eating them in plain-sight of the store employees, please be responsible and report it to the store manager.
If a man and woman pass you with a shopping cart hauling a baby cradle with NO baby, if you have the nerve, walk up and say, “What a pretty baby!” Then when you see there is no baby, walk away without any more involvement. Some thieves push this baby-less cradle all around the store and fill the cradle with small items that can be covered with a blanket.
You are not breaking the law when you spot a suspicious person looking around if someone is following him, he is probably a shoplifter with no real experience. Follow him without being seen. Sooner or later he will make his move unless the store employees suspect his intent and follow him too.
The shoe department is a great place to do your duty as a consumer and help fight shoplifting. Act as if you are shopping for shoes. Watch customers carefully. My wife, who put in 25 years at Walmart—mostly in the shoe department said many times a person would sit down and try on a pair of shoes. This is your first clue. No one tries on both shoes, but one. The thief will leave the shoes they were wearing and walk out of the store wearing a new pair of shoplifted shoes they have stolen under the noses of unsuspecting employees.
If a guy walks around in a store and his jeans or pants pockets are first empty and not bringing attention to himself, but later both pockets are bulging, something is wrong and you need to talk to a store manager.
The jewelry department is sometimes very vulnerable to shoplifters who work in two-person teams. One thief will keep the department employee busy acting like he or she is interested in a watch while the other team member who does not walk up to the department with the other team member is carefully taking the jewelry items that are sitting atop the counter. Keep your eyes open when you are out shopping.
If a shopper acts like they are having a seizure, or slips and falls on catsup or some other item, they have already stolen from the store and put the items in their clothing. The store employees, manager included, are too concerned about being sued than they are about shoplifting. A pro-shoplifter knows all of the slick tricks.
This is an easy one to spot. If you see a pair of men’s underwear (still in the pack), sticking in the cereal aisle behind the frosted flakes, tell a store employee because a thief has left the underwear there and will return later and get them when the “coast is clear.”
My personal opinion is this: “It is so sad that we as consumers also have to play store detective when we go to shop for our groceries or other merchandise.
Anne Gunderson, shoplifter. This is her mug shot
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