[narrated by a newly hired employee]
I was on my way to begin my shift at the cash register, when my co-worker Gaby, in passing me, told me to keep an eye on a little old lady that just came into the store. Gaby said that she was pretty sure that the woman had been stealing from the store in the past but didn’t have any proof.
This woman appeared to be in her late 80’s!!!
It is a store policy for customers to leave bags, backpacks, etc. behind the register area while they shop. As the little old lady, came to the register to leave her backpack, I noticed that she was also carrying a zippered tote bag that was not zippered shut. As she passed me I was able to see right in her bag. It was totally empty. I knew now for sure I had to keep an eye out as she kept this bag with her.
She proceeded to roam and shop all over the store for what seemed to be at least an hour. In this time I had to go to the back of the store and had to pass the little old lady, while she was sitting in a chair with the shopping cart in front of her and her little hands fumbling with items in the cart. The cart, by the way, was now over flowing.
At the end of this woman’s shopping spree, she came up to the cash register to check out. I rang up all her items as she was pulling them out of the cart. Then, the originally empty tote bag she was carrying as her purse, became uncovered at the bottom of the shopping cart: it was now full and zippered shut, it was bulging to over full capacity.
After she paid, I ran back to get the manager before the little old lady could leave.
The manager confronted her as the lady almost reached the front entrance, by asking her to allow us to compare the items listed on her receipts with the items in the bags she held, if it all matched, she had nothing to worry about.. She kept denying that she stole anything. But then she asked: “if you find anything, will I go to jail?” she was told we were not going to call the police.
I opened the bag and …. it was full of clothes that she did not purchase.
The little old lady now started rambling on about the fact that she was dying, and she was just taking those items to other people, and that she had been shopping here for ten years, and on, and on, and on, the manager told her that all that did not justify her stealing from a charity organization.
She was also told that she was not welcome there anymore.
Can you imagine how much the little old lady may have taken from our thrift shop in the last ten years???