Shop Around: Tales Of Retail

Swifty

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I can understand you being uncomfortable with it, (I wouldn't like to have to do it) but I think you're handling it in the best way you can.

And there's certainly nowt wrong with using common sense :hoff:
I've already decided that the first one I catch who hands something over to me out of their pocket or whatever ? .. I'm just going to whisper to them "quick, just chuck it on that shelf while no one's watching and go!" ..
 

JamesWhitehead

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pretending they weren't watching her
I can confirm that at least one shoplifting jury became irritated by the lengths store detectives would go to, in order to allow a suspect to nick stuff. It was the majority view that a crime should have been prevented, instead of encouraged, leading to the public expense of a trial with jury!

I am pretty sure that a Lambrusco-headed chav. would not have the option of a Crown Court case and Legal Aid barrister these days.

In the event, he was acquitted, mainly on the grounds that the detective had apprehended him, while he was still on the premises of the department store. The bottle concealed in his coat, it was obvious he was guilty as hell but the notion that moving goods around the store could be a crime chilled us all. :rolleyes:
 
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Well done @Swifty for doing your bit :D

I'm always paranoid about the security buzzers going off when I leave the supermarket. I've developed the habit of holding the receipt in my hand so I can wave it in a "look I have a receipt for everything" sort of manner as I approach the exit.

Mr Zebra just stuffs the receipt in his wallet as soon as we leave the checkout.
"What if the buzzer goes off?" I always ask him.
"Well, then it'll go off." He says.

Livin' on the edge, 'e is.
Well, if they wrongly accuse him of theft then he can sue them for defamation!
 

Swifty

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Well, if they wrongly accuse him of theft then he can sue them for defamation!
My rehearsed lines are:

"Don't worry, this happens all the time, it's nothing to worry about"
"It's often that people have a tag on that wasn't removed from another store"
"If your handbag's new, I'm sure there's still a tag left in from the other store .. it happens all the time"

.. and lots of variations of the above. I'd never openly accuse someone of stealing, even if they handed the stolen stuff to me ..

"Oh, you must have forgotten you had that, not to worry, I'll put it back for you"
 

Swifty

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I caught three teens yesterday .. I say 'caught' in that I was told they were lifting but they weren't .. I'm glad I was nice to them instead, teenagers do lift the most on average but it's also as often mums lifting luxury items, especially Christmas stuff because they can't afford to pay for it but the mother instincts are hardwired. The next three different teens ? .. one of them was definitely trying to rob but we just watched him like a hawk instead until he left.
 

maximus otter

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...he was acquitted, mainly on the grounds that the detective had apprehended him, while he was still on the premises of the department store. The bottle concealed in his coat, it was obvious he was guilty as hell but the notion that moving goods around the store could be a crime chilled us all. :rolleyes:
The full offence of theft is complete when the suspect appropriates the item with the intention of depriving the owner of it. Allowing the offender to, say, leave the store merely makes proving the offence easier. It’s not required by law.

maximus otter
 

Swifty

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The full offence of theft is complete when the suspect appropriates the item with the intention of depriving the owner of it. Allowing the offender to, say, leave the store merely makes proving the offence easier. It’s not required by law.

maximus otter
That's why I try and 'nab 'em' before they leave the store .. everyone wins if you don't actually accuse them of stealing but offer them a basket instead .. I had one innocent school lad come to my counter, pop the sweets he wanted to buy in front of me and then casually take the can of pop out of his jacket pocket to pay for that as well. I pointed out to him in a friendly way that he might become the subject of unwanted attention in any shop if he used his pockets as a basket instead of using a basket in the future ..

 

maximus otter

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As an aside, it may interest some to know that every offence has its “points to prove”. Tick all of the boxes or you don’t have the offence.

For theft there are five. A suspect has to:

1. Dishonestly
2. Appropriate
3. Property
4. Belonging to another
5. With the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.

maximus otter
 

Ogdred Weary

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That's why I try and 'nab 'em' before they leave the store .. everyone wins if you don't actually accuse them of stealing but offer them a basket instead .. I had one innocent school lad come to my counter, pop the sweets he wanted to buy in front of me and then casually take the can of pop out of his jacket pocket to pay for that as well. I pointed out to him in a friendly way that he might become the subject of unwanted attention in any shop if he used his pockets as a basket instead of using a basket in the future ..
Several times, I've been shopping for groceries, found I've picked up more than I intended - if I only want a few things I don't usually pick up a basket; and then found I've put something into a bag I'm already carrying. It usually occurs to me what I've done within seconds, occasionally minutes but I've always corrected it and I've never been stopped or accused by staff.

I've also set off alarms many many times, I dare say most people have. I always stop, turn around and look for a member of staff, nine times out of ten, they just dismiss it immediately, whether they are security or retail staff. Occasionally they'll very half-heartedly looked into a bag if I've got one or quiz me in a friendly way, once or twice we've been able to determine which item I have that's set if off. I recall one time, going into half a dozen shops and setting off about half of them, it was a book or CD or something. No idea why it set off some systems and not others. It;s not happened in years, I don't know if they've improved the sensitivity of the systems so it's only triggered by their own stock, or if it's just coincidence.
 

Swifty

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Several times, I've been shopping for groceries, found I've picked up more than I intended - if I only want a few things I don't usually pick up a basket; and then found I've put something into a bag I'm already carrying. It usually occurs to me what I've done within seconds, occasionally minutes but I've always corrected it and I've never been stopped or accused by staff.

I've also set off alarms many many times, I dare say most people have. I always stop, turn around and look for a member of staff, nine times out of ten, they just dismiss it immediately, whether they are security or retail staff. Occasionally they'll very half-heartedly looked into a bag if I've got one or quiz me in a friendly way, once or twice we've been able to determine which item I have that's set if off. I recall one time, going into half a dozen shops and setting off about half of them, it was a book or CD or something. No idea why it set off some systems and not others. It;s not happened in years, I don't know if they've improved the sensitivity of the systems so it's only triggered by their own stock, or if it's just coincidence.
I was in a supermarket with the Mrs the other week and absent mindedly put something in one of our bags at the checkout before we'd paid for it. Luckily she spotted me doing it so took it back out so it can be done, especially as almost everyone takes there own bags into stores these rather that pay for a disposable one.

We popped into the shop I work in yesterday to do a bit of shopping, a mechanic was fixing our security scanning system so that should tighten things up a bit. One of my managers told us about another customer he's keeping an eye on, he's implementing my idea for all the staff to start practising: see someone shoplifting, hand them a basket out of a four piles left strategically around the store to make them paranoid. If the customer isn't doing anything wrong, they'll just think we're being thoughtful.
 

escargot

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I've also set off alarms many many times, I dare say most people have. I always stop, turn around and look for a member of staff, nine times out of ten, they just dismiss it immediately, whether they are security or retail staff.
I NEVER stop if the alarm goes off when I leave a shop. Nobody's embarrassing me into explaining myself to strangers when the real problem is that the system's faulty.

Grrr, just the thought of it happening makes me angry! :crazy:
 

Swifty

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For a change, I'm not the official first aider at the store I'm working at as a temp until the 23rd ..

I noticed a teenage girl with a group this evening with what looked like her family waiting to pay at the checkout, she dropped a load of crap she was about to buy and then I noticed her again flat out on the floor. I said to my co-worker "Is she OK or is she just mucking about?" .. he replied he didn't know, so I did the action stations thing and waved a manager over. The family were strangely chuckling and told us not to worry because "She does this all the time" ..

I called another manager out from her break and repeated to her what the family had just said, she went and crouched down next to the girl until the girl came around.

Seeing as the girl wasn't thrashing around or anything, I assumed it wasn't epilepsy .. I'm no expert but could it be narcolepsy ? .. I kept serving customers then this girl eventually 'came around' and was able to stand up, not looking at all flustered, shaken up or upset over her ordeal, just red cheeked? ..

I'm guessing she was pulling some Munchausen crap, possibly because two girls she was with about her age were also watching ..

This took me back to the time when a girl at Morrisons was having an epileptic fit, I'd managed to get a staff member's jacket to put under her fist because she was punching the ground with it, the paramedics turned up and the most senior one stated "We'll .. if she has epilepsy, that's the most co-ordinated attack I've ever seen" .. we all groaned, they left the scene and the girl made a 'miraculous' recovery in front of our eyes within about 30 seconds.

FFS.
 
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Schrodinger's Zebra

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I was in a supermarket with the Mrs the other week and absent mindedly put something in one of our bags at the checkout before we'd paid for it.
Things like that can happen easily. At the supermarket checkout a couple of months ago, I was beginning to pack the stuff while Mr Zebra finished loading the conveyor belt, as was our usual routine. As he pushed the empty trolley to the end to join up with me, we were busy packing then a moment later I noticed a small item that was still in the trolley! Mr Zebra hadn't seen it as he was putting everything up. We just picked it up with a sheepish grin and told the checkout lady and she was fine with it.


I NEVER stop if the alarm goes off when I leave a shop. Nobody's embarrassing me into explaining myself to strangers when the real problem is that the system's faulty.

Grrr, just the thought of it happening makes me angry! :crazy:
I couldn't do that! It would just make you look more guilty, surely? I always make a point of subtly hanging around just outside the shop after I've exited, just so the shop can see that I'm not guilty cos I'm moving away slowly rather than running.
 

catseye

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People in our shop quite often use their own shopping bags instead of shopping baskets. I always say that it's fine, if you are carrying it openly then nobody is going to mistake it for shoplifting. We did have a couple of likely lads in yesterday but our manager recognised them from last Christmas (when they managed to make off with some spirits) and a whole bunch of us watched them all round the shop. They ended up dumping their baskets full of stuff which they'd been filling whilst waiting for the opportunity to slip stuff under their jackets, and leaving.
 

escargot

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I couldn't do that! It would just make you look more guilty, surely? I always make a point of subtly hanging around just outside the shop after I've exited, just so the shop can see that I'm not guilty cos I'm moving away slowly rather than running.
Naaah, I just carry on walking at whatever pace I'm already doing. If anyone thinks I look guilty it's THEIR problem, and it would be a BIGGER problem if they dared ask me.

Couple of years ago an alarm went off as we left Tesco and a security guard approached us. He politely asked to see our receipt and Techy showed him. I was disgruntled because if I'd been alone I'd've told him I wasn't showing him anything and if he thought I'd been stealing he could call the police.
 

Ogdred Weary

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For a change, I'm not the official first aider at the store I'm working at as a temp until the 23rd ..

I noticed a teenage girl with a group this evening with what looked like her family waiting to pay at the checkout, she dropped a load of crap she was about to buy and then I noticed her again flat out on the floor. I said to my co-worker "Is she OK or is she just mucking about?" .. he replied he didn't know, so I did the action stations thing and waved a manager over. The family were strangely chuckling and told us not to worry because "She does this all the time" ..

I called another manager out from her break and repeated to her what the family had just said, she went and crouched down next to the girl until the girl came around.

Seeing as the girl wasn't thrashing around or anything, I assumed it wasn't epilepsy .. I'm no expert but could it be narcolepsy ? .. I kept serving customers then this girl eventually 'came around' and was able to stand up, not looking at all flustered, shaken up or upset over her ordeal, just red cheeked? ..

I'm guessing she was pulling some Munchausen crap, possibly because two girls she was with about her age were also watching ..

This took me back to the time when a girl at Morrisons was having an epileptic fit, I'd managed to get a staff member's jacket to put under her fist because she was punching the ground with it, the paramedics turned up and the most senior one stated "We'll .. if she has epilepsy, that's the most co-ordinated attack I've ever seen" .. we all groaned, they left the scene and the girl made a 'miraculous' recovery in front of our eyes within about 30 seconds.

FFS.
I was in a Waterstones several moths ago and there was a "bang" and I turned around and the girl behind the counter had collapsed, I could only see her head and neck but she appeared to be lying completely still. There were two other staff present, they were unfazed, one carried on serving customers while the other notified another member of staff, presumably First AID, and then watched her. Seems they were used to her doing this and it was genuine.
 

JamesWhitehead

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When the alarm goes off, it is because a dodgy character has left the store alongside me, to create a quandry for the detectives: just which of the villainous-looking coves should they stop?

I wear my very best effoff-face, which works on everyone except charidee-pests!

Only once did I stop and volunteer my co-operation. No one else was near and the lad manning the door - it's that sort of area - was an ex-pupil. Nicked!

The offending item turned out to be one of my charidee-shop DVDs - presumably pinched from that supermarket some years earlier*. There was still a magnetic tag inside the case.

*I assume every shop has its own code on those tags or would pilfered stuff set off every alarm in town? I'm asking for a friend . . . :oops:
 
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Swifty

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When the alarm has gone off, it is usually because a dodgy character has left the store alongside me, perhaps to create a deliberate quandry: just which of these villanous-looking coves should they stop?

I wear my very best effoff face, which works on everyone except charidee-pests!

Only on one occasion did I stop and volunteer my co-operation. The lad manning the door - it's that sort of area! - was an ex-pupil! For once, no one else was near.

The offending item turned out to be one of my charidee-shop DVDs - presumably nicked from that supermarket a good few years earlier. There was still a magnetic tag inside the case. I assume every shop has its own code on those tags or would pilfered stuff set off every alarm in town? I'm asking for a friend . . . :oops:
My current boss told me about a case where a woman successfully sued a store and won because they hadn't removed a security tag which set off the alarm, she was waved on but every store after that she entered ? .. the same tag set off the alarms in those stores as well so she kept getting stopped and searched.
 

Swifty

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I was in a Waterstones several moths ago and there was a "bang" and I turned around and the girl behind the counter had collapsed, I could only see her head and neck but she appeared to be lying completely still. There were two other staff present, they were unfazed, one carried on serving customers while the other notified another member of staff, presumably First AID, and then watched her. Seems they were used to her doing this and it was genuine.
Narcolepsy maybe .. more likely attention seeking bullshit, faking symptoms isn't unheard of .. remember Gillian McKeith when she did that fake drop on TV's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here? .. don't get me wrong, we always take every report seriously and respond to it but we've also seen the real thing happen a lot so when I'm looking at a girl lying on the floor with a serene smile across her face who shows no symptoms of confusion, anxiety etc 30 seconds later? .. I reckon the Waterstones girl was probably faking it as well sorry although I wasn't there ..


A completely different medical condition I know but my old flatmate had epilepsy attacks quite often, I'd get a phone call from downstairs asking me to come down because he was fitting on the floor, so often that me and him had an in joke about it, he'd ask me what was going on when he came round a bit and I'd reply "Hammertime". Our boss thought that was hilarious but he'd always let me walk **** back home.
 
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escargot

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I bought some big bottles of nice spirits a few years ago from a supermarket. When I got them home they still had the tags on. The alarms hadn't gone off at the door. Techy and I had fun removing the tags before we delivered the gifts.

Could have gone back to the shop and asked for the tags to be removed but then I'd've had to explain myself and might have been suspected of stealing them and trying a scam.

Even producing the receipt wouldn't help if the manager didn't want to admit the till worker was negligent and the alarm system was faulty. I was going to look like a thief whatever happened when I'm not.

I particularly remember that when shop alarms go off and innocent customers stop dead and do that 'I'm not a shoplifter, honest!' thing. Humiliating people who've done nothing wrong, yeah, GREAT customer service.
 

Ogdred Weary

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I believe there are some non-narcoleptic seizures simply involve collapsing. I've seen a couple of narcolyptics simply fall asleep but they were sitting down, one was only a few days ago, they were a little confused when waking up but that was all.

I think the girl in Waterstones was genuine, it sounded like a pretty hard fall and she may have hit her head in the bin behind her.
 

Ogdred Weary

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I bought some big bottles of nice spirits a few years ago from a supermarket. When I got them home they still had the tags on. The alarms hadn't gone off at the door. Techy and I had fun removing the tags before we delivered the gifts.

Could have gone back to the shop and asked for the tags to be removed but then I'd've had to explain myself and might have been suspected of stealing them and trying a scam.

Even producing the receipt wouldn't help if the manager didn't want to admit the till worker was negligent and the alarm system was faulty. I was going to look like a thief whatever happened when I'm not.

I particularly remember that when shop alarms go off and innocent customers stop dead and do that 'I'm not a shoplifter, honest!' thing. Humiliating people who've done nothing wrong, yeah, GREAT customer service.
I'm sorry you've had those issues Escargot, they've always been nice to me and generally don't even check. I set off a Sainsbury's alarm years ago with a tag from a reusable water bottle from Tesco, I had thought the small black plastic tab was part of the black plastic lid. The security guard was helpful, and we had a laugh about it, I think he was glad to have some to chat to.
 

Swifty

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I'm sorry you've had those issues Escargot, they've always been nice to me and generally don't even check. I set off a Sainsbury's alarm years ago with a tag from a reusable water bottle from Tesco, I had thought the small black plastic tab was part of the black plastic lid. The security guard was helpful, and we had a laugh about it, I think he was glad to have some to chat to.
9 times out of 10 it's the store's fault .. over the last two days since the man who fixes alarms has been in and done his thing, our alarm has hardly gone off at all (although I have spotted security stickers that have been peeled off and thrown behind bottles of washing up liquid etc.) .. the alarm went off three times on people who were just walking into the store today.

I'll take your word for it that the Waterstones girl was a genuine case, hopefully first aiders were filling out the accident report correctly each time and she was also receiving correct GP care at her surgery.

I used to work with a woman called Linda who 'fell over' .. I say fell over like that because staff watched her not falling over but instead lowering herself to the ground and then suddenly shouting dramatically .. Linda didn't genuinely fall over so often that she earned the nickname 'claims direct' because she was blatantly looking for a compensation claim and a fast ticket out of having to keep going to work. She tried to include me once in her dastardly plans because I'd spilled some peas on the floor. She'd spotted this, placed herself on the ground and then started wailing "It was the peas. it was the peas!!" .. another female first aider did a check and there was no injury or bruising consistent in any way with a woman of her large build falling on to the ground.
 
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Iris

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My daughter said that another daigou shopper for baby formula had their trolley stolen this week.
She said that 2 rival groups were fighting because they considered the store was their territory and the same was happening at Coles which is also in the centre, and security had to be called.
They are a pest in the supermarkets, blocking up the baby formula aisle grabbing cans and taking pictures so although there are things like vitamins in that aisle so I avoid going there.
 

escargot

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I'm sorry you've had those issues Escargot, they've always been nice to me and generally don't even check.
Heh, thank you! The problem was that the tags were still on and there was no honest-looking way to take them back to get them off, when the bottles were gifts for relations. A big failure all round which might have caused me to be suspected of nicking.

What annoys me most is that the biggest thieves in retail are the staff themselves. Not necessarily front-line staff, more the 'fell off the back of a lorry' brigade further back in the supply chain. Shrinkage.
 

cycleboy2

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9 times out of 10 it's the store's fault .. over the last two days since the man who fixes alarms has been in and done his thing, our alarm has hardly gone off at all (although I have spotted security stickers that have been peeled off and thrown behind bottles of washing up liquid etc.) .. the alarm went off three times on people who were just walking into the store today.

I'll take your word for it that the Waterstones girl was a genuine case, hopefully first aiders were filling out the accident report correctly each time and she was also receiving correct GP care at her surgery.

I used to work with a woman called Linda who 'fell over' .. I say fell over like that because staff watched her not falling over but instead lowering herself to the ground and then suddenly shouting dramatically .. Linda didn't genuinely fall over so often that she earned the nickname 'claims direct' because she was blatantly looking for a compensation claim and a fast ticket out of having to keep going to work. She tried to include me once in her dastardly plans because I'd spilled some peas on the floor. She'd spotted this, placed herself on the ground and then started wailing "It was the peas. it was the peas!!" .. another female first aider did a check and there was no injury or bruising consistent in any way with a woman of her large build falling on to the ground.
She was just taking the peas (there's very nearly a pun in there, and if I'd had a glass fewer of wine I'd have found it...).
 

Swifty

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If you're ever trying to get to somewhere on time in Cromer and you know that you're also wanting to pop into a shop on the way, you have to build an extra ten to fifteen minutes buffer time into your plans .. because we're a small community, people love to chat in stores with the checkout staff who love to chat back to them ..

The Mrs met a couple from London visiting on holiday the other day who found all of this charming and I suppose they're right, the world should slow down a bit although I know they'd change their minds if they actually moved here and were also forced to remember the buffer time rule. And you always let the woman behind you get served next (unless she's got a ton of stuff and you're only buying one item), Cromer's still old fashioned that way.
 

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I was in Dunelm looking for a plain tablecloth for my computer desk, I only needed something 3ft x 4ft but the cloths were huge, suitable for Banqueting tables. I found nice smaller ones but they were plastic, whilst the cloth ones had horrible patterns. When I thought I'd found a nice small tablecloth, the size suddenly changed from cms to inches (or vice versa). I was getting in a tizz, my brother couldn't help as he'd left his glasses in the car, but fortunately a white-haired biddy standing nearby took pity on me. " 60 inches is 5 feet", she said, "I'm 5 feet if that helps?" . I stared at her and then at the shelves of cloth and then at her again and then into middle space. "Hmm - yes, I'm just trying to imagine you spread over my table."

Tap on the forearm - "Don't go there."
 
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