I caught a shop-lifter!

Philippines
April 18, 2007 10:58pm CST
So, I was in the grocery store the other day, busy reading the labels of different lotions on the rack. Anyway, I was absorbed with myself, when a movement suddenly caught my eye. Uh uh, a lady (about 20-25 years old) is putting one bottle of imported lotion in her purse. I was surprised that I wasn't able to stop myself from looking at her ans STARING at her back. She must have felt my eyes because she turned around and blushed. Uh uh. caught in the act. I was telling myself, "Think fast, c'mon! What to do? What to do?" I pretended to approach her, though I'm just planning to walk by and scare her. She stammered and said "Please, don't tell anybody... " I stopped and said, "Please return the item... " We can hear footsteps (maybe other customers are coming), in panic, she took out the bottle from her bag and put it back to the rack and almost ran away. I was upset of course. I mean, I don't wanna put myself in that spot, you know. I can just close my eyes on it and mind my own business but I don't know, I just can't let that go on unnoticed... I feel sorry for the girl, she looks decent to me and it looks like she can afford to buy that item. Maybe she's a klepto or something..... I bet she's fuming mad at me for catching her in the act. What about you, what would you have done? Would you just turn your back and let it go? Or would you go and report her to the grocery management? Am I bad in doing what I did? Should I have reported her? Should I have let her do it?
4 people like this
9 responses
@Stephanie5 (2947)
• United States
19 Apr 07
I think I would of probably just looked the other way for fear that they might be watching her and arrest me too! No, I think you did the right thing. Stealing is wrong...I wish I had it in me to tell someone that if I seen something like that, but I'm usually too busy chasing my kids around the store to notice anything like that. Good Job!
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
Chasing your kids? :D Thanks but I think it was an incomplete job, she amy have to do it again because she went unpunished... Oh well, maybe whe's learned her lesson now... I hope.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Apr 07
Well, lets hope that it scared her enough that she won't do it again. You did the right thing! They might of even seen her on camera or something and was waiting for her to leave the store (I don't believe they can get you for shoplifting until you actually take it out of the store). She may not realize that you've done her a favor. You probably saved her from going to jail. And if she does it again, she will get caught eventually and then she'll wish that she would of stopped when you caught her! Good Job!
1 person likes this
@pitstop (5396)
• India
19 Apr 07
Good job. Although the best thing appears to be to inform the store, that would have been much more cumbersome and drawn attention to yourself.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
Uh uh, the least I need is me creating a scene, nope, I prefer to be in the sidelines, I don't fit the celebrity status, hehehe...
1 person likes this
• Singapore
19 Apr 07
I haven't been in such situations before. I guess I might do as you did - walking towards her to see how she reacts. If she begs me like she did with you, I think I would react like you did. If she started to run, if I can't catch her easily and there are no security guards around, I would probably just let her go. After all, it was just a small thing (a crime nevertheless but trivial regardless) and it is not as if she murdered or raped someone.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
I know, I understand what you mean. Maybe I was just being Ms. Goody-Two-Shoes again, playing hero... when I know I've done a deal of bad things myself.... Ohh well, I just value honesty greatly, that's all...
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
19 Apr 07
I don't know what I would have done. I have been in the store when people having been caught stealing and seeing them being arrested is very hard on me. One time, this lady had been stealing diapers and she got caught. She said, I don't want to go to jail and it took everything in me to keep from crying. I guess it all depends on the situation. I would want to do the right thing, but for me, that is something that I would have to be faced with to decide.
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
Yeah, I know what you mean, I think people do such kind of things for reasons we cannot comprehend, but I don't think they wanna do it really.... That's why I feel a little awful that I was in that situation....
1 person likes this
@Rozie37 (15503)
• Turkmenistan
19 Apr 07
I don't think you should feel awful. You may have done her a bigger favor than you realize. You never know, they could have caught her on camera and been waiting for her to leave the store to bust her. This could have also been her first time getting caught and maybe because you caught her she will never do it again. We don't always know why things happen the way that they do. If anything, she should be grateful that you handled it the way that you did. You could have easily told on her and at the least, she would have been banned from the store. I believe you did a great job.
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
Thanks for making me feel better, I have been thinking a lot about the lady lately....
1 person likes this
@misheleen73 (6037)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I think you did just fine. You may have just shocked her enough so that she won't do that again. I have seen a woman once, she was with a screaming baby, she was stuffin Baby Tylenol, and other assorted baby items into her diaper bag. I did nothing. My reason: she was stealing baby items, with a screaming baby. She may have been too poor to afford as these things are very expensive and the way the child was screaming, lead me to belive it may have been sick. I couldn't bring myself to turn in a woman in that situation. BUT, stealing lotion? That is just ridiculous. It is not like she had to HAVE that item to live.
• Philippines
22 Apr 07
hehehe! I sure dig your point, a LOTION! :D Anyway, I think I'll do the same when I see a mother sho-lifting for a screaming baby, i know I'll feel guilty too because it's like I'm an accomplice to the crime, but oh well, I can live with the guilt...
1 person likes this
@taymouse (585)
• United States
21 Apr 07
I think I'm much too shy to tell on her to anyone, and also, I'd be even more shy to approach her about it and tell her to put the item back. I think if I had seen someone shoplifting I would just act like I didn't notice and nothing was happening. I would mind my own business and not get into that of others. Unless it was something really expensive.
• Philippines
22 Apr 07
uhmm, but wouldn't it bother you at all? I mean, I'm sure you've watched Spiderman 1 (if you didn't, go watch it, nice movie). He let go a criminal and his uncle paid with his life because of it....
@neglitex (347)
• Latvia
20 Apr 07
It would have been bad if you ignored it. And I don't think if stealing a lotion is somehow justifiable. And maybe you should have reported her. I have to admit that when I was just a small kid I stole some sweets from a stall not that I couldn't afford it but because I was with my friend and it seemed fun for to us. I know it was not a good act but I can't change what I've done.
• Philippines
21 Apr 07
uhmmm, you did that before, that was the past, I'm sure you never allowed that to happen again, you were a kid, but her! she's a grown-up woman... ohh well, she's probably not gonna do it again....
@rsa101 (13336)
• Philippines
29 Feb 08
I think you just made the right choice by letting her put back the item. Letting her go is one way to realize her mistake and letting her maybe realize the consequences of her action. Hopefully the girl will learn from her actions and never do that again. Congratulation for bravely confronting the girl and tell her the right thing to do.
• Philippines
2 Feb 08
I've seen so many people doing this. And when I go to malls or shopping centers, I usually wear something comfortable like shorts and a t-shirt with sandal/slippers. When this high-school guy was trying to insert a not-so-expensive wallet in his binder, i saw it. I'm felt like I wanna go ahead and tell the guard who was nearby and all I knew was the teen dropped to the ground with the open binder and the wallet he stole. The sales ladies on nearby stands saw him and the guard came over. I was at the next stall laughing quietly. I only realized that when I passed by him, I kicked his left ankle which brought him down and pretended that I almost slipped. I never had to show up and tell the guard that it was me who brought him down coz the incident happened so fast... Reminiscing few years back that when my bag was stolen while I and my brother was playing soccer, I promised since then that if I would find someone stealing or on the act of doing the act, I would definitely make a way to stop him/her. Now, I would say that being a football athlete helps a lot... hehehe...