This happened a few years ago, at the same jewelry and gift store where I work now. Our store is in a mall, right on the corner where a hallway from one of the mall entrances comes into the main part of the mall. So some of our display windows face out onto this hallway, affording us lovely views of the rich tapestry of humanity that deigns to grace our humble mercantile.
Anyway, I'm working the closing shift one evening and since it had been pretty slow, my co-worker had just gone in the backroom to take his dinner break. I was out front dusting some stuff in one of the display windows that face out onto the mall entrance hallway. At one point I happened to look up and saw a young-ish man in a (non-powered) wheelchair heading down the hall, towards the mall entrance, very very quickly. I mean he was haulin' ass. The dude was pretty much a blur except I did happen to notice that he had a little dog in his lap, who looked absolutely terrified, like what the hell is happening, please slow down, oh no oh no. But just as quickly as they'd appeared, both man and highly anxious dog had vanished into the night.
Okay, so obviously the guy was in a hurry, and maybe his dog just doesn't like riding that fast. Or maybe he kidnapped the dog, IDK. Just as I'm contemplating this, one of mall security guards runs into the store, looking a bit frantic.
Me: Uhhh...hey, what's up?
Guard: Have you seen a white male, mid-late 20s, brown hair, in a wheelchair, holding a little dog?
Me: (!!!) Y-yeah, they just went out the mall entrance, that way!
Guard: Thanks! (runs out the door and down the hall in hot pursuit)
A couple of minutes later, the security guard came back to the store and explained what had happened. Wheelchair Guy (WG) had just been in an art gallery down the mall from our store, where they had several ceramic sculptures on display, each about the size of a football. Well, wouldn't you know, WG decided to swipe one of them. In what must have been one of the most impressive shoplifting attempts ever, WG:
wheeled his way out of the art gallery (which requires turning a couple of corners, you can't just go straight out);
immediately turned a sharp left into the mall so as to not run into a kiosk right outside the entrance to the gallery;
dodged around the various people walking through the mall;
turned another sharp corner into the hallway leading out the entrance, so as not to run into the trash bins and bench sitting at the end of the hallway;
made his way through the mall entrance, which at the time had no automatic door-open mechanisms on that particular door;
all with a frantic, spazzy dog jumping to and fro on his lap.
And he escaped!! I swear the only thing missing from this caper was someone from security giving chase on a Segway, Paul Blart-style.
The victory was to be short lived, however, because like many thieves, WG shortly thereafter returned to the scene of the crime. He came back to the mall a couple of weeks later, but since security had surveillance video from the art gallery, they caught him right away. He still had the sculpture (it wasn't anything he could have pawned, and turns out he stole it just because he had a compulsion to do so). He returned the piece and was banned from the mall in exchange for no charges being filed.
I haven't seen the guy since. He may be gone, but we lucky few in the mall won't soon forget the dawn of the Wheelchair Bandit. His dazzling displays of chair-fu will live on in our hearts and minds forever.
So I work at a candy store that sells gelato. Our boss ordered more pumpkin gelato than we could sell, so she told us to hand out big samples of it for free to the people walking by our shop last night (think Dixie cups full of gelato).
I'm standing outside with samples while my coworker is inside. It's our busiest part of the week, as it's during the downtown farmer's market and it is after dinner, so people are starting to walk home and stopping in for dessert. A man with a white beard and glasses wearing a gray sweatshirt walks by. He'll be WG for "weird guy" and I'll be Me.
Me: Would you like to try a free sample of our pumpkin gelato?
WG:(walking up to me) I hate pumpkin!
Me: That's okay, if you go inside we have 23 other flavors you can sample. :)
WG: Well... I guess I can take some anyway. Maybe I'll go in later.
So he takes a sample and obviously he doesn't like how it tastes. He goes straight to a trash can and throws it out. I think he's going to continue walking down the street, but he goes into the store anyway. I think, great, my coworker will give him some other samples and maybe he'll get something.
A few minutes later, he comes back out empty handed and walks up to me.
WG: No luck! I kept waiting for her to help me but she didn't.
Me: Oh, what were you looking for?
WG: I was just looking for malt balls.
Me: We have tons of malt balls! We don't have them pre-packaged, they are just sold in bulk. They're in our gravity bins.
(These bins cover the entire wall to the left of the front door and customers serve themselves, there are bags everywhere.)
WG: Well, better luck next time I guess...
And he walks away, awkwardly. I came in when my sample tray was empty and asked my coworker if she had seen him.
Coworker: Yeah, I think I saw him walking around. What about him?
Me: He said he was waiting for you to help him... He wanted malt balls.
Coworker: Oh, I was checking people out the whole time... He never asked me for help.