Working in big box retail has yielded me some amazing stories. Some involve unruly customers, most involve Black Friday, and a few result in some hilarious attempts to steal shit in the store.
You've all been in big box stores, so I'll describe this one's layout.
The layout at the time was that your PCs, Televisions, Appliances, and all the big ticket items were on the outside of the main floor. We had a white and black walkway that was a gigantic square which wrapped around the store and separated the big ticket stuff from the smaller items in the center. Inside the center were cameras, cell phones, and most importantly, shelves upon shelves of CDs, DVDs, video games, etc.
Middle of the week in this store was boring as hell. Most of us kept ourselves entertained on our earpiece radios by playing guessing games and commenting on the mullets that came into the store and even giving a rating by referring to them as "Code M" which would prompt about ten employees to start looking at the department. Our LP guy was a good friend of mine, and at 6'7" with a hilarious sense of humor, the store tended to be more fun when he was watching the cameras up front.
On this day, however, we got our entertainment from a short woman who decided she was going to try and rob us blind.
It was a little cool outside, but nothing overbearing as it was early Spring. This woman, however, had come in wearing extremely heavy and somewhat baggy pants, a winter jacket, sunglasses (kept them on indoors), and a heavy sweater underneath. It wasn't a minute before she was in the DVDs and already frantically looking around and just acting sketchy. My friend at LP, we'll call him Alex, hits me up on the earpiece.
Me: Yeah...why? Is she acting strange?
Alex: Oh yeah. She did a triple take at one of the cameras I have locked on to her.
Me: Wow. Why is she bundled up like it's 20 below outside?
Alex: That's why I want you to watch her.
I set up camp about three aisles diagonally from her and actually had a good view. Sure enough, this woman grabs a bunch of the cheap DVDs that weren't in security cases, looks around, and stuffs them down her pants.
Me: You catch that on camera?
Alex: Yep, already calling the police now. Just keep locked onto her.
She wasn't content there. She made a few stops along the way, stopping at the Xbox 360 section, the Blu-Rays, and the PS3 games. Hey, at least she wasn't a fanboy of one system or the other! Thieves apparently don't discriminate!
She spent the next ten minutes or so walking around to make it seem like she was just browsing. At this point, there are four of us basically watching her from a distance while we wait for the police, who showed up in the form of two cruisers outside. One was set up in the parking lot, the other pulled up alongside the front of the building just away from the entrance. Alex went out to greet him, where the officer was outside stretching and limbering up.
Alex: Why are you stretching, sir?
Officer: I hope she runs. I need a workout!
Meanwhile, back in the store, our little thief had caught on to the fact that she was being watched the entire time and was putting the cheap DVDs back in a different spot than the belonged.
Oye. Some people just don't get it, do they?
Of course, the alarm goes off when she hits the exit and bolts right past Alex as he's coming back into the building. Now, store rules for us meant that once she was outside the store, we couldn't chase her.
However, Officer Workout was ready and, sure as shit, she took off the moment she saw the cruiser. We would find out later that the officer used to play safety for a Division Three college nearby, which wasn't a shock as he performed a beautiful form-fitting tackle on her in the middle of the parking lot. You know the type I'm talking about: Getting her from behind, lifting her completely off her feet, but making sure that he set her back down on the feet like you would in football warmups when practicing tackling form.
No injuries, no blood, just getting the thief.
The best line of the day, though, came from the officer after he brought her back in for us to show her the security tape and to fill out our official paperwork on her. He heads out of the office and comes over to us, giving us his direct phone number.
Officer: Seriously, guys, just call me next time and not dispatch. I love this shit.