The store I work at doesn't have security cameras, and given that it's a Big Box Store and the quality of software and hardware we have to use, i don't think that's going to change anytime soon. This makes things like Theft and False returns really easy to commit and unfortunately puts everyone making genuine returns in a sort of grey area until we can find proof of purchase. Even then there are things you miss or people that find loopholes in the system.
In my time working Retail I have seen:
♦ Someone put a 10 gallon aquarium with small animal accessories (wheel, hide, chews, etc) in a 20 gallon LED Aquarium Kit box. Really the fault of the person doing the return for not checking, but who the hell does that?
♦ Someone emptied a cheap box of dog treats into a $50 dog bed to try and sneak that out. To their credit, they seemed to realize that having to drag the now 20lb bed to the register would look funny, so they left it for us to find.
♦ One genius saw that we had a dog door that was around $180, took it off the shelf and walked right up to the register to try and process it as a return. Most people who do fake returns at least leave the store with the item first.
♦ Countless multipacks broken into and only one item taken, like a 3 pack of Bird Perches or a 5 pack of Tennis balls. The kicker here is that usually the single ones are right next to them.
♦ A Clueless stoner who tried to return a pet's Water Fountain that was more hard water scale than metal and had consequently stopped working. When was it purchased? Three years ago.
♦ While doing a Pet Food Reset, i found the box for a $50 Name Brand Battery Operated Gravel Vacuum shoved behind the canned foods. Didn't exactly strike me as theft borne out of necessity.
♦ A considerable amount of people got the idea to not only just make a false return, but to sell the Merchandise Card for drug money (or whatever the hell they wasted their lives on). At the height of it, I had about 7 people come in on my shift asking for returns on loads of merchandise, with all their stories having the same elements - They got all this stuff a few days ago and their animal died (they've never been stolen or had to be given up, they're always dead), they don't have a receipt for it and they didn't use their Reward Account but a merchandise card is just fine.
During that period of time, we started writing the Gift Card Number on the return slip so that account could be monitored and shut down if necessary.
Of course there's lots more than just that, but those are the weirder or dumber things I've seen. I don't know what's worse, that people would try this kind of thing in the first place, or that i've seen it so often.