So this was originally a comment on another post about the first time I caught this woman stealing but YESTERDAY SHE CAME BACK AND TRIED IT AGAIN because [insert quote about "insanity" here].
So for some background: I work at a spa and one of our clients is this old lady that has been coming to one of the owners for her nails since the dawn of time. She's at least in her 70s and is a royal pain in the ass because she ALWAYS comes in at least 30 mins late... we literally have to tell her her appointment is at 3:30 when it's actually 4. The owner has let her get away with it for so long that she just does it regularly now. We don't usually care because it only wastes the owner's time. Then after her last appointment I caught her stealing a bottle of hair product right off the display counter in front of me. She had already paid for her service, waited until my coworker and I got busy at the desk, then walked it over to our sitting area where her purse was, put it in and zipped it up. In shock I confronted her where she tried to play dumb then insisted she just wasn't paying attention and was going to ask how much it was. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight. I told both the owners. The one thinks she's just senile and the other who does her services does not. I thought in horror how she usually spends a good 20 minutes puttering around our retail area after every appointment and wonder how much stuff she has made off with. The owner decided to just watch her going forward so I alerted the front desk to watch her like a hawk.
FF to yesterday which was her first appointment since the one where I caught the client (C) stealing. After her appointment she started her typical tour of the retail area to look and touch and open everything and anything with a small open-topped bag on her arm. We were busy at the desk so I asked my coworker (S) to "tidy the retail shelves" with a quick whispered explanation as to why. S grabbed a rag and proceeded to clean shelves while shadowing C like it was specifically what we were paying her for. She proceeded to customer service the SHIT out of C, volunteering information on each of the products, answering C's hundreds of questions, etc. I kid you not this woman "shopped" for FORTY-FIVE MINUTES. Poor S was worn out from her questions but the retail area has never looked cleaner. C sighed and told us at the desk "I can't shop today but I did look, bye!" She ALMOST got to the front door but got distracted by our display of expensive leather purses. S looked like she had just gotten back the trenches only to be barked at to get back out there and proceeded to start "dusting" the desk next to the purses. C must have taken down every single purse, looked at the price tag (several hundred dollars each) and put them back. I looked away for a second to answer a question from another coworker and heard S squeak: "C! You have one of our purses!" I whipped my head around and there's C with one foot out the door with one of the smaller purses tucked under her arm. I came around the desk to take it from her and put it back and she puts her hand on my arm and goes "you MUST watch me my dear, my memory is not so good!" Yeah ok then.
I start showing her the sale bags when I happen to look in her bag and see a brand new travel makeup brush... the exact brand we carry. I know we have some of these in kits... kits she was looking in. I tell her I'm just going to see if we have any more sale purses in the back (so she doesn't leave) and I rush over to the makeup kits and sure enough one is missing a travel brush. I came back over with the kit in hand and tell her "C, you have one of our travel brushes in your bag." She proceeds to put on a very shitty "oh what do you mean??!" show as I pull out the brush. She then says by far the dumbest excuse for stealing I've ever heard:
C: Oh it must have fallen in my bag when I opened the kit.
OH OK THAT SOUNDS COMPLETELY PLAUSIBLE /s It would have sounded 2% less bullshitty if she hadn't then wandered over to another set of travel brushes and said "oh I need some of those but I can't afford it right now." Like do you expect me to go "oh ok then steal it from us, totally ok!!"
"I'm old" isn't an excuse, keep your sticky fingers to yourself.