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(128 Posts)
annsixty Mon 14-Jun-21 12:06:25

On Saturday my GD and I had the first proper outing for a very long time.
We went to a local small town/ large village.
Had coffee and a toastie outside a small cafe and looked in a few shops.
We went into a very small Boots and while in there witnessed the most blatant/ audacious shoplifting episode.
A young man in shorts and tee shirt apparently followed us in and went straight to a corner display and just dropped bottle after bottle of aftershave into a plastic bag and walked out.
He could not be seen by the only staff member on the floor who was behind a large plastic screened counter, she was far from a young woman.
She seemed to be very unhappy with myself , my GD and another woman who had all seen the incident and didn’t react.
It happened so quickly it was hard to comprehend just what was happening and we were shocked and surprised.
I am almost 84 and can’t move well at all and most certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t intervene.
My GD felt the same, 5feet nothing she would not have stood a chance against a young fit man.
What would you have done?

Kali2 Mon 14-Jun-21 12:09:58

So you told her what you had witnessed. Surely she perhaps knew who the young guy was- and you could have offered a good description and left your details if she needed witnesses.

That is what I would have done.

annsixty Mon 14-Jun-21 12:25:02

She said it would be on cctv but “nothing would be done”
The only description I could give was a tall young man, probably late 20’s wearing shorts and a tee shirt.
We never saw his face only his back as took the goods and walked out.
This all took place in the front section of the shop and I was at the back of the aisle 90 degrees from him when I realised what was happening.
It was a very shocking incident to us.

Callistemon Mon 14-Jun-21 12:25:10

What would you have done?

I have witnessed shoplifting on more than one occasion and did not tackle the shoplifter but reported it to the staff as soon as I could.
Presumably they have CCTV.

Sadly, it happens a lot and the cost of it is factored in to what we pay for goods.

tanith Mon 14-Jun-21 12:32:27

My daughter works in a large well known store and is often alone on the till with one other member of staff in the whole large store thieving goes on regularly but even when the staff know they only confront someone when they are sure of back up from other staff and who could blame them. Thieves know they are unlikely to be challenged at certain times.

Calendargirl Mon 14-Jun-21 12:35:58

Apart from anything else, if it all happened quite quickly and blatantly, you would be so shocked you would maybe think “Was he a staff member or something?” and by the time you realised it would be too late to alert anyone.

Did the assistant expect you to challenge him and block his exit?


Callistemon Mon 14-Jun-21 12:39:02

I am almost 84 and can’t move well at all and most certainly couldn’t and wouldn’t intervene.
Did the shop assistant expect you to take him down in a flying rugby tackle, annsixty?

Never mind CCTV, you'd have been on the national news!

ElaineI Mon 14-Jun-21 12:42:00

I would have done no differently annsixty. Reported it and given a description. It is not safe to confront people who are stealing as you don't know if they would have had a knife or not and if the shop worker said nothing would be done, she is probably right. This is why many stores have security men. You were right.

MerylStreep Mon 14-Jun-21 12:48:13

I pointed out some shoplifters to the manager of a co-op supermarket. His response: leave it, it’s more trouble than it’s worth and nothing will come of it

Calendargirl Mon 14-Jun-21 12:50:02

It’s maddening though isn’t it, how shoplifters ‘get away with it’

Aftershave. Not like it was food to feed his hungry children.

I just don’t know how people have the brass neck to do it.

JaneJudge Mon 14-Jun-21 12:53:41

One of my friends works on customer services in a well known supermarket and she said it is AWFUL atm for people stealing. She said they are even working in groups to overwhelm the security. She thinks it's because of the pandemic and lock downs etc

JaneJudge Mon 14-Jun-21 12:55:36

Btw you shouldn't be expected to do anything! Staff aren't even supposed to confront thieves in case they get whacked or worse. They are supposed to approach and say di they need a basket, did they accidentally put it in their bag but are trained to stand off if the thief becomes hostile. It just isn't worth it. The violence directed towards retail staff is something that never seems to be covered in the news, does it?

annsixty Mon 14-Jun-21 12:57:09

I imagine that aftershave which appeared to be all he took, would be sold on a market stall for Fathers Day which is coming up.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 14-Jun-21 12:57:53

It's awful though, isn't it? Honest types like us pay more for things because of these bad 'uns. I expect experienced thieves know exactly when the shop is short staffed due to tea breaks and lunch times and whether a corner lacks CCTV so they can get away with it.

I once saw a woman drop some earrings into her bag when another shopper had asked for help in a changing room, thus luring an assistant away from the counter. Working in league perhaps? I was very young then and it was the first time I'd seen anything like this, my blood ran cold.

M0nica Mon 14-Jun-21 12:59:25

I would have spoken very loudly and told the young man to put the goods back. Other people would have turned to look at him, and you could, if you had your phone with youhave taken a photo of him or pretended to.

With a bit of luck, he would have dropped his loot and run

Callistemon Mon 14-Jun-21 13:01:26


I imagine that aftershave which appeared to be all he took, would be sold on a market stall for Fathers Day which is coming up.

Of course!

My first thought was that he was going to drink it.

MerylStreep Mon 14-Jun-21 13:19:18

Pre lockdown there were thousands + working under the radar and not on any system
How do they survive now? Stealing anything that isn’t nailed down 😡

3nanny6 Mon 14-Jun-21 13:20:59

That was not a nice experience for you. You mentioned you were in a small village and the Boots store was small. Most of the Boots stores I have been in are bigger and all of them have a security guard near the exit door. One of the Boots I have used on the High Street is in a village and they even had a security guard.
I do not think it is a good idea to confront a shoplifter yourself as you do not know what their reaction could be
and they could become violent causing you some injury.
In my express tesco a few weeks ago a young man tried stealing food but some staff had seen him so they went to the exit where the security was standing and about four of them confronted him whereby he threw the items at the men and was told get out and do not come back.
He was lucky they did not detain him and call the police.

dragonfly46 Mon 14-Jun-21 13:25:24

That happened to me Anne. I was in Dunelm and a young man with a baby in a pram was unwrapping the most expensive duvet cover in the shop. He said in a jokey way he was dismantling it. He then put in under the pram and walked out of the store. I was so shocked at the blatant way he did this.

Afterwards I thought maybe I should have said something but it is such a shock. I just reported it to the staff.

annodomini Mon 14-Jun-21 13:26:48

Surely even small branches of Boots would have CCTV as their kind of merchandise is very attractive too shoplifters as it's easy to dispose of.

annodomini Mon 14-Jun-21 13:27:26

too to. For goodness' sake!

rafichagran Mon 14-Jun-21 13:40:54

You reported the incident, you could do no more.

muffinthemoo Mon 14-Jun-21 14:14:09

A dear friend of mine was stabbed and severely injured trying to detain a shoplifter he witnessed in the act. Give a statement is asked but absolutely do not intervene personally. A property crime is not worth your personal safety.

nanna8 Mon 14-Jun-21 14:52:49

He could have pulled a knife on you if you had intervened so you definitely did the right thing. What a scumbag , too many of them around these days.

Doodledog Mon 14-Jun-21 15:01:32

I saw something similar in a city centre branch of Superdrug. by the time I realised that my eyes weren't deceiving me another woman had spoken up - well, shouted 'Oi' at him, at least 😀. He pushed her roughly and ran out of the door, disappearing onto the busy street outside.

The woman he'd pushed wasn't hurt, but she was shaken. It could have been a lot worse. I'm pleased you didn't put yourself at risk, annsixty.