I did something Saturday that I've been trying to do for months.
I caught a shoplifter!
Shortly after we moved into our new store in April I started noticing things missing. Mostly models like baby shoes, diaper covers, onesies, stuff like that. I knew we had a problem and I had an idea of who the perpetrator might be, but I couldn't be sure.
What really ticked me off was that, besides the obvious of losing merchandise, this person was stealing from my customers. I want your shopping experience at Strawberry Patches to be inspiring. I want you to see fabulous ideas that inspire you to try something new, but this person was taking our cute models about as fast as we could get them made!
Saturday as I came out of my office Kara said she thought our shoplifter had been back. I asked what she was wearing, who she was with and which way she went. Kara said she was carrying a big black and white zebra print handbag with a red handle. I remembered seeing that bag in our store many times.
I'd had it. I was off to catch me a thief.
I found the perp and her partner next door in the grocery store walking up and down the aisles without a cart. She was carrying a big zebra striped handbag and he was carrying a package that he had picked from one of the shelves.
I was on them like white on rice.
I followed their every move; my eyes never leaving that package. They went to the chip aisle. I followed. They walked toward to veggies, I watched from the end of the aisle. I hid behind the cereal boxes and watched as he handed off the package and she swiftly swooped it into that big striped handbag. They never missed a step or said a word. The act was well choreographed and I could tell they had danced this dance many times before.
About that time I heard "security to the floor" over the loud speaker and looked up to see an employee responding to the call. I told him what I had just witnessed and the two of us followed the couple to the register. (They had picked up a box of crackers as they were leaving and they stopped to pay). The employee asked me if she was the person and if that was the bag with the booty in it. When I nodded, security asked to look in her bag and pulled out the package her dance partner had handed her.
I looked her in the eye, wagged my finger in her face and told her to never come into Strawberry Patches again! As I turned to leave I could hear the grocery store manager yelling at her. Just as I reached the door the security guard called me back and asked if what he found at the bottom of her big bag was mine. A $65.00 quilt kit! Ummm. Yeah...
Later that afternoon the grocery store manager came over to thank me. She said she had been trying to catch that family of thieves for months. Evidently this young woman works with her mother (who has been in and out of jail) and a couple of brothers (all of whom we have smiled at and welcomed into our store). The manager said everything had been caught by the security cameras and they would be prosecuted.
Now I'm off to get my sweet hubby and bring him home from his hospital stay. I'll be back later tonight with the winners of my little drawing.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
Encourage one another,