Shoplifting

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RSteve

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Considering I'm an old phart who lives alone, I'm at the grocery store more now than when my family (kids) were growing up. As I've noted previously, because of the pandemic, I have childcare of one or more young grandchildren, minimum three days, sometimes 4 or 5 days a week. I feed them breakfast and lunch and a couple of days a week to give my daughter and her husband a break, I make supper for everyone. I simply get exhausted by trying to grocery shop and haul everything and put it away, if I go just once a week to the grocery, so I try to go twice a week during the hours dedicated to the elderly and immune impaired.

Today, I went to the nearby Aldi, just a couple of minutes from my house. I bought about $75 in groceries. I packed all the groceries in a large produce box and headed out the exit. At the same time as I was exiting, a woman came charging past me, pulling what appeared to be a small suitcase on wheels. The shoplift alarm went off and the woman yelled at me, "It's you, not me," and charged out the door. Within a couple of seconds, a store employee approached me as I was going to my car. "Sir, I need you to come back into the store, so we can check your receipt against what you have in your cart." I said that was fine, but I expected him to repack everything in the box and load it into my car. I also suggested that he call the police to witness the search. I explained that he, without legal standing, was about to undertake a warrantless search and create an extreme liability situation for Aldi. He replied, "I'm really nervous about this, but the manager ordered me to stop you." I replied, "Get the manager out here. I'll wait." He ran into the store and out comes a youngish woman. I explained her liability and said, "Let's go into the store and we'll exchange I.D., then, you personally can go through my cart."

Item by item, she checked everything against my receipt. It all matched. I thought she was going to cry. I explained to her that she could have put herself in extreme danger over some groceries. "What if the person you'd halted was violent? If you suspected theft, you should called the police. Did you feel safe, because I'm old? You do realize, I've recorded everything on my phone and when I send a copy to Aldi's regional office, you'll probably be immediately terminated."

The tears flowed. "Please, I'm so sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing. I need this job. I'm a single mom with two small kids."

"You didn't do the right thing. Over some stinkin' groceries, you put your life and your children's welfare in danger. If you were my daughter, you'd be feeling my shoe in your rear end. Now, pack up my groceries, load them into my trunk, and promise me you'll never do such a stupid, risky thing again!"
 

Brunello

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Wow, you sure have the adventures Steve. For an "old phart" you've got a lot of vim and vigor. But having been in retail management in the past I can say that nobody was ever stopped or questioned unless security had evidence on video. Too many liability issues, not to mention the potential violent reaction. They should have offered some gesture of apology, like a 20% off coupon on your next visit. At least you gave them a good scare!
 

RSteve

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I don't know what the Aldi policy is regarding apprehending a shoplifter. I doubt that the young manager followed protocol. One can only wonder why there's a shoplift alert sounder, when there's no security personnel. Above each checkout there's a security camera, but those are placed to make certain that cashiers don't push items around the item scanner. It all really made no sense to me.

I learned my own lesson when I was 16-years-old working part time at Sears in Mpls. There was an exit door near the department where I worked. A rather large woman ran out of that door with an older store security officer chasing after her yelling, "Stop her, she stole a diamond bracelet." I ran after her and tackled her to the ground. As we both got to our feet, she punched me square on the nose, breaking it. In seconds the store cop was there and pointed a gun at her. He took her back into the store and she was held until the police arrived. The upshot, during her run to the door, she must have handed off the bracelet to an accomplice. She was searched and the police found nothing and had to release her.
I had to get my nose set.
 

Slowalkintexan

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Considering I'm an old phart who lives alone, I'm at the grocery store more now than when my family (kids) were growing up. As I've noted previously, because of the pandemic, I have childcare of one or more young grandchildren, minimum three days, sometimes 4 or 5 days a week. I feed them breakfast and lunch and a couple of days a week to give my daughter and her husband a break, I make supper for everyone. I simply get exhausted by trying to grocery shop and haul everything and put it away, if I go just once a week to the grocery, so I try to go twice a week during the hours dedicated to the elderly and immune impaired.

Today, I went to the nearby Aldi, just a couple of minutes from my house. I bought about $75 in groceries. I packed all the groceries in a large produce box and headed out the exit. At the same time as I was exiting, a woman came charging past me, pulling what appeared to be a small suitcase on wheels. The shoplift alarm went off and the woman yelled at me, "It's you, not me," and charged out the door. Within a couple of seconds, a store employee approached me as I was going to my car. "Sir, I need you to come back into the store, so we can check your receipt against what you have in your cart." I said that was fine, but I expected him to repack everything in the box and load it into my car. I also suggested that he call the police to witness the search. I explained that he, without legal standing, was about to undertake a warrantless search and create an extreme liability situation for Aldi. He replied, "I'm really nervous about this, but the manager ordered me to stop you." I replied, "Get the manager out here. I'll wait." He ran into the store and out comes a youngish woman. I explained her liability and said, "Let's go into the store and we'll exchange I.D., then, you personally can go through my cart."

Item by item, she checked everything against my receipt. It all matched. I thought she was going to cry. I explained to her that she could have put herself in extreme danger over some groceries. "What if the person you'd halted was violent? If you suspected theft, you should called the police. Did you feel safe, because I'm old? You do realize, I've recorded everything on my phone and when I send a copy to Aldi's regional office, you'll probably be immediately terminated."

The tears flowed. "Please, I'm so sorry. I thought I was doing the right thing. I need this job. I'm a single mom with two small kids."

"You didn't do the right thing. Over some stinkin' groceries, you put your life and your children's welfare in danger. If you were my daughter, you'd be feeling my shoe in your rear end. Now, pack up my groceries, load them into my trunk, and promise me you'll never do such a stupid, risky thing again!"
 
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