The entertainment value of some of the characters that shop thrift stores is an unexpected bonus you rarely hear about. Some people want to be seen and need attention while a few others prefer just the opposite. One particular store I visit is known for its propensity of brazen shoplifters. On one recent occasion, within the hour I was there, I witnessed three such occurrences of thievery.
Theft #1 – The first occurred after I had looked at a good example of a fake Louis Vuitton purse that had been laid unattended atop a glass counter in the jewelry section. I had just ventured over to the men’s dress coat section when I saw an older couple walk by on the other side with that same purse and I told the woman that it was a fake. She scurried off with a sheepish grin on her face to the end of the isle with her husband and apparently stuffed it into her larger purse. I walked over to one of the attendants and told him what I had seen and he asked if I could identify her. We walked through the store and when I spotted her she smiled a rather large smile at me. The manager tried to look in her purse when she checked out but could not see the LV. What the woman didn’t know is they will be ready the next time with a warrant since everything was caught on video at the glass counter.
Theft #2 – I walked around the corner of a row of pants and there was a rather unkempt man stuffing his backpack on the floor with a cotton jacket. I stood there for a moment trying to realize what I was witnessing and then got up the courage to tell him that stealing from this store was wrong. He stood up and told me in a gentle voice and strong alcoholic breath, “you don’t understand. I live on the streets and have to do this.” I told him that it is never right to steal from the Goodwill stores, no matter the reason. I spoke to the manager about what I saw and when she approached him, he immediately made a bee line to the front door with her in hot pursuit telling him not to come in again or she would have the police talking to him instead. What a great photo opportunity that was missed.
Theft #3 – The manager and I were talking about the two transgressions and when I held up two fingers to indicate the number, she shook her head no and held up three fingers. She said another known person of lesser character had been seen in the store and left before she could be approached.
Keep your eyes and ears open as you look for those great treasures. You never know what might be going on right around you or in one circumstance, just around the corner (of the aisle). Be sure to have your cell phone ready to record what you can use for future use of accountability or fun. I’m sure the people at Goodwill would appreciate your patronage in this respect. If nothing else, it would make for a great YouTube channel.