To Catch a Thief

by - Saturday, September 08, 2012

Last night, I ventured to Walmart to mosey around and see if there were any deals that I couldn't pass up. A normal trip to me... no list, just wandering.

SmartOnes were on sale for $2!

Heading to the checkout, I was behind two men who were buying one of the DVDs from the $5 bin. With tax, their bill was $5.25.

The older gentleman hands the cashier a $100 bill, and then asks her about the price again.

Here's where this story becomes a story and not just me blathering about my trip to Walmart.

When she says $5.25, the older man then hauls out a bunch of change... and in the process takes back the $100 bill. Most people would just hand over the $.25 so they could get $95.00 back... but the key was this guy purposely confused the cashier and pocketed the $100 bill in the process.

The cashier started to hand over the change, and I said to the man that he'd better hand over the $100 bill now. He looks at me astonished, and the younger guy he's with says he did.

The older man pulls his wallet out of his pocket and shows that it's empty (you could tell it was a dummy wallet as there was absolutely nothing in it - no ID, no cards... nothing). He is adamant that the cashier (who is clueless and stunned by the whole thing and not saying anything) has the money.

I look at him (picture this... me at 6' tall and blonde... and female - him, an older Middle Eastern man with an accent who was at least 6" shorter than me) and say to him that I can hear the bill in his pocket (Canada's new $100 bills are kind of plasticy and make a noise when you handle them - especially when he was putting his hands in his pocket repeatedly to show he didn't have anything) and that if he doesn't turn it over I will yell for security.

Finally the bill comes out of his pocket, he nervously laughs and the men scamper away with the change and cheap DVD.

If I hadn't said something... this guy would have stolen the equivalent to $100 from Walmart - he would've kept the $100 bill, gotten $95 in change from the transaction, and a "free" DVD.

In the end... I'm honestly not even sure that he got the right change - he may have been shorted in all the commotion, but I know his plan to steal was thwarted by me.

The man and his accomplice will, I'm sure, try and ultimately be successful in their scheme again, but I'd like to think that I did something right tonight, and maybe put some doubt in their minds that their plan is not infallible.

In the end, I still don't think the cashier had a clue as to what happened, or how I may have saved her bacon by confronting the men. She did say thank you, but I think she was still comprehending the incident as I left with my (paid for) goods.

I still can't believe I caught this... I know I'm an observant person... but still. I'm glad I had the balls to confront the men, and not let down until the matter was resolved. I could've probably gone to the manager after te fact, but I don't think it would've mattered in the end.

And to the two men? Karma. It's a both, and you will eventually get eats coming to you.

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  1. Good for you! Side note: gah, you'd think they would train their staff on that one. It was one of the classics we watched for at the bank.

    Hope you're doing well. Always think of you this time of the year and what a mad scramble it can be. I'm fielding emails non-stop right now O_0

  2. when i worked in fast food, people would try to pull this scam all the time!! AT TACO BELL!!

    good for you for speaking up!! you have some good karma in you karma pool now for sure!!

  3. WOW. I am in awe that this actually happens! I have never seen something like that. Good for you for speaking up! It sounds like a good plot for ABC's "What would you do?" show.