Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shoplifting Part 3--The Case of the Cocky Sideline Snatcher

So shoplifting season is upon us and we've got either a studious amateur or a flawed professional. He's not much into books but he likes books on CD. He likes spinner racks, and that led him to both Bananagrams and Mighty Lights. And I know his name.

He's Thiefy McThiefowitz!

I speak like I know him, but that's because we actually know who he is. We spotted him in the shop for the second time and it turned out he'd been already kicked out of the store. He was caught nabbing product in one of our Halloween treat bags. Then one of my booksellers realized he's the guy whom they thought stole her purse at Shorewood.

He likes to wear visors, matchy match short sets, and gold frame glasses. And he is cocky. He walked out with a CVS bag filled with booty (yes, he walked in without a bag) and then said to us, "Someone took it. I'm just waiting for my wife to pick me up."

Oh, and it gets worse. The next day I'm going to work and he gets on the 15 bus! He's eating a sandwich, wearing tennis whites. Huh? I wanted to get up and shout "Shoplifter, shoplifter!" Well, actually my first choice was taking a picture of him, but I left my camera at work. In my dreams I get up and point at him. In my dreams I also have snappier comebacks, by the way.

This one isn't hard. We'll ban him from the store and until I get a new round of booksellers, he won't do much damage. If I get the money shot, we'll let new booksellers see him up close.

This isn't a new problem. David Schwartz worried that thieves were stealing him blind. It hurt back when I was a bookseller. And yes, it hurts worse now.

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