There’s never “just a normal day” in my line of work. During this time of my loss prevention career, I was the Loss Prevention Manager at my company’s top performing store. This store was our flagship location and brought in more sales than any of our other stores nationwide. With that amount of business, shoplifting was a battle we fought day in and day out. The store was set up with Checkpoint Tags on most of the most commonly shoplifted items. It seemed like as soon as the doors opened each day, there was just a steady stream of shoplifters that would try their luck. While most would get caught, to say no one got away just isn’t true. We definitely had our fair share of runners, but every now and then the stars would align and they too would get caught and have the pleasure of spending a few nights in a tax payer provided room.
Well it was a Friday night and it had been relatively quite. Maybe, even a little too quiet. I knew I wouldn’t end the night without a shoplifter, but the minutes were ticking away and nothing was standing out. My agents were getting a bit restless… it was short lived. A group of two females entered the store with some rather large purses that were very clearly empty. No, really, they were clear, as in completely see through. As soon as they hit the apparel carpet, they began concealing (and I used that term loosely) whatever they could grab. They didn’t seem to be bothered by the clothing security tags, either. It didn’t take very long before their clear bags were stuffed to the brim with about two thousand dollars’ worth of product each. I knew they wouldn’t stop, so as soon as they started stuffing, I contacted our local police to have an officer en route.
The two ladies attempted to exit the store and I approached. They told me that they hadn’t stolen anything, to which I replied that I could clearly see the product and the Checkpoint Tags on the product in their clear bags. As I knew they would, they failed to give me my merchandise back and took off running through the parking lot. . I watched them run into a large, empty field adjacent to the store. This filed was probably 15 acres of grass. I had no idea where they were running to. Still, I thought they may get away since a police officer still hadn’t shown up.
At about this time, a wildlife enforcement agent exited the store after purchasing some ammunition and saw me watching the two women running. He asked if they had shoplifted and when I told him they did, his response was “I’ll go get em!” He ran to his 4×4 truck and in no time, with lights and siren going, jumped the curb to the field and was in an off-road chase. As he got closer to one of the runners, he pulled up alongside, and she wouldn’t stop. He gently opened his door into her and she fell to the ground. The other was smart enough to call it quits. When he brought them back to the store, it was like a scene from Walker, Texas ranger. They were handcuffed to the bed of the truck and they were covered in mud, twigs and hay. “Told ya’ I get em!” The agent told me they tried to fight him in the field but were no match. I believe his exact words were, with a bit of a southern draw, “They tried fighting, but they just don’t know, I fight with alligators at work.”
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