43 thoughts on “June 16, 2016

  1. Wow. If I heard that, I’d be telling the cashier monitoring the checkouts for that one.

    That’s almost as bad as the “shoplifting as a sport” people.

    • Sadly, the Shoplifting as a Sport has been going on for many decades. In the 1960’s I worked at a discount department store near a University, and it was rampant.
      .
      Perps knew the system, and watched for us watching them. They knew we had to keep an eye on them constantly, and knew how to dodge.
      .
      The saddest cases were mothers teaching their grade-school children to steal.

      • You know what would be perfect for the shoplifting as a sport people? Penetration testing. Pay them to steal things, to see how well LP is doing. Of course they’d have to give the stuff back, but if they really see it as a sport, then they won’t mind that.

  2. I know a woman who shoplifts for sport. She doesn’t have to because if she wants something her rich parents will happily pay for it. It’s not like she’s so poor that she has to resort to stealing…and now she has a criminal record that will follow her forever as a result. All because she’s an idiot.

  3. Most people try to be sly about stealing, but I’ve run into a few that just blatantly walk by the checkout with stuff and out the door. As many times as we report nothing is done to them. One of these people also had the gal to come back into the store and ask the cashier to page his wife.

    • I have only ever walked by the checkout at Walgreen’s… after having paid at the pharmacy. I always let the cashier know that I already checked out in the back of the store so they don’t think I’m doing exactly what you described.

      Aside from a handful of jelly beans (from the kiosk, not a packaged bag) when I was a stupid third grader, I’ve never shoplifted anything. Never going to do that again, either, given the guilt I felt. Even though nobody told me off about it…

  4. A couple months ago I was listening online to HOT 96.9 out of Boston and they had a call-in segment called “True Confessions”.

    One woman called in about how her boyfriend buys roses for her from a major Boston-area supermarket and gets them really inexpensively by going through the self-checkout and entering the code for bananas for the roses.

    • rather stupid of him, speaking as someone who works a self check stand 8 hours a day we do watch for crap like that. If I see someone buying roses by putting them on the produce scale I know it is wrong and while I am not going to outright accuse someone I will actively point out that they rang up wrong. Also I have a screen on my stand and can see everything you scan, the self check operator is there to do more than just help you ring up produce.

  5. I’m not so sure about this. At the places where I shop and use the self-checkout, the motion detectors are so touchy that I’m invariably given “assistance” by the monitoring clerk. It gets annoying at times, although I can understand the reason for it.

    • I am one of the dedicated self check hosts at my store and I can attest to how touchy they are, an important part of running them is learning to spot when the scale is being dumb or someone is trying to cheat the system. If the former we can just reset the sensor and move on, if the later it is a tricky case but if it comes to it I will just get a manager and give them a heads up on that order.

  6. Wow!!! If I overheard woman saying that I’d be stuck to her like glue. If she confronted me about following her I’d say “well I heard you like to steal so I thought I’d make it a challenge for you”.

  7. I was at a “club” the other night buying supplies for our softball concession stand and went through the self check out. I could have robbed them blind had I wanted to. Even the checker at the door looks at your receipt, uses the hole puncher and only pretends to look at what’s in your cart. I don’t think there’s an answer to this problem. Even when I worked in retail many moons ago it was happening.

  8. I figure there must be a way to develop a technology that can stop it. Of course then it will be so expensive and so obnoxious for honest people that it won’t be worth it.

    • There’s no technology that can fix what’s broken in human nature, but a two-pronged approach of teaching people basic morality when they’re young, combined with shaming those whose step out of line when they’re old enough to know better, worked pretty well in the past.

      • Might have worked back in the day, but now if you try that the person just has to “be offended” that you would insinuate such a thing and make a huge fuss and complain to corporate and you’re likely to lose your job.

    • RFID. Can scan a whole cart in one pass. Then they’d have to make the IDs harder to remove/swap. Which in turn means that the clothing you wear is likely to have IDs that would get privacy advocates up in arms.

      • and you could get charged for clothing you already own and are wearing because the ID chips never got deactivated, you would get faulty chip reads, wrong chips on the wrong things ect. At the end of the day nothing will stop a determined thief and it takes a combination of teck and human skills to limit it.

    • I’ve heard about an experimental system where it charges your account as you pick things up, and then when you leave it finalizes it automatically. I wonder whatever happened to that?

  9. Doesn’t machine get testy if you put something on the bag area that ways more or less than the items you’ve payed for?

    Sometimes I put my purse on it absentmindedly and it yells at me. Sometimes I try to scan the same item twice when I’ve got two of the same item, it yells at me.

    • I won’t use self checkouts for this very reason. I would feel humiliated for the thing to shout at me. I prefer to interact with the cashier anyway.

    • I believe it’s by weight. So, if you scan something, it expects to see your bag’s weight to go up by that much.

    • FWIW: you can turn the volume off. Just press the volume button, press “mute” and then save it.

      I can’t stand the thing, so I turn it off – even if I have one item. Drives my daughter nuts, but I simply can’t stand it telling me EVERY time what I have, how to pay for it, please pick up the bag, and have a nice day. So, off it goes.

    • It has a listing of what kind of wight to expect when an item is scanned but it is far from perfect, as long as the item is close it will take it and very light or heavy items confuse it to no end. Moving a bag can also confuse it, being able to understand and spot the difference between a fussy scale and “skip scanning” as it is termed is part of why running those machines correctly is not as easy as it looks.

      • Tell me about it. And then you get to the checkout and are ringing up super-light things like Kool-Aid packets, and the machine expects you to bag them and then pitches a fit because they aren’t heavy enough to actually register on the bagging scale.

        There’s a reason one store I worked at eventually had the company come in and disable the bagging scale, because customers got frustrated with a scale that didn’t want your purse on it, didn’t want your canvas bags loaded on it, complained if you took a bag off, couldn’t tell that you actually had bagged that Kool-Aid packet, etc., nevermind the people who would either let their kids climb all over it (and then it would complain), or couldn’t figure out that if you hit “skip bagging” and then bag the item anyway, it’s going to complain, but if you don’t hit “skip bagging” and then put the item back in your cart or into the bag in your hand instead of on the scale, it’s also going to complain. *sigh*

  10. Back in the college years, working for a grocery store, We finally caught a Sport Shoplifter. It was sad and embarrassing actually, she didn’t need to steal. I personally knew the lady, I used to babysit her kids and my sister was friends with her daughter. Her husband was prominent in the community and made a good living. What made things more complicated, it was the store’s policy to ban anyone caught shoplifting from the store permanently and neighboring stores in the chain were alerted. She had to go to the next town, 30 miles away to buy groceries.

  11. Not sure what make this person more stupid. The fact that she admits to shoplifting regularly, or the fact that she announced it in earshot of someone who works at the store.

  12. “That and I always get a few things for free.”

    Yeah, sell your integrity for a few bucks, and I mean literally a few bucks. You weren’t using it anyway.

  13. Where I work, we caught people stealing.
    Then a couple hours later…
    They called the store and were yelling at us because they lost their food stamp card and claimed we took it from them while they were being talked to by security before the police arrived.
    That’s how messed up the world is…

  14. I think what irritates me most with this strip is that the Loss Prevention people continue to blame employees of being the real reason for loss. Not the shoplifters, not the blatant thieves like this woman, not deliver drivers “dropping” a package but the staff who work for next to nothing, report loss when they see it even though they know nothing will be done and then get written up for a shortage of $0.01.
    Just blows my mind!

    • and at least where I work unless you are a member of Management or Loss Prevention the absolute most you can do is strongly imply they forgot to scan an item.

      • I once was buying milk and used the self-scan, and I DID mistakenly not scan the second gallon of milk. I was distracted, and didn’t notice that only one was on the receipt. I wish that the woman who was there HAD mentioned that I didn’t get the second one. Instead, I walked off and she signaled Loss Prevention, who stopped me. It was embarrassing. I just went right back and paid for the second gallon, but it would have been easier if she had told me before I ran my card to pay for it in the first place. Oh well, I guess it’s a no-win in any case.

  15. Where I come from that’s not “smart”. It’s dishonest and makes you a common thief. If someone I knew did this, they would no longer be my friend, not least because I wouldn’t want to be with them when they finally get caught.

    Re: self-checkouts, the ones in my town don’t seem to be able to tell weights, just whether or not you actually placed a thing in the bag. You could probably place two items at once in the bag after scanning just one. 🙁 These stores have had these machines for probably 20 years, they don’t even have the “brought my own bags” option.

  16. While intentionally not scanning stuff or miss scanning stuff is pretty poor behaviour I do find myself not really caring if something miss scans on accident. A couple times I’ve been going over old recites and realised an individual can of soda was scanned instead of the carton or a item I was sure I got in that purchase wasn’t on the recite. I felt bad for a moment before just going “screw it,” This kind of stuff it the price they pay for not paying an employee to do a job that i now have to do myself. I’m not being paid to make sure everything is ok. I really wanna know just how well it would hold up in court when then wight sensor didn’t alert me to the single can vers a carton. I do all the work and they take no responsibility for this shit.

  17. “Thou shalt not steal.” Pretty basic in all societies and all belief or non-belief sectors. If you steal, you’re a criminal.

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