Several years back I worked for a large electronics retailer. We wore blue shirts. I typically worked in the TV section but since I’ve got a larger stature than most dudes I occasionally helped the loss prevention dept when they got busy.
Here’s the deal. Cell phone headsets were still pretty new back then. And none of them were bluetooth. All of them were wired, and stuck out like a sore thumb. And it wasn’t too uncommon to see someone walking around with their wired headset on. But two people (man and woman), who come in together, and appear to be on a cell phone call with each other? Raised red flags for us.
Our LP guys each start watching one person and soon they realize that the guy who is now browsing the DVD section, is on the phone with the woman and coaching her on how to pass a bogus credit card. She says she’s looking to buy 5 laptops, and immediately decides she wan’ts 5 of the most expensive units. When we tell her we’ve only got 3. She tells us she wan’ts all 3 of them and 2 of the second most expensive laptops. She couldn’t care less about the features, just the price. The sales people don’t know we’re watching these two, but they totally realize something is up and inform LP. The sales guys start stalling while we call the police. Within 5 minutes the cops are there in the department asking her what the deal is. And instruct her to remove her ear piece. It’s a slow day, so more cops are on their way.
This spooks her accomplice who goes out into the parking lot. So he schemes a way of getting the cops to leave her alone. And does the DUMBEST thing I could imagine.
He walks to the small Fourier where we still had a pay phone (back in the day) and places an emergency call to the police. He describes a wild man in the parking lot waiving a pistol and threatening to kill people. (in hopes of the police abandoning his accomplice) When the 911 operator asks for a description of the suspect… He described HIMSELF! He described the crazed gunman as matching his EXACT description! Down to the clothing and brand of shoes he was wearing!
Dispatch gets a hold of the officers in our store, seeing as they’re already there. And gives them the info. At this point there’s 5 cops with the accomplice. 4 of them go charging for the parking lot. The rookie stays with the accomplice inside. Obviously they find the man described as a crazy gunman out front. And of course this guy has no idea why he’s being hassled.
Obviously the cops put it together super fast. They check these two idiots cell phones and find they’ve been talking to each other the whole time. They both get charged with the multiple stolen cards in their car, attempted theft, making false statements and lord only knows what other charges the officers dreamt up that day.
It was by far the dumbest thing I had ever seen in 8 years of retail. And we all know that’s saying an awful lot.