Dilemma from a dream

Olive cat
Olive giving me that look before she jumps in my lap.

I had a weird dream last night. It was short, but got me thinking.

In my dream I was at Costco. I was standing up front where they have electronics. I watched as a young woman in her 20s, got a display camera unattached and put it under her arm and walked towards the exit.

I pointed at her and yelled to a nearby employee “She’s taking a camera.”

The employee ran after her.

Another employee came up to me and told me to mind my own business. “She’s not hurting you or anybody else,” he scolded me.

“Yes, she is. It’s wrong to steal and it makes everything cost more for us,” I answered.

“Costco can afford it. Besides they have insurance for theft.”

Then I woke up.

I wondered about it.The dream me did what I feel is right. Would the awake and out of bed me do the same if I was standing in a store watching someone shoplift?

My son’s first job in San Francisco was with a retailer he worked part time for during his college days. He got robbed and was instructed to let the shoplifters take the clothing. This was one of those stories where my husband told my son, “Don’t tell mom. She doesn’t need to know.” There’s been a few of them and guess what? Mom (me) always finds out.

What would you do if you witnessed a robbery or shoplifting? Would you report it, let it go, or get involved another way?

27 thoughts on “Dilemma from a dream

  1. Not sure if I would yell like dream you did, mostly from fear of the thief pulling out a weapon, but I think I would try to find an employee while following the person to the exit. You have to alert someone ethically I believe. It’s up to the company to handle the response from that point on.

  2. My daughter worked at Ulta and they were always getting shoplifted. She was told to wait until the person actually left the store before reporting it because if they were still in the store, they could say they were going to pay for it. She would follow the person around the store and then when they left, sound the alarm and watch them go to their car.

    • Wow. That is fascinating the policies stores have. My son worked at American Apparel outside of the Chinatown gate. They had lots of shoplifting too. One night $50k of denim walked out the door. That was after they were closed and they got broken into.

  3. I think it’s policy in CA to let shoplifters walk. You can confront them verbally, I believe, but you can’t put hands on them or detain them physically. I worked in retail there and our security officer got fired for following a shoplifter into the parking lot, verbally confronting her, and getting beat up by her. The company’s position was that physical contact took place. And no tolerance. Didn’t matter that the guard was only on the receiving end of the contact. It was unbelievable. I hope not all states are that crazy!

  4. I spent 16 years working retail (grocery) and you never chase shoplifters and dont yell at them, their feelings get hurt. The absolute worst thing ever said to me happend one night when a guy I had arrested said “I hope you end up unemployed and homeless.” Neither has happened so I’m good. It is interesting you dreamt this, gotta wonder why.

  5. My daughter worked in retail for awhile. They were told to not say anything to a.shoplifter, the store had cameras inside and out. To report it to the manager and they would check the cameras. The store had that policy because of wanting their employees to be safe. These days, someone may pull a gun on you!

  6. I remember being in a state years ago when someone stole something. Both my Boyfriend and I were interviewed separately along with some other customers to get descriptions of the Thief.

  7. I believe I would have to stare hard at the person or people shoplifting or stealing merchandise. I would probably make an effort to find someone to tell. At the Middle School I am at this year, I have been uncomfortable with some of the students taking things from my desk without asking. If they asked, I would let them but they don’t. It is disconcerting. Pencils are expensive but I am willing to let them borrow one and I have given out free notebooks, papers, etc. It just gets old and they seem to think they are entitled to taking things off my desk.

      • Thanks, for that. We are pretty lucky in the Tampa Bay area. Haven’t seen the wide scale robberies discussed on media in California and NYC. Although they do exist but not as rampant.

      • That’s good. I didn’t see much theft in my town in CA (except for my bike being stolen out of our garage) but it happened all the time where my kids lived in the Bay Area. When we visit we’d watch them empty any cords, coins, etc. Nothing left in the car or they said their windows would be broken. I see no homeless or theft in our area of Arizona.

Leave a Reply