Did that really just happen??

I had the most bizarre experience in my local Asda store the other day when I popped in to get a sandwich and a couple of other things on my way home from work. As seems to be the norm with many supermarkets these days the sandwich and snack section with two self-scan checkouts is in a corner of its own, so to save going through two separate checkouts I went to get the sandwich first with the intention of getting my milk and a loaf from the main part of the store and just going through one checkout with the three items, however….
As I was deciding which sandwich to have a young woman standing almost next to me was loading her Asda basket with quite a large selection of them and it struck me that maybe she was having some friends or family round for the evening, but I wasn’t prepared for what she did next. Expecting her to go to the nearby self-scan checkout I was quite surprised to see her go the other way and head rapidly towards the exit doors. It seemed I’d just witnessed a shoplifter in the act but not being sure if that really was the case, and also out of curiosity, I followed her and sure enough she went straight out of the store with the basket full of sandwiches. I immediately mentioned it to the security guy at the desk by the door, describing what the young woman looked like and what she was wearing, but even though he scanned the whole car park with the surveillance cameras there was no sign of her, she had completely vanished so there was nothing he could do.
Finally getting my own sandwich I went to the far side of the store to pick up a carton of milk and a loaf then made my way to the main self-scan checkouts but as I got there I noticed the same young woman already there, though this time she had a couple of carrier bags over her arm. Having seen her get away with stealing the sandwiches only a few minutes before I didn’t like the thought of her getting away with anything else so I quickly dumped my own three items on the nearby customer services desk, told the assistant on duty “I’ll be back for those in a minute!” and ran through the store to alert the security guy by the door. As I was talking to him the young woman came walking towards the exit so I pointed her out, he stopped her as she went through the foyer and I left him to do his job.
Back at the customer services desk the assistant asked me why I’d disappeared so suddenly and when I explained she said “Well I’ll say one thing, you can certainly run fast!” Retrieving my three items I finally went through the checkout though as I got to the exit, far from seeing that the young woman had been detained as I expected, the security guy was sitting back at his desk on his own. It seemed that he had checked her bags and whatever Asda items she had in there had been paid for and she had the receipt, so he had no reason to hold her.
Thinking about things afterwards, and how quickly the young woman had disappeared with the sandwiches then gone back in the store, I can only assume that either she had a car parked close to the exit doors or she was with someone else in a car, enabling her to get rid of the sandwiches before she could be picked up on the surveillance cameras – it all seemed very strange.
There have been a couple of occasions in the past where I’ve seen someone detained by security at the door – I remember one guy had a couple of bottles of whisky which he hadn’t paid for – but this is the first time I’ve ever actually witnessed someone stealing something. The whole situation was so bizarre I could hardly believe it had happened, but I’ve replayed it in my head several times since then and yes, it did happen. Normally my shopping trips to Asda are very mundane and ordinary but this one certainly wasn’t!

14 thoughts on “Did that really just happen??

  1. Well done you for pointing her out and running after her too. She sounds like a bit of a professional! I worked in a supermarket for 29 years so I naturally saw a few sights. There are some really deviously clever people out there, but also some sad desperate ones. I don’t think she was sad or desperate though, probably working as part of a team. X

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    1. You could be right. I’m guessing she either put the sandwiches in a car or passed them to someone else who made off with them, though going back into the store made no sense unless it was to allay any suspicion by genuinely buying something.

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  2. The cheek of some people, stealing and returning as though nothing had happened. At least you did what you thought was the right thing to do but unfortunately she got away with it. At least that security guard knows what she looks like and can watch her next time she’s in the store especially if she’s at the sandwich counter.
    One day last week there was a policeman at the entrance of my local Asda and a forensics guy dusting near the cigarette counter. It was business as usual apart from if you wanted to buy cigarettes or lottery which I didn’t. At least they caught two men who were up in court two days later, they weren’t locals and were charged with robbery and taking a vehicle without consent.

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    1. With the amount of people going in and out of that store I doubt the security guy would recognise her unless he has a really good memory for detail.

      I’ve just googled your Asda and come up with an early morning robbery on Tuesday last week, it doesn’t say what was stolen just that one man is (or was) in custody.

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      1. There was a report I read naming the two men who were from Stockport. I hope they got way with nothing. Doesnโ€™t it make you mad when some people think they can just take whatever they want regardless!

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        1. It does, and ultimately it’s the honest people who will be paying indirectly when shops put their prices up ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

          A couple of weeks ago a bike was stolen early one morning from the garden of a house round the corner from me. Their cctv showed this young guy casually walk along the street and into their garden, wheel the bike away and ride off down the nearby ginnel. The local grapevine told them who the guy was but so far the bike hasn’t been found – probably sold on for peanuts to fund someone’s drink or drugs habit ๐Ÿ˜ฆ ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  3. Huge kudos to you for trying to aprehend this young woman. Sadly we will never know what was really going on – just a scumbag who wanted things and would rather spend her money on frivolous stuff than essentials, or a young mum hiding from an abusive partner and trying to feed kids whilst living in a cramped temporary bedsit? Of course, you & I will be paying for her sandwiches by the amount all shops have to inflate prices to allow for theft.

    It’s a strange, strange world these days and I fear things are not getting any better any time soon.

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  4. As you say, there may have been an underlying reason why she did this but I got the impression that she was a seasoned shoplifter who knew what she was doing and had probably done it before. She disappeared so quickly with those sandwiches but couldn’t have gone any further than the car park as she was back in the store only a few minutes later, having swapped the Asda basket for a couple of non-Asda carrier bags. Maybe she legitimately bought and paid for a couple of items just in case she was recognised and stopped, in which case it would go down as a case of mistaken identity. One thing’s for certain though, I never forget a face so I’ll know who she is if I ever see her again.

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  5. Maybe the security guy was looking at a different area of the store on his monitor so missed seeing what she did. I watched while he scanned the car park but she had completely vanished so I’m sure she must have got into a car parked nearby.

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  6. I’ve no doubt that can happen in some places but now I think of it I haven’t seen anyone with a pushchair in a supermarket for years, kids are usually in the trolley seats or baby slings – I wonder if supermarkets banned pushchairs because they could be used to stash stolen items?

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