Thieves Steal Booze – Store Management Does Nothing to Stop the Crime

July 26, 2013 14:00 pm · 93 comments

A Claycordian recently witnessed a group of individuals steal some booze from an unnamed store in Claycord, and to her surprise, she says the management saw the whole thing go down, and didn’t even call the police.

Here’s her story….

Hi Claycord. First off, I love your site. It’s the first thing I check in the morning and the last night I read before bed.

Anyway, I was at a store in Concord near the Clayton border today when I saw about five kids (probably about 16 years old) all running out of the store with at least two bottles of booze in each hand. I’m not talking about beer, I’m talking about the expensive stuff….vodka, whiskey….that kind of booze.

I was in line when it all happened, and the employees just watched, and then just laughed about it after it happened.

I questioned why they wouldn’t even attempt to get a license plate number, and they just said “it’s not worth it”.

Many employees don’t want to put their lives on the line to confront a thief, and they shouldn’t be expected to do so. It’s a lose-lose situation for the employee, because the public views them as lazy, but if they chase the suspect, the store’s owner/management might reprimand the employee for putting themselves in a life-threatening situation.

Claycordians, if you witnessed a theft, would you confront or chase the suspect(s), or would you just let them go?

anonymous July 26, 2013 at 2:06 PM

yeah , if I open carry was allowed in California still that s*** Wouldn’t Have gone Down So smooth

Robert Taylor July 26, 2013 at 2:08 PM

I definitely run out and at least try to get the license number and turn it in to the police!

Dylan July 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Lol, “The expensive stuff”

Let the kids have their fun! Don’t forget you were a kid once too!

Crabipat July 26, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I would not approach them but I would take pictures.

anon July 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

nope, not risking my life for two bottles of booze, I doubt they would even get a thank you if they did!

Blah July 26, 2013 at 2:13 PM

You hear on the news all the time about how employees try to stop the theft and end up getting fired for it so why should they have ?

anon July 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

From one who knows–Juveniles are not treated like they should be..their parents should be fined $2500 or so to get their attention…as many Dad’s will just say boys will be boys…the clerks do not care

JD July 26, 2013 at 2:14 PM

I was at a store in Martinez the other day and a guy tried to pass a fake $20 bill. The clerk recognized it and marked it with the money marker and it turned black. He gave it back to the guy and just said “It’s fake” The guy apologized and left. The clerk said to me “I really don’t want to say anything because police won’t do much and what if the guy comes back with a gun because I told?” Liquor stores are often just sole proprietors. If everyone sees the police around there all the time it’s bad for business. Sad but true…

DanaHillsHaveEyes July 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM

This probably happened at CVS. I’ve been there twice and have seen it happen. Disgusting –The first time I actually followed the hoody wearing teens and took their pictures – all to be told at the police station in Concord there was nothing they could do. I guess Concord has bigger problems to worry about, but it all starts somewhere. 🙁
No hoodies = No service

NoGoodDeed.... July 26, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Let them go. Only if someone is being beat up or life is in danger will I get involved, and even then take my chances of being punished for my involvement. I have been before. By police, and by others for getting involved. I know someone in Concord way back as a matter of fact who pulled a gun on a thief and guy who was assaulted him and got 8 months for it. Of course they will paint you as the aggressor, and them as the greatest person it he world, the victim.. You can be in a bad movie quick. Let the police deal with it. But stopping a mugging once, I had to jump in. I could not watch it happen. And then I nearly got in Big trouble, as the woman ran off and the guy said I attacked HIM. Bee careful.

anon July 26, 2013 at 2:23 PM

I’m sure the store has surveillance – they should turn it over – photos can be matched from yearbook – parents called – problem solved.

Travis July 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I actually have before at the Foodmaxx on Monument. Almost every day we catch someone trying to steal, or we see someone trying to steal and we either chase or approach them.
I’ve stopped teenagers stealing small crap, and women trying to steal around $900 in groceries late at night
Either they get scared, leave their cart and act like they forgot their money, or they hand it over.
Never had anyone I caught threaten me with a gun or knife or anything, surprisingly.

Living in Claycord July 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I work a part time retail job, and our policy is to not stop anyone who steals from the store. We get a description and whatever other info we can and turn it over to the police, along with store security tapes (we have 31 cameras, so there is always a good picture of the perp). Corporate feels it is not worth it to lose a life over “stuff”

Too many crazy people out there with guns. You won’t find me trying to act as any store’s loss prevention unit.

T July 26, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I saw a guy steal a bag of nectarines and otter pops from outside Grocery Outlet in Concord. His woman was inside buying stuff and he was outside grabbing stuff from the sidewalk sale area. He was dressed nicely, had a nice silver car, and quickly put the stuff in the trunk of his car before the woman came back. I looked at him straight in the eye and said, “What the heck?!” He just looked smug. I went in and told the employees. By the time they went out there, he was driving away and waved to them like, “You can’t touch me.” I guess he’s just an arrogant jerk with no sense of morality. I knew the police wouldn’t do anything because it was about $5 worth of stuff he stole.

used to do hella beer runs July 26, 2013 at 2:26 PM

many stores such as 7-11 and safeway for example actually have corporate policies for their employees that they may not interfere or they risk disciplinary action…it is too much of a risk and there is little to no reward…this is why kids hit these stores…these stores feel like its not worth trying to stop so they make themselves an easy target…if it was a mom and pop store and you were actually taking food off their families table it would be one thing…safeway just writes it off as “shrink” and moves on…their ceo is putting hundreds of millions of dollars into his pocket every year regardless of theft…so safeway doesnt care about a couple bottles of booze…they would rather have shrink than an injury or a lawsuit

that being said if you are just a customer and you see someone do this why on earth would you get involved or care? if the company itself doesnt care enough to stop this then dont try to play the hero…there is a good chance you will catch a bottle upside the head if you mess with a drunk kid doing a beer\liquor run… even if you do manage to stop them there is literally no reward in it for you whatsoever…other than getting to pat yourself on the back and have something to gossip with your friends about…is it worth it?

Bullwinkle July 26, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Actually only a small group of people are trained to do this. If you aren’t trained you will get fired if you try to do anything that why it isn’t worth it. This happens multiple times a day at any given store.

Curious July 26, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Was it nervous laughter by the employees?

The witness to the theft didn’t do anything about it either, apparently they didn’t even call the cops.

Given what goes on in this area (15 year-olds stabbing each other!) I would not have done anything if I was an employee either.

Anonymrs July 26, 2013 at 2:38 PM

I saw the same thing occur with a homeless man at Lucky’s in Pleasant Hill. When I told the cashier what I’d witnessed she just blew it off and made no attempt to do anything about it. I wonder what the store’s policy is. If it’s to do nothing.. what message are they sending?

Elizabeth July 26, 2013 at 2:40 PM

I grew up in Arizona, where due to a rash of Phoenix-area killings at places like Walgreens and Walmarts, store employees were cautioned not to approach shoplifters. Granted teens don’t appear dangerous, but a friend of mine just lost a nephew in a brutal murder. He was a clerk at a convenience store and called the cops to report drug dealing in the parking lot. He was stabbed in the heart by a teenager in retribution for that call. It’s not our place to question. The store will mark it as a loss and the teens will come back for more.

blank July 26, 2013 at 2:43 PM

It’s actually against company policy for employees to try and stop a theft. Only loss prevention, managers and security can do anything and realistically they can’t even do anything, all they can do is try and
“detain” the theif with minimal physical contact and call the police. And even then it’s too much of a risk. People could easily get hurt. Ever hear of a “lawsuit”? Way to much can go wrong for such a small amount of merchandise. It’s not worth it from a fiscal stand point. Think about it …why didn’t YOU go after them? Or call the police? You have just as much warrant as the store and so does everyone else around. It’s called “citizens arrest”, the same stature that all loss prevention employees operate under.

Deb July 26, 2013 at 2:46 PM

I love that the employees/manager just laughed. I love that they had a very zen attitude. However, I also wish the teens were caught. I just know if it was my teenager, I’d need her to learn a lesson. I don’t put the responsibility on the store workers, though.

Liquor License bye bye July 26, 2013 at 2:49 PM

Let police know so it’s documented as well as state ABC.
Owners of store doing nothing leaves them open to possible lawsuits of as a result of actions by drunken teens. ABC may just suspend their license if they can document what is going on.

Mister S July 26, 2013 at 2:50 PM

Stored do not insure their employees if they chase after thieves.
I was also told that the chance of injury and or lawsuit that may come from chasing them is not worth the cost of the alcohol.

When I worked in a store this was the thing we looked forward to doing. We just had to nab them right outside the door.

NoGoodDeed.... July 26, 2013 at 2:51 PM

I knew a kid in school who said he would go into a store, pretend to steel something, have them grab him, and take him to the office, call police, get searched, have nothing and get people in trouble. Not sure why he would do that, except maybe trying to sue someone…?

Ren Jen Jen July 26, 2013 at 2:52 PM

I work at a drug store and this happens a lot. We are instructed to not chase because of possibly injury which can result in employee disability or suing. I actually know of a concord drug store employee from the past that apprehended a thief and was shot by the suspect. Not worth it to us practically minimum wage paid employees. Safer to call the police.

Tom July 26, 2013 at 2:53 PM

That sounds like cvs in the clayton valley shopping center, I saw two kids steal an item and i told a store employee and she said it happens all the time and she did nothing.

Kirkwood July 26, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Ai Yi Yi Yi! That’s the worst I’ve heard from this area. Unfortunately the only permenent solution is to keep booze behind a manned counter, and customers would likely complain. Probably aided by high markups, it’s cheaper to tolerate the inventory shrinkage and pass the loss to the customer. When you walk behind the Clayton Safeway you see those plastic bottle locks locks in the creek. Last summer there were cases of bottled water stacked near the front door of that Safeway. I watched a bicycle rider stop, pick up a case and ride on. When I went inside and told the Cust. Service clerk she smiled sweetly an shrugged.

To answer the Mayor’s question, I would do nothing despite what I would like to do. Too dangerous.

Why buy groceries? July 26, 2013 at 3:03 PM

So I guess I’ve been doing it all wrong. I can go into Safeway, Foodmax whatever and grab a cart full of food and walk out the store and no one will bother me? Awsome. Thank you citizens of America for making life so much easier for the criminals.

Belairium July 26, 2013 at 3:04 PM

I walked into Safeway one night after 10:00 right behind two loud girls with large purses. Coincidentally i was near them almost the whole short visit. These girls LOADED all kinds of wine into their bags then walked right out the door with out winking an eye. I use to work retail. Employees or management are not allowedto confront shop lifters. Only Loss Prevention and usually there is only one 40hr week loss prevention

nooooo July 26, 2013 at 3:06 PM

soo basically anyone can go and steal and nobody will do anything? And you all agree to this?
That is just wrong.

RanchgirlCA July 26, 2013 at 3:44 PM

I’m not going to put myself at risk, but will get as much info as possible and call the cops for sure. Not getting in the middle, you never know who you are messing with.

Elwood July 26, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Crazy Uncle Joe says all you need is a shotgun!

The Closer July 26, 2013 at 3:46 PM


From hence forth all theft and petty theft laws are now null and void. Feel free to loot and pillage at will,as there will be no consequences. No shop keep shall make any attempt to interfere with ones right to entitlement of others possessions. The penalty to said shop keeps shall be severe.


Dorothy July 26, 2013 at 3:48 PM

And we wonder why the kids get away with this.

The employees laughed? Maybe they planned to join the party after work.

Tal July 26, 2013 at 3:55 PM

The Lucky’s store on Clayton Rd. moved their liquor aisle into the middle of the store, and then they created a wall of bottled water around the exit on one end of the store too, just to stop thefts. I asked why they were moving the booze and they told me so that the checkout clerks could have a good view down that aisle. When it was on the end over by the refrigerated section, I guess the losses were adding up…sad this is how it has to be…

Howard K Mullins III July 26, 2013 at 3:57 PM

The store manager should be arrested for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

The parents of the thieves should be held accountable for the theft.

fgfgfgf July 26, 2013 at 4:00 PM

I know people who have been fired for chasing down robbers.

Store policy doesn't trump the law July 26, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Just cuz the policy says not to try and apprehend the criminals, they still have a duty to report the crime! Wait until some teens get drunk and cause property or bodily harm and when the kids tell them they stole the alcohol from Safeway because they know their policy is not to do anything, I guarantee the lawsuits will begin. Then Safeway will have to make it policy to report the crime. Where is common sense?

DH July 26, 2013 at 4:05 PM

Have any of you tried calling the cops for petty theft? They will just tell you to file a police report online that will never even be read. I deal with convienance stores all over N Cal and 90% or more police departments wouldn’t bother to show up. I have had Oakland cops not even show up after an armed robery that was filmed from 4 different cameras. Stockton PD wouldn’t take a report on a $9,000 theft. The cops don’t care or don’t have time to do anything and the employees will get hurt or fired for stopping a theaf. Not worth it.

Ashamed July 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM

Only in a RED State. What a bunch of gutless human beings. It’s OK to steal? REALLY? And just stand there and accept it? Wouldn’t happen in Texas or Montana. California? Here take all you want, we don’t care. Pitiful.

PITA July 26, 2013 at 4:26 PM

At the store I work at, it is against the rules to chase anyone out the door that is stealing anything, we would lose our job, They do it for safety reasons, We do however try to get any info we can on the thief along with a car license if possible,,,please dont think we are lazy, We value our job,,,and it eats us up too seeing people get away with so much thievery

Julio July 26, 2013 at 4:36 PM

I think it is time for these attitudes to change. WE are the ones paying for these crimes by the store raising our prices. It is past time for Safeway and the rest to stop watching and go after them. That is the only way we will stop CRIME. It is going to get worse and worse and WE pay for it.

Sorry, I cannot believe the attitudes of most of you. This is what is wrong with this country!

I agree with Elwood July 26, 2013 at 4:55 PM

Elwood July 26, 2013 at 3:45 PM
Crazy Uncle Joe says all you need is a shotgun!

Not so much for the kids but for the parents.

Kirk July 26, 2013 at 5:08 PM

It would be an interesting lawsuit (the only thing corporations respond to). Suing a store because they were unable to safely store a dangerous substance, alcohol. Pharmacies are required to control and store medications safely. Gun stores are required to store weapons safely. Gas stations are required to store gas safely.

But safeway/CVS can’t be held responsible? Can’t control your stock maybe you should loose your liquor license.

First person to do it is going to score big time. Unfortunately it will be the parent of one of the little scumbag thieves.

“You let my little boy walk out with a bottle of scotch and you did nothing! He then crashed his car and killed three people. It’s your fault.”

Damn if I was a lawer I would wait outside the store and pass out my card to every little turd that came out.

debdvo July 26, 2013 at 5:11 PM

I’m sure I know which store (I’ve witnessed it happen twice) They told me their policy of not intervening but I do wish they would at least put a camera at that side exit door to deter. They might be fine w/ just writing the loss off their books but our community’s young irresponsible youth all know they can run off w/ booze and possibly hurt themselves or others….I mean lets not just hand it to them. At least they moved some beer displays away from the exit, but they should do more- move the booze aisle or put up a side door camera.

Rob July 26, 2013 at 5:16 PM

If I witnessed a theft – if there was a license plate number I would try to remember it – put it on my phone notepad so I could give it to the cops.

But would I try to stop someone from stealing property?

Are you kidding.

Getting stabbed, shot, etc… is certainly not worth trying to save some property which can be replaced.

As for employees – when I was younger and worked with the public – EVERY company I worked far was very explicit – the employees were never to confront or try to stop a robbery – they were to do what was needed – try to remember what the person looked like, car details, etc… but trying to stop a robber or getting into a fight (unless there was no other choice) was quite simply a fire-able offense because like every place I worked said, “We have insurance to cover theft and the cost to replace items is nothing compared to the medical bills of an employee getting hurt or while during a fight a customer also getting injured”.

Mr. Pink July 26, 2013 at 5:36 PM

I understand the attitude of just ignoring the theft. As others have said, why get involved and risk getting hurt, or worse, because a big corporation that doesn’t even care, is getting ripped off.

That being said, it is our very complacency that allows this sh*t to happen, and it will continue to happen and will eventually get worse. Thieves will become more brazen and people will start getting hurt. Will we then begin to fight back and reclaim our neighborhoods and our communities?

Antler July 26, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Tal at #35 ~ ~ ~ The only time I have ever had to confront shop-lifters was at that Lucky store on Clayton Road in Concord. It was just prior to when they installed the “blockade” of bottled water in front of the west door (and before they had moved the liquor aisle, I believe)….didn’t see a security guard on duty either. I had almost reached the west entrance (nearest McCaulou’s) with my one bag of groceries, looked to my left, and could see three high-school boys, each holding a tall beverage can of what looked like an energy drink. They were casually talking to one another, and just as they had passed the point where they SHOULD HAVE turned to their right to go pay for the energy drinks at the check-out counter. I turned and faced them, smiled, and pleasantly said, “Good afternoon, gentlemen! You know………you are getting ready to walk out without paying for your drinks. I’ve just seen a police car parked outside the door. What do you think you should do?” One turned to the others, shrugged his shoulders, said, “It’s not worth it”, and put his drink can down on the floor right in the middle of the aisle. The others did the same, and then they sauntered out the door. I was right behind them, and you will NOT believe this – – – because I was surely flabbergasted – – – there REALLY WAS a policeman parked just outside the door!!! What are the odds?

Yeah, I know…….they lived to steal another day. But it was worth a try. And yeah, I did profile them: They were of three different ancestries. They all were dressed “decently”……clean clothing, with pants pulled up, no hoodies in inappropriate weather, no visible piercings, and no visible tattoos. I did not figure them to be armed or mean…. at least not within the moment at that time and place. In all honesty, I just acted on a whim and was fortunate. Maybe the gray hair helped!

Law Abiding Citizen July 26, 2013 at 5:56 PM

Actually, the companies tell its employees to not chase the criminals because they can turn around and sue them if they are injured. I have a friend who works for a supermarket and that’s what they are told, just let them go.

Its usually teens too from what he told me. Its nothing new, the mgr and employees rather not lose their job from fear of their employer firing them. If it was up to the employees some of the time they wouldnt mind giving these punks a azz woopin

Former salesman July 26, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Many years ago, I worked for a small electronics retailer. We had a group of high school kids that used to come into the store and “shop” for stuff, but never bought anything. One day, I found a bunch of empty boxes (the stuff they had been looking at) so I went to the local high school, found their cars, found the stuff in their cars, waited for them to come out, and took it all back. Never even thought about possibly getting hurt.

Chhristine July 26, 2013 at 6:15 PM

About 2 weeks ago I saw a teen run out of 7-11 on olivera with 2 long cases of beer. From what I heard he pulled a knife on the older man working in the store. the old guy could’nt do anything but follow him from about 20 feet back.. I however… drove around the taco bell and the kid waited for me to pass. As soon as he stepped out to run behind my car I skidded to a stop and he folded over face (faceplant) first across the top of the trunk of my sons mustang. THUD… THUD THUD… Well the store got one case back and me and my friends are still laughing about it. harhar

Sheila July 26, 2013 at 6:18 PM

As much as I’d like to see them get caught, it’s not worth it. They let teenagers get away more than adults because they see it as a “rebellious act”, vrs. a real thief (adults). I’ve read that 77% of teenagers admit to shoplifting…..keep in mind all the ones who won’t admit it. Doesn’t make it right, but the liability (someone getting hurt), the cost to prosecute (not worth it) taxpayer dollars (the police need to focus on violent felons). That’s why they won’t do anything. I don’t agree with it, but I understand it. There’s a difference! People need to quit stealing…….PERIOD!!!

Happ July 26, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Wait till you step in and it goes wrong. Had a friend get sued for tackling a teen running from a shoplift. The teen fractured his wrist as he landed on it. Not worth getting involved just be a witness.

Atticus Thraxx July 26, 2013 at 6:25 PM

I’m gonna guess the losses from theft are being passed on to paying customers. And if for some reason they cannot, then they will take action and provide some kind of security. The only one’s losing money, is us.

Steve July 26, 2013 at 6:28 PM

It’s the cost of doing business! Trust me, retailers know this, and they pass the cost onto the customers. Ever heard of margin loss?

Danielle July 26, 2013 at 6:38 PM

People don’t steal when I’m around. PUT THAT CRAP BACK! I’d stay out of it. It’s against my better judgment to get involved. It’s up to loss prevention, law enforcement, or parents…..if they’re minors.

Dave July 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

I watched a guy steal a bottle of liquor from Safeway on Clayton last year. He picked up the bottle and walked right out the front door with three employees watching. I started out the door to follow him but one of the employees told me not to worry about it saying their Manager wasn’t there so they couldn’t do anything about it anyway.

Duck July 26, 2013 at 6:54 PM

So I can just walk in a grab what I need without paying ?
Cool thanks for the tip !

foonman July 26, 2013 at 7:06 PM

frustrated, you bet. However we are in the age of the lawyer. I used to have to take classes as what to do in this event. You cant touch them
(the bastards) if you do the law suits will stop in about ten years. You should have well compensated your attorney by then just defending yourself.
We couldnt do anything until talking to “the legal dept” first. Its not what my
folks taught me about fight and wrong, but the world is changing……..sad
No good will come of teenagers and alcohol………..hope they dont take another life while intoxicated……….

Mark July 26, 2013 at 7:23 PM

Danielle-#56. I hear ya! This lady makes more sense than anyone. She’s right on the money. Regardless of the topic, she gets it. Looking forward to her column in the Contra Costa Times. Maybe she can write about “wising up.” Leave this to the proper parties.

Former Shoplifter July 26, 2013 at 7:47 PM

I don’t know why I did it, but I did. If there’s anything I regret as a teenager, it’s this. I didn’t do it often, and I had the money to buy what I wanted. I had a job, and my parents did ok financially. The thrill of getting away with it, or doing what my friends did to be cool? Stayed away from alcohol and drugs, did well academically, was good looking and popular. By far, the one thing I regret more than anything. Never got caught. Gave it up before I got busted, thank God.

ShameOnYou July 26, 2013 at 7:56 PM

These kids know the majority of the citizens are complete puss ies and that is why they do it. Nobody has courage or a sense of what is right? I worked retail for a total of 12 years. I have personally called people out on their stealing ways, reported to officers every time I witnessed a theft from the store, and told the parents of the kids I recognized. I worked five of those years in a hole in the wall in the ghetto. You are all wussies. I have never been shot or stabbed or even hit. These guys crumble when confronted. And this is coming from a middle aged female. You aren’t an American if you cower down at every opportunity to do something good for the country or your community!

anon July 26, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Clayton cvs i think there such DICKS!!

concord July 26, 2013 at 8:13 PM

This store are contributing to the delinquency of minors by not doing anything about the theft. If one of those kids causes an accident with booze stolen from that store and the store didn’t do anything about it. Guess who is going get sued?????? Yep, store with insurance and deep pockets.

J. July 26, 2013 at 8:40 PM

I quietly call the authorities, and be a good witness. Then I quietly follow them, and do a Citizen’s Arrest once the cops are there. The cops make you do a Citizen’s Arrest since the crime was done outside of the presence of an LEO. Only had to go to Court once to testify. The rest of the time the perp plea bargained down their charges.

Dutch July 26, 2013 at 8:44 PM

You need to follow them (not chase after them) and get the license plate(s) number (or as much as you can), a description of the vehicle (make, model, color and anything unusual about the vehicle that would help identify it over a similar vehicle). Get has much of a description of the criminals as you can. Anything that would stand out. Then call the police (or have a co-worker call the police at the same time you’re getting the information.

Those employees, in the incident described by the reader, need to be fired.

M Gorman July 26, 2013 at 8:53 PM

I agree with the store owner. Not worth your own life for the theft.

SHANA July 26, 2013 at 9:00 PM

Hello Iam a new mom with a 14 month old son this makes me SICK to think we are on the road with Drunk kids…They all should be jail

Get Real July 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM

Wake up people! It’s not that the retailers don’t care. Of course they care, no one wants to get ripped off! Retailers realize that for a small dollar amt., the risks of busting someone outweigh the benefits, and they pass the cost onto the customers. The stores who really get burned are small business owners. Petty theft flies under the radar screen for large corporations, as well as the police, and grand theft will always be prosecuted. I don’t like it either, but I’m not going to worry about it. We don’t live in a perfect world.

Oh boy July 26, 2013 at 9:01 PM

The comments are so depressing. What kind of message are we sending to a$$ holes who do this? Come on back and take what you want anytime. They will only get bolder.

Cassandra July 26, 2013 at 9:12 PM

I worked retail in high school and college, and most theft happened from employees. When I worked at Nordstrom in Walnut Creek, my boss used to tell my co-workers that I wasn’t going to steal anything because “I was from Alamo.” My Dad thought it was funny, my Mom didn’t. I doesn’t matter where you’re from. And, no, I never did anything if I saw anyone stealing. I left it up to security, and they did take care of it. Nordstrom has valuable merchandise. Do I think it’s worth it for very little money? No.

Laura Zah July 26, 2013 at 9:23 PM

Teen will probably get drunk, crash & sue Safeway for making it too easy to steal booze.

Bob H. July 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Thank you ACLU- Chase the crook and they get hurt then they sue for millions. Would you rather lose some merchandise or millions? In the “old days” we wrestled them to the floor. Now they have to say “Have a Good Evening”

How sad!!

A retired retail Manager.

P.S. The worst is yet to come. Some do not want to work, they want every thing for free. Does “occupy” strike a bell ?

Antonio July 26, 2013 at 9:46 PM

Don’t be stealing nothing. Stealing wrong.

Julie July 26, 2013 at 10:06 PM

Stores need to be proactive. Keep the alcohol far away from the doors. Keep an eye on suspicious customers. Hire security guards and have them inside the store, even in nice areas. Keep the far doors locked at night so customers have to enter the center doors, and every customer is seen walking in. Every deterrent helps!

Katrina July 26, 2013 at 10:41 PM

I see Lucky and Rite Aid catch shoplifters. I think it depends on the retailer as well as management. Not all retailers turn a blind eye. Safeway in my neighborhood watches kids like a hawk, and I see petty theft in our police reports. Wal- Mart has ZERO TOLERANCE for theft, regardless of dollar amount. Don’t lose hope. Let law enforcement handle it.

anonares July 26, 2013 at 10:48 PM

@L. L. Bye Bye What planet do you live on. You know nothing about ABC. I have attended numerous trainings, given by the ABC trainers. I have documented cases of stores not obeying any of their rules. I have brought this to the attention of the ABC and the local law enforcement. I am talking about numerous residents, living close to liquor outlets and nothing has ever been done! These same markets contribute to drives that are started by law enforcement, write off their contributions and resume business as usual. The ABC needs a swift kick in the ass. The retailers that are convicted on breaking the rules, should be exempt from contributing to political campaigns and fundraisers for 2 years. The ABC collect revenue without over seeing the sale or availability of alcohol and the affects on our community. This is where the problem started.

caskydiver July 26, 2013 at 11:00 PM

steal some liquor no big deal?? What about tomorrow? and the day after? Someday, they will graduate to taking cash. “Training” these hoodlums that it is ok to steal is setting up a dangerous situation for the employee and the employee should realize it. I used to work in a liquor store and we nipped EVERY problem in the bud.

Laurel July 26, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Not all chain store employes let shoplifters get away with it. I saw a couple of our local homeless guys walk out of a store with a bottle of liquor. A store clerk went after them and came back with the bottle.

I understand why store don’t want clerks going after shoplifters. It should be an employee trained in loss prevention. Too much chance of a lawsuit otherwise. If stores really wanted to go after shoplifters, they’d have cameras everywhere and a couple of big burly guys at the door. It must not be worth the expense to them.

Nom de Plume July 27, 2013 at 12:02 AM

I saw a theft at Safeway several years ago. I followed them, got the license plate number and watched them take off toward Pittsburg. I flagged down a policeman who was driving in circles around the parking lot. I’d seen him spend the last 1-1/2 hours in Starbucks. He was there when I arrived and still there when they closed. However, he wouldn’t pursue the thief and said he couldn’t do anything about it even with the info I provided.

The store employees were helpful and thanked me for getting involved and providing a description and license number. I argued with the policeman but it did no good. He returned to driving around the parking lot. It was ridiculous. No wonder crime has increased.

nytemuvr July 27, 2013 at 1:22 AM

When I was 19 or so I took 4 or 5 stitches after catching kids stealing booze at Luckys in the 70s. Jumped me at my car after work. Learned early in life, it ain’t my money and didn’t do it again in 13 years of working there, it’s insured.

was at same store July 27, 2013 at 2:43 AM

Actually an employee did say something to the young men as they rushed out the door. I was in line also lots of people saw them leave the store, and a cashier said they should stop cuz they got them on video anyway. We’ll see if they really do or not….

Connie Dobbs July 27, 2013 at 9:16 AM

This is the society you created, Californians. Are you enjoying it?

Antler July 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM

Connie, this unfortunately is going on in every state in the country….young people of no-matter-what socio-economic status……unsupervised by a parent (or parents) or else raised by unprincipled parents who laugh it off as “kids being kids” whenever their thieving family member is caught. “Hanging out with peers and trying to be COOL”, doncha know? Turns my stomach.

TF July 27, 2013 at 11:33 AM

I have worked retail for 15 years. Here in California we are sooooooo afraid of lawsuits we don’t let our associates act. There are 6 regularly accepted requirements to make a shoplifting charge stick.

You must see the shoplifter approach your merchandise
You must see the shoplifter select your merchandise
You must see the shoplifter conceal or carry away or convert your merchandise
You must maintain continuous observation the shoplifter
You must see the shoplifter fail to pay for the merchandise
You must approach the shoplifter outside of the store

If you fail to meet these requirements and detain somebody anyways you could be charged with unlawful arrest and/or sued for the same. Since we are a tort state most lawers just get wet thinking about an over zealous CVS/lowes/best buy associate that grabs a person without all 6. That is why most large retailers will fire associates who do and put it their code of conduct.

warbirds45 July 27, 2013 at 11:44 AM

The liquor bottles, at some stores have a protective top that the cashier removes. Put the dye they use in bank money on the clasp on the top of the bottle.
When you see a young wanna be running around in the parking lot covered in pink dye, CPD will know who to apprehend!

Habib July 27, 2013 at 2:25 PM

Sounds like some sharia law is in order here. Getting caught and losing a hand once usually does the trick.

anonanonagain July 27, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Sadly, a teenager that is brazen enough to go into a store and steal liquor will escalate their risky behavior. Also the likelihood of a teen drinking so much that they either don’t wake up from their stupor due to alcohol poisoning or get’s behind the wheel of a car. I’m amazed that some here just laugh this off. This is how lifelong alcoholics get their start. Hopefully all that will happen is they will wrench their guts out and swear off the stuff for a good, long while.

james July 27, 2013 at 7:44 PM

Sounds like we have a lot of “Good Samaritans” I have read those who want to pull of a citizens arrest, or follow the thief and confront them… I wouldn’t recommend that. You probably get your faced smashed in and get an overall tuned up from a person who has nothing to lose and doesn’t care , all while the other “Good Samaritans” watch in disbelief as they shuffle for their cell phones while you get pummeled.

When I was in my teens and full of piss and vinegar , my pops gave me some advice, as long as it isn’t a child, a women or elderly person being harmed MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Having a wife that is in Management for Safeway Corp., she laughs at all your responses because you posters care more about the product going out the door than any Safeway employee. FYI They will only call the police if someone(employee/customer) is threatened or it is a habitual thief.
Otherwise they don’t care, so why should you.

Brad July 28, 2013 at 12:03 AM

It’s their business so its up to them on what their policy is in regards to dealing with theft. If it matters so much to them then they will hire security. For those complaining about the markup costs due to theft, you will have to pay extra anyways for the business to hire a security guard.

I read a comment somewhere about locking up the hard stuff, similar to cigarettes and guns. Not a bad idea and would be cheaper than hiring a security guard. Again this is up to the business, who usually puts profits ahead of safety.

TeamUSA July 28, 2013 at 1:18 PM

@Former Shoplifter – I’m glad you gathered the courage to own up to your mistakes anonymously.

twoboys July 28, 2013 at 4:05 PM

I have worked in retail for 16+ years and I see it all the time. These days they (employees) are not allowed to chase and or apprehend. It is against most store policies for employees to pursue. These days its just not worth it you never know who is waiting around a corner.

Artemis Clyde Frog July 28, 2013 at 7:42 PM

Did you all hear of the Home Depot Security officer that was shot today and critically wounded in Hayward off Hesperian Blvd? I use to work for Nordstrom for 8 yrs in loss prevention when I was younger. I’ve been in law enforcement for the past 20 years. There is no way I would do loss prevention again. I cringe at some of the risks I took in detaining shoplifters. Sure it was a fun job and no doubt led to the career I’m in now, but the lack of training and the risk of an encounter with a dangerous subject while being unarmed is just not worth the risk and liability. There is a common message taught to all young coppers. Even though we are allowed to carry our firearms when off duty and become “active” when witnessing a crime occurring, it is usually prudent to remain uninvolved and be the best witness possible.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: