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Did they think I'm a shoplifter?

(28 Posts)
TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Tue 26-Sep-17 16:50:11

In a supermarket today I heard a security guard talking on his walkie talkie. I didn't hear the whole conversation, he was round the corner from me and must have been out of earshot when he started talking.

Anyway, I heard "wearing a red top and carrying a yellow bag."

I thought what a coincidence, that person's just like me.

I heard the voice on the other end of the walkie talkie say "Right, I'll have a look at that." (I assume on CCTV.)

The security guard then came round the corner just as I started to look at meat. He just paced up and down behind me.

I realised he probably wasn't talking about someone who just looked like me on the walkie talkie.

I felt really uncomfortable and nearly just threw down the shopping basket and walked out. Instead I just stood there staring at the mince meat for what felt like hours.

Eventually the security guard's pacing took him round the corner and I just grabbed the mince I wanted and dashed up the nearest aisle.

So... I probably did look pretty suspicious after all that.

But I don't understand why the security guard would be watching me in the first place.

I just walked into the shop, picked up a basket and walked around putting food in the basket. I can't think of anything I did that would attract attention.

It's weirdly upsetting thinking that someone must have looked at me and thought she looks a bit dodgy and I'm kicking myself for not just carrying on as normal when the security guard started watching me.

cjt110 Tue 26-Sep-17 16:53:06

No advice on why but I always have a similar effect when there's a police car behind my car. Always overly cautious of making any mistakes, feeling like they are watching me etc.

Laska5772 Tue 26-Sep-17 16:54:03

you may have looked like someone else they had already had suspicions about from another day..

Id have said something lke: 'Excuse me? is there a problem? or 'Did you want me for something? '

thecatfromjapan Tue 26-Sep-17 16:55:34

It's probably because you were standing still in the meat aisle for a long time.

People shoplift meat a lot. And razors and battteries.

Bluntness100 Tue 26-Sep-17 16:56:21

Are you attractive? Some guys can be totally idiots like this.

They may have just been looking because you’re pretty.

thecatfromjapan Tue 26-Sep-17 16:56:54

So, not you, just where you were and the fact you were probably standing there for a while.

Chill, my dear.

thecatfromjapan Tue 26-Sep-17 16:57:59

Oooh! That's creepy, Bluntness . But quite possible. Ugh.

WindyWednesday Tue 26-Sep-17 16:58:25

I have noticed twice being followed. I'm a normal middle aged joules wearing person.

1) in a tiny farm shop. DH was having a breakdown and I took him out for a short drive to a shop to help to get him out of the house. I had a pram and DH was terrified of being out, so maybe we did look dodgy.

2) in a bargain discount store. My friend and I were looking for a particular colour toy on the shelf and we took them all off to find the colour we needed. Turned around to find a man with a tattooed face staring at us. We put everything back and carried on with our conversation. Only afterwards did we realise why he was standing there!

BenLui Tue 26-Sep-17 16:59:34

It could have been a training exercise. You might look like a previous suspect.

You’d have been better to give them a polite smile and carry on as normal.

TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Tue 26-Sep-17 17:04:09

Bluntless definitely not so attractive that someone would want to pace up and down staring at me for a while.

Thecat I wasn't standing still in the meat aisle until after I realised the security guard was watching me.

Laska I didn't think of that. Could be the reason.

Cjt110 I always get nervous near police too. Worried I'll accidentally start breaking laws.

wanderings Tue 26-Sep-17 17:04:46

There are certain behaviours that security guards look for to spot shoplifters: loitering, excessive looking over shoulder, big coats (especially out of season), bulging pockets, shopping bags before the checkout. Any of us might inadvertently do one of these things, and I've sometimes realised that they've spotted me for one reason or another. I just imagine proudly showing them I have nothing to hide, if it comes to it. I remember cringing when my dad was opening envelopes containing computer discs (showing my age) to check the discs really were inside, and there was a store detective looking on.

It's true sometimes that a certain supermarket is known for "hanging customers out to dry" by humiliating them in public, but I think this is rarer than the media or MN might have us think.

CakeNinja Tue 26-Sep-17 17:05:04

I'd have turned around and asked if he was referring to me, and was there a problem.

RunningOutOfCharge Tue 26-Sep-17 17:07:38

We follow would be shoplifters via cctv/radio too

Too many shoplifters out there...

KentishGypsyTart Tue 26-Sep-17 17:08:05

Some security guards are just over the top. I was a manager for one of the big three. I got followed around my own store by a new guy! My deputy had a good laugh when he realised I was the dodgy looking female down the alcohol ailse! They are worse if it's their first time in a supermarket. I had one guy I had to ask to leave after he chased an old lady to her car and accused her of stealing three bottles of wine. Which she had a receipt for. Poor lovey cried her eyes out. I dismissed him on the spot. What dick head makes an old lady cry?! Most of them settle down after a week or two. Maybe you have one of those faces? wink

misscockerspaniel Tue 26-Sep-17 17:19:57

I bought a pair of trainers in Sports Direct. Instead of paying 5p for a bag, I used a plastic bag in my handbag. As I was walking towards the exit, over the tannoy boomed "The lady with the Waitrose bag containing a pair of Adidas has paid for them". It was the first time my departure from a shop has ever been announced.

Don't feel upset, you did nothing wrong.

TheIncredibleBookEatingManchot Tue 26-Sep-17 17:22:18

Kentish That's hilarious that you were followed round your own shop!

Maybe you just have one of those faces

Maybe. I've just remembered a time many years ago when I noticed a security guard watching me. I was 22 and wearing a short skirt so I thought that was the reason he was staring at me. Then he followed me out of the shop and asked to see the contents of my bag. But I was only carrying a really tiny handbag, just big enough for purse, keys and phone, so no idea how he thought I could be smuggling produce out in that.

Tawdrylocalbrouhaha Tue 26-Sep-17 17:59:43

I think they just get bored to be honest - it must be soul destroying standing there all day with nothing happening most of the time.

If I was them I'd follow random people just to keep alert (assuming no thievish types available).

MehMehAndMeh Tue 26-Sep-17 18:01:01

misscockerspaniel I get the feeling the announcement was mostly a tool to cool down an over zealous security guard who was determined to be an arsehole, rather than anything dodgy about you.

scottishretreat Tue 26-Sep-17 18:09:03

I was once followed around a small cookware shop byone of the assistants, and she asked me if I'd finished and wanted to buy the single item I was carrying..twice! I was quite proud of the way I said politely 'no thank you, not yet', and finished looking around (and eventually bought 3 items).
Not sure what set her off, but she was scowling, and clearly thought I was up to no good throughout (I am middle aged, and don't generally seem to he regarded as suspicious in shops!). I had been in before just looking - maybe she thought I had been casing the joint!

Oldraver Tue 26-Sep-17 18:22:34

I used to get followed round the Factory shop. I think because as I ride a bike and have a bike basket, rucksack and a helmet...I always used to get one of the mini trolleys (like a basket on wheels) and put my stuff in the push around. I didnt get followed when I rocked up with just a handbag

changemyname1 Tue 26-Sep-17 18:23:24

I quite like to look dodgy if I think I'm being watched, no I have and would never take anything. I got stopped leaving tesco once and the tilll person hadn't taken the security tag of the bottle I had bought and a horrible old cow demand I come back in store and show my receipt which I did, I'm still mad with myself for not asking for an apology.

Frequency Tue 26-Sep-17 18:26:53

Most shops have a photoboard of people who are banned and/or suspected shoplifters, don't they?

You probably reminded them of someone from their blacklist.

ALemonyPea Tue 26-Sep-17 18:28:19

Not very discrete were they.

I used to get followed by shop assistants whenever I went into Bon Marche to buy my MIL something. Often, I’d have two of them stalking me. Pretty sure I’d have picked somewhere a bit more upmarket if I were to shoplift. grin

MarthaArthur Tue 26-Sep-17 18:30:24

When i worked in a high end department store we were briefed on shoplifter demographics and actually middle aged women were the majority of our shoplifters.

RunningOutOfCharge Tue 26-Sep-17 18:30:41

Had a shoplifter yesterday..... well dressed middle aged lady. She was outraged when caught and said she wouldn’t shop with us again and was outraged we asked ( you don’t have to agree) to look in both her bags!

She set the alarm off so we have a duty to ask why

Human behaviour is very interesting

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