Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dr. Shoplifter - 3.23.2009

This shoplifter stole over $150 worth of cigars in two visits on the same day. You will notice he has handfuls of cigars before he leaves the humidor and then magically appears at the register with just ONE cigar. You can follow the video clock to see the time-continuity. He takes advantage of a blind spot at the door to shove the cigars in his pockets, knowing that no camera or person can see him. And the fact that he was a friendly and regular customer kept tobacconists from suspecting him of being the scumbag that he is.

Go to the TU Forums for more Shoplifter Content. We are building a Most Wanted section for retailers to submit their pictures and information. Hopefully we can all learn from these experiences and catch a few of these criminals. I have put Wanted posters with his picture up in my store and will begin the prosecution process. Unfortunately, local prosecutors and judges have never been able to get any kind of significant restitution to us. Years ago we prosecuted a $1000+ thief and handed over all the videos, but the prosecutor, for expediency sake, simply prosecuted the one easiest theft, so the judge awarded us about $19.80 - which is insulting considering it takes hours just to compile the video footage.

Ultimately, shoplifting is the killer of all retail, and having a walk-in humidor makes tobacconists particularly vulnerable. Yet, many tobacconists like myself take great pride in providing the walk-in environment to our customers. I can only hope that we will be able to continue to provide this special service and that our customers and vendors will appreciate the sacrifices we make to be the best retail tobacconists we can be.

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