Dinner on the Lamb

bla-meat.jpgLast night I was at the Von’s on Virgil and Sunset. While in the soup aisle, a fellow walked up and plopped down a shopping basket with about 8 packages of steak in it. He hid behind a small display of boxed soup mixes and took out a fresh Von’s paper bag and put all the meat in the bag.

He then abandoned the basket and walked rather swiftly to the front of the store. I followed him and watched as he stood at the display by the door of charcoal and other grilling products and then just walked out the front door.

Hey! He didn’t pay for his meat! I went out the front door and watched as he hustled across the parking lot. There was a Von’s guy there changing the trash bags in the can in front of the door and I said, “Hey, that man in the blue and white check shirt just stole at least 10 pounds of meat. That whole bag of meat, he just walked out without paying.” The trash picker wearing a pinafore and braids said “Good for him!” as the Von’s fellow went glanced over at the escaping shoplifter and went back into the store.

14 Replies to “Dinner on the Lamb”

  1. when I was in High School and worked at a grocery store in Florida one of the Cashiers was busted doing just that – only an entire shopping cart full. someone saw her in the back room putting tons of food into bags and into a cart and thought it was strange because usually food in carts in the back room are damages or returnes and are rarely placed in bags – so one of the managers kept an eye on her and sure enough she tried to walk out of the store with it. When questioned for a receipt she had nothing, and later admitted that she’d been doing it ever other week for more than a year.

  2. Of course, I’m annoyed at this guy, because no one likes a thief.

    But I can’t lie: there’s a part of me that’s annoyed because I’m jealous that he horked $100 bucks worth of meat.

    I’m conflicted.

  3. Hahaha, imagine having a BBQ using nothing but stolen meats. This is some great steak Jim, where’d you get them? They fell off the back of a truck… obviously

  4. didnt you know yesterday was free meat day at Vons?

    also KNBC was there doing a live remote for their 11pm news about “earthquake preparedness”

    tres lame

  5. Perhaps it was our Viennese guest blogger Johannes. After the “Experience the Experience of the Experience of Experiencing the Experience” experience tonight maybe he’s planning an “Experience the Experience of Eating Stolen Beef?”

    I keed. I keed.

  6. I witnessed someone walk out with meat at a ralphs once . It was facinating to see them just walk out of the store with it.

    I wonder if we should be paying for our groceries too. Is there some sort of insurance or do they make more money by counting this as a loss?

  7. In order to arrest somebody for shoplifting an employee needs to witness the suspect intentionally concealing the merchandise and leave the store without paying. And just curious, what made you decide to narc out the hungry petty crook?

  8. That’s an interesting question, eecue. I didn’t think that the Von’s guy was gonna be able to do anything to that guy in particular, since I worked in retail for a while and know that it’s pretty much impossible for an employee to nab a shoplifter once they’ve left the store especially if they did not witness it themselves.

    I figured Von’s should know that someone had boosted a large amount of product from the store. I didn’t check the price of the cuts in question, but I figure the guy stole at least $35 worth of product. What the shoplifter did was wrong. We can all rationalize it one way or another, that Von’s deserves it, and laugh and the ingenuity of the fellow. In the end, the ethics of the situation are clear. Stealing is wrong.

    What I’m hoping DOESN’T happen as a result is the whole Home Depot/Circuit City effect where we have to show our receipt upon exiting the store so that all customers are treated as guilty until proven innocent.

  9. That doesn’t seem quite right EECUE. A Vons employee may not have directly witnessed the concealment and theft of the merchandise, but that doesn’t mean the suspect couldn’t be arrested. In Cybele Vons had a witness to the crime and a detainment could have been attempted based on the information she provided — and that would have resulted in the discovery of all the beef and no receipt.

    And as to why she decided to yell thief? Apologies for going Capt. Obvious on you but maybe because stealing is wrong? Silly me, I forget that we live in a world where whistleblowers are often held in greater contempt than the actual criminals.

  10. LOL! That’s so LA. Like anyone’s going to bother to apprehend the guy. That actually happened to me, too. A guy ran out the door of the 7-11 with a whole case of beer. The Indian owners didn’t see any point in pursuing him, or calling the police. He just ran home with the beer!

  11. It may not seem quite right, but that is CA law. As for the whole checking receipts thing… That is actually illegal. Next time you are leaving Fry’s / Home Depot just walk past the checker and ignore them. They won’t try and stop you as it is against the law. The only way they get away with it is with your consent.

    I wasn’t trying to say stealing is right or to justify his theft. I do think the reaction you got was pretty funny. I can almost guarantee that they are not going to change their policy due to a few instances of theft. Fry’s and Home Depot have expensive gizmos that people can fit in their pockets. You can only steal so much steak.

    If I witnessed a crime I would report it depending on the severity. Every day I see people smoking crack, selling drugs, cleaning their needles on the street in little cups of bleach. These crimes are petty and not worth me reporting them (although it would be nice if they didn’t happen on the street a few stories below my window!). If I saw violent crime I would try and stop it myself, if I felt I could, and then report it.

  12. Thanks for the tip, eecue, on having to present receipts at the door … I was not aware of that. It seems that I’m prone to being considered guilty until proven innocent a little too often and I’m glad to know that there are some searches that I do not have to endure in order to partake in modern life.

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