I Think I Watched Someone Shoplift — What Would You Have Done?
I keep playing it over in my mind and wondering if I should have done things differently.
Over the weekend, I accompanied my wife to the Albertville Outlet Mall so she could get some wallflowers and scents at Bath and Body Works. We'd brought our dog Rosie with us, so after dropping my wife off in front of the store, I found a parking spot nearby and waited in the car. A couple minutes had passed when I noticed a woman leaving the Columbia Factory Store just a couple stores down from Bath and Body Works. The day was windy but pleasantly warm, and I immediately noticed that the woman was wearing a big winter jacket that was zipped up. I also noticed that her jacket seemed surprisingly bulky, as if something or some things were stuffed inside. I don't like to assume the worst in people, but it seemed odd, and my suspicion was further raised when she looked back at the store as if to see if anyone was following her. I watched the woman make her way to to her vehicle not far from mine, continuing to look over her shoulder back at the store. As she got into her vehicle, I watched to see if she would pull anything out from under her jacket; unfortunately, from my angle I couldn't see whether she did or not. As she backed out and pulled away, however, she did continue to look back at the store in a suspicious manner, leaving me feeling convinced I'd just witnessed something odd. It was too late to stop her, but I felt like I should do something.
So, rolling the windows down for Rosie, turning the car off and texting my wife where I'd be, I made my way into the Columbia Factory Store, found a manager and explained what I'd just seen. "I could be making things up," I admitted, not wanting to say anything with certainty, "but I think I just watched a woman shoplift from your store." The manager thanked me and promised to go check the cameras. And that was it. As I made my way back to my car, I didn't feel like a hero -- rather, I wondered if I should have done something more, like confronted the woman or filmed her vehicle or gotten her license plate number. I told my wife about it later, and she suggested that I should have at least gotten the woman's license plate number. I've always wondered what I'd do in a high-stress situation or situation that required me to think fast; I guess now I know.