BY: CHRIS WATSON
am in my sixth year as a retail worker and I’ve seen it all, from a husband and wife shop lifting, to people leaving a baby in my store as if it was a 1/2 price item from a sale rack. At my first retail job, I was the tender age of seventeen years old, and working at a well known retail department store that we will call The Super Power Bigger than Life Store. (Names changed to protect the innocent.) At that time, the cold pills were not locked up, nor was there a limit to how many could be purchased. Shoplifting had become a problem, and since there were no law enforcing the sale of the cold pills, The Super Power Bigger than Life Store had decided to hire a task force of Retail Ninjas to guard the inventory. The powers that be had not figured out yet that the cold pills, commonly used in the making of methamphetamines, should probably be locked up to prevent theft. The Retail Ninjas were trained to follow people who were suspected of shoplifting or any other wrong doing. Now don’t get me wrong these guys are big guys but they are completely stealth and almost magical, hence the name Retail Ninja. At the time, I found myself having secret ambitions to one day train to be one of The Super Power Bigger than Life Store’s secret Retail Ninja elite. The Retail Ninjas were notorious for watching the criminals make mistakes, and when the time was right, normally once the crooks left the store, the Ninjas moved in for the capture. This was no different during one certain situation that I was lucky enough to witness. A husband and wife team of shoplifters were on the move in a department close to where I was working. I was minding my own business, stripping shelves of old tabs and placing them in a shopping cart, when suddenly my cart began rolling away by itself! I walked over to see where my shopping cart was going when suddenly I caught my first glimpse of a secret Retail Ninja using my cart as a disguise while he followed the husband and wife team of shoplifters. I have to tell you that I felt so privileged to know that out of all of the workers in the store, and all of the shopping carts in my area, he decided to use mine. We made eye contact and he said, “shhhhh, you don’t see me”, as he push the cart slowly. As I think about it now I realize that I was under the Retail Ninja’s magic powers. I did as I was told as I got to help the Retail Ninja watch the dirty criminals shove large amounts of cold pills into their coats and purse. The husband was also stealing cans of carbonated cleaner as the Retail Ninja and I worked side by side, and pushing my cart closer and closer. 08. VENTMAGAZINE FEB. 2009 | SOLUTION #2
Just as fast as he appeared, the Retail Ninja was gone. I looked around everywhere but there was no trace of him, and the bandit couple we were pursuing was gone as well, almost as if I had imagined the whole thing. I couldn’t help but think that the cops were going to bum rush (no pun intended) into the store and arrest the thieves, but all was calm from what I could see at the time. About twenty minutes later I was sitting out front on break when the here come the shop lifters out the front of the store. Even better than that, right on their heels were three Retail Ninjas! A loud thundering voice yelled, “STOP RIGHT THERE!” and I thought for sure that the ground even quivered as I peed my pants a little. The purps tried to make a run for their truck, but they were no match for the speed and cunning ability of the Retail Ninjas who quickly caught up to the criminal couple and took them to the ground hard! Soon there after the police came rolling in, and they found over ten packs of cold pills, three cans of carbonated cleaner and more cough medicine than anyone will ever use. All of this was in one huge purse/ bag. A search of the truck they were in turned up a mini meth lad with enough drugs to give them plenty of time to think about what they did wrong. This was an amazing bust for the retail ninjas and the Owensboro Police Department and it all happened right before my eyes. I never got the opportunity to train to be a Retail Ninja, and I no longer work at the Super Power Bigger than Life Store, but often when I am shopping, I know they are watching, they are always watching.