A Few Thoughts About Shoplifting
The one thing I find myself marveling over from time to time are the articles some people consider worth stealing. I’m not talking about iPods, cell phones, bicycles or other items that can be filched and fenced in a snap for cash. Rather, I am talking about items of a more esoteric (and less valuable) nature. To better illustrate what I am talking about follow are a few things that your fellow Greenpointers have attempted (and on occasion succeeded) to pinch from the junk shop:
- Lace hankerchiefs
- An issue of Architectural Digest
- A box of Christmas lights
- A dozen or so old photographs
- An ashtray and my personal favorite…
- A bookcase (When questioned as to why he was carrying a bookcase clearly priced at $60.00 down the street our inventive thief said that he thought that since it was on the sidewalk it was free. No kidding.)
The above-listed point number six brings me to another aspect of the petty chiseler’s chicanery: the utter ridiculousness of some of the ruses they use in order to get something for nothing. For example, The Thing recently got a number of boxes of old Christmas ornaments. Each box contained nine ornaments. In their naivete the price was established at $3.00 a box. Little did the management realize that he had made a substantial error. This was discovered soon enough. I know this because I had the pleasure of bringing it to the Manager’s attention via a customer who had managed to stuff one such box with as many ornaments as it could possibly contain. And then a few. Mind you, no trouble was taken to fill this vessel with similar merchandise. Hands down this was the most simple-minded, flagrant and yes, insulting, attempt at duplicity I have ever experienced.
I cannot wrap my head around the trouble some take to steal something whose value is (for all intensive purposes) negligible. If time is indeed money wouldn’t it be better to pay the asking price of $6.00 for a selection of merchandise instead of haggling incessantly or stealing? Perhaps this is where I am making my mistake; I am employing reason. Which brings me to the purpose of and image gracing this post. This grocery store is called Sunac Food and it is located on Union Avenue just a hop-skip away from the L and G trains.
Let’s play petty thief for a minute. If you were to steal something would you:
- Do so where large numbers of police are present?
- Do it a stone’s throw from your employer while wearing your uniform?
- Elect to boost a single can of Red Bull?
If you are a certain employee of MTA the answer for all the above questions is (albeit allegedly): YES. Yesterday I popped into Sunac Food to purchase a few groceries before hopping on the G train. As I negotiated my way into the store their rogue’s gallery caught my eye.
and my jaw dropped. Lest you are having trouble reading the above missive, here it is:
This shows you that you NEVER trust any city employee. She works for the MTA and had her uniform on when she decided to steal Redbull. She must have been working overtime. If you see her call 911 for trespassing.
Naturally they have documentation of the purloined beverage in question as well.
I don’t know about you, but as a G trainer this act of theft casts the cutting-service-while-raising-fares ploy by the MTA in an sinister new light. Our providers of rapid transit are not interested in balancing their budget: they’re creating a slush fund for the acquisition caffeine-laden energy drinks!