As a Whole Foods Worker, I See Shoplifting All the Time And I Don’t Stop It

My team lead and I both noticed it. And we both kind of exchanged glances. Did you check her out, my team leader asked me? “No,” I said as I was cashiering. My team leader ultimately asked the woman for her receipt after dashing outside. She said, “Well, I didn’t get a receipt,” in response. “Now, why don’t you come back inside with me and we’ll find the receipt online just to be sure,” my team leader suggested to me.

She stepped back inside with the grocery cart still inside before leaving it there. We took no action. Since she was an older woman and she wasn’t making any extravagant purchases, I truly felt horrible for her. Not like face masks or anything else, these were needs. She needed, say, food.

If your team lead hadn’t been present, would you have made any different decisions?

I doubt I would have told anybody. A multi-billion dollar company called Whole Foods has ties to Amazon. I don’t care if we lose a little bit of it. At the conclusion of each day, we donate a huge amount of food. Also, I consider theft merely another gift to someone who really needs it.

What methods of theft do people tend to use the most frequently?

A few weeks ago, I noticed this guy carrying a basket of items and moving the goods into his backpack while kind of hiding behind something. He simply reinserted the basket before leaving. I observe people slipping objects into pockets and concealing others in large handbags or tote bags. I’ve also saw individuals pay for a few items while placing other items in their pockets or backpacks. As there are no detectors at the doors, stealing is very simple here. Compared to other stores, it is much simpler.

What foods are most frequently stolen?

Hence, in that one case when the older woman with the shopping cart was involved, she essentially received enough food for two weeks. I frequently come across essentials like bread or peanut butter and jelly. Tuna is a large fish. And, in my opinion, you really need to eat if you’re stealing tuna. I detest tuna; it is disgusting. Others have also been observed consuming rice and crisps. Those yogurt single-serves. I mean, anything. Nonetheless, it’s typically a smaller item rather than a large family-sized one.

I don’t believe I’ve ever witnessed the theft of cookies or anything like. It’s less like snack food and more like actual food. There is a severely underserved community close by where I reside. I have a great deal of compassion for those who are hungry. When someone steals some Dior fragrance, it is one thing. But I just decide to turn away if I see someone snatching a dozen eggs.

You mentioned that the grocery cart-wielding woman was elderly. Is there a typical age range for those stealing from your store?

Never have I seen someone my age or younger shoplift, I believe. There are always exceptions, but the majority of shoplifters I encounter are in their late 20s to early 40s.



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