The plight of a small town retailer. We try to find a balance.
Providing a service with which we can modestly profit and yet maintain good customers and patronage.

Retail shoplifters circa 1976

I have just followed a person out of my store that I believe has stolen a nice belt buckle.
I have paid dearly for this buckle in hopes of reselling it to one of my customers that would appreciate it.

When I realize the buckle is missing and she has just left the store, I decide “pursuit” is the course of action.

It’s value is a days pay and I’m struggling to pay the rent.

I find her at the checkout counter at Woolworths.

When she sees me coming through the door she immediately puts her hand in her coat pocket.

I approach her and suggest that she has forgotten to pay for something. She immediately asks if we can go outside.

We are outside the Woolworths and I am embolden to ask her what she has in her pocket.

She looks rather stunned and perhaps even a little bit stunned. I know I have the right person.

I let her know that I am missing a prized belt buckle and that she was one of only three people in the store that morning.

She looks perplexed and she doesn’t know which way to turn.

I ask to see what is in her pocket. She then reaches into her pocket and produces her pet hamster and tells me his name is Rochester. “I take him with me where ever I go”.

I am now petrified, I have just accused a person of theft and she appears totally innocent. I apologize profusely and ask for her forgiveness.

She graciously accepts my misdeed and I sullenly head back to work.

The following day I am having coffee with the manager of Woolworth’s and he complained that they lost another hamster out of the pet department.

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