Posted by: pendrops | September 6, 2007

to catch a thief: part 2


This time I got sophisticated, stealthily grabbing my camera phone and following the bookstore thief deep into the CD section.

That’s right, pendroppers, the klepto dared to come back, and with this brilliant detective on the scene. But I was prepared. As soon as I saw her – the familiar sunglasses, long t-shirt, scraggly hair, enormous bag – I reached for my cell phone, flipped it open, and pretended to be listening to a message while shadowing her.

As grainy and nondescript as it is, my 10-second video does show her heading into the furthest corner of the music section, where she stuffed DVDs and CDs into her pants (eww, gross) only after attempting to remove the magnetic detectors.

With my senses piqued and evidence in hand, I scanned the store for an employee who would join forces with me. But the only one I could find not helping a customer was the new guy working the café.

Nothing against new guy, but he obviously hasn’t read Nancy Drew, or even Hardy Boys, because the second I pointed out my klepto, he turned around with grand gesture and whispered loudly, “That lady,” nodding his head her direction.

“Yes,” I hissed, talking quietly to remind him that this was a covert op. I couldn’t let her get away from me again. Using his in-ear transmitter, maybe for the first time ever, he called in for back-up. I took my place at my table, trusting that the store staff would not let her escape this time.

I looked up every few seconds, searching for the thief, but didn’t see her again until the front door’s detector screeched and a flash of denim and gray ran through it in a blur.

“No way,” I said, getting up from my table to see what was about to happen.

“No way,” I said again, as the blond-haired manager ran out the door after her.

“Holy smack,” I said, oblivious customers in the magazine section looking strangely at me as I watched the thief run across the parking lot.

A moment later, I gathered with all three of the store’s managers, the only customer aware and privy to the kind of information they were sharing amongst themselves.

“There’s really nothing we can do.”

“She doesn’t put it in her bag anymore. She puts it down her pants.”

“She told me she has a metal plate in her back…that’s why the detector goes off.”

“I saw her trying to remove the sensors last time she was here.”

“I followed her around today. I was sending a message. She wasn’t getting out of my sight.”

“I just don’t understand,” I chimed in. “I mean, I’ve seen her in the act. Can’t I do something? Make a complaint, a citizen’s arrest, anything? Seriously, next time she’s in the store, she’s going down, even if I have to tackle her myself! Nancy Drew will not be foiled again!”

The managers laughed and carried on with me a while longer, telling me about the legalities of shoplifting. A few minutes later, I was back at my table and working on my story again, or at least trying to. But I couldn’t keep my mind from wandering and wondering what it would take to catch a thief.



  1. even better than the first chapter. I love it! I can’t wait for the published book.

  2. maybe you should get one of those loud blow horns and announce to the whole store that she is shoplifting and you just caught the thief in the act. if that’s not embarrassing to her, i don’t know what’s wrong with her!

  3. This is classic stuff! I’m thinking that you may have Nancy Drew mystery #87 in the works!

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