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ToTD: Is that a VCR or are you just happy to see me?

Tales of a Thief Dancer (ToTD): Wherein people are stealing weird.

It was a bit of urban myth, a story that made the rounds between loss prevention personnel, always prefaced with: "This guy I know..."

She walked into the store on a hot July day. Hispanic, heavy, REALLY heavy, in a jean skirt and accompanied by several others. I didn't pay her much mind but she stayed in the frame of my secondary camera as I reclined back and tried to absorb the AC.

So when she committed the act, I nearly rubbed my eyes in disbelief.

Back in the 90s, DVD players were still 5-6 years away. VCR players still ruled the day. Like many other retailers, my company had a display model on top of each shelf. Usually these were cabled down, but not always.

My Hispanic lady friend walked into the aisle with all the players, picked up of the smaller ones, and slid it up her skirt, clenching it with her thighs. Let me repeat:


Her walking manner out the store remained exactly the same, you couldn't tell she was clamping down on Panasonic's finest. So I ran out with a female manager in tow and stopped her along the front of the sidewalk.

"Excuse me, you may have forgot to pay for something. I need you to come back into the store."


Oh, great. She didn't speak English (or pretended not to) and I didn't speak Spanish. We looked like a couple of bad mimes as I kept pointing at, her...midsection and repeating - loudly - VCR. VCR. VCR. I was afraid to look around and see if other customers were watching. I was afraid they would all be laughing. I know the manager was, I could hear it in the background.

Eventually the lady came back inside. She extracted the sweaty slippery box from under her skirt and offered it back to me. I just pointed at the desk.

It left a little steam mark on the surface.

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