Most of you guys donít know much about me, so Iíll tell you a little bit about myself. I own a little grocery store, sort of a Mom/Pop type of convenience store, with lots of extras. Iíve been in business since July, 1st 1989, and I learned a long time ago, you canít trust everyone. Weíll talk a little about shoplifting, and theft, it costs us all money everyday.

I wrote something the other day, that Iím sure some of you didnít understand. when I wrote: ďIíve trained myself to think like a thiefĒ. I really donít care to say it that way, but I have, when Iím at work, thatís part of my job. Iím constantly on the lookout for easy targets, and constantly on the lookout for anyone that looks like theyíre up to no good.

Just thinking about it now, not sure how many shoplifters weíve caught over the years? Itíd be up in the dozens. If you take some of the big stores, theyíll catch people everyday.

One of my customers, Chris, works at the local Walmart, thatís her job, Asset Protection. Sheís paid to walk around the store ďshoppingĒ, and watching her cameras. Just to catch shoplifters. She must be pretty good at it too. Sheíll nab one or 2 or 3 about everyday. I always wish her good luck when she goes to work.

Chris was telling me one day, theyíd taken inventory of the store, (I forget how many months were involved), but there was over $90,000 worth of merchandise missing. Thatís 90,000 dollars that the rest of their customers are going to pay for, with higher prices.

Iíll tell you about my most recent shoplifter, and try to explain how our laws work, it just happened a week or so ago.

I was here at work, it was about a half hour before closing time. Two guys walked in together, I acknowledged them, they walked to the back part of the store, tinkered around for a minute, and walked back toward the counter. The man up front had 2 of those big single cans of beer, (the 22 or 24 ounce jobs) I know my prices pretty well. (His buddy was about 2 steps behind, I watched him grab something off of my shelf.)

Before the first guy made it to the counter I asked: Sir, is that all for you? Itíll be $3.38, I took his money, gave him his change, bagged them up and thanked the man. He started toward the door.

(The second guy stood behind the first man the whole time, which was only 30 seconds or so?)

The second guy was walking past my counter, when I asked: Sir, what can I do for you? He said: Iím with him. I said: Sir, youíve got something in your pocket. #2: What? Me: Sir, youíve got something in your pocket! He fumbled and dicked around in his pockets and pulled it out.

(I was dialing 911 by this time. ) The guy said that heíd forgot it, and his buddy was going to pay for it. (I was thinking, forgot your ass) Try to steal something and when you get caught, just go ahead and pay for it and go on your merry way. It donít work that way!

I told the man that the police were on the way, to hang tight. He walked outside and took off, first time Iíve ever had that happen. (The police station is just down the street, about 200 yards.)

The police officers rolled in, 3 of them. I didnít know the new officer. I told them what happened, said the guy was High Stepping it down the street. (The police had passed him on the street when they were coming up.) Two of the officers took off and rounded up the man, and brought him back to the store.

The 3 officers were here talking, I heard the one officer tell the new cop: ďYou can go ahead and take him.Ē (Go ahead and take him to jail.)

I didnít know until then, the police had dealt with this guy before. Chris, the lady at Walmart had caught him shoplifting, heíd also been caught at the Shop n Save, and now at my store. The one officer told me that he had ďSticky Fingers.Ē

Sure enough, the next morning the manís mugshot was on the Potomac Highlands Regional Jails website. Shoplifting 3rd offense. The way I understand things, thatís a felony.

A Deputy Sheriff served me with a summons, I had to appear Monday, 8/28/17, ďto testify as a witness on behalf of State of West Virginia, in the case of State of West Virginia vs . . . ď The guy waved his Magistrate Court hearing, so now itís bound over to Circuit Court.

They told me that his bond was set at $75,000. Heís going to spend some time in jail. I saw him at the courthouse the other day, sitting there cuffed up, wearing his orange jumpsuit. You canít hide stupid.