...a friend of the family, currently employed at a retail store located somewhere within the mass confusion of a local outlet mall, fell victim to an odd form of thievery the other day.
...working behind the counter while her fellow associate stocked the storeroom, she found herself in the company of four hooded thugs. Aggressive like teenagers fresh off a "21 Jump Street" reunion tour, and armed with Hefty bags draped over each arm, they ordered our friend to remain where she was, hands held high, speaking in fluid spanish, as the crime enfolded.
...while one of the conspirators kept an eye on our friend, another manning the front door, the other two attacked the designer clothing, bloating each bag with the newest and hottest in name brand attire.
...they worked fast, in and out in less than five minutes. Oddly enough, they never approached the cash register. Never showed any signs of violence toward our friend behind the counter. It was the clothing they were after. And following several tense moments, it was the clothing they got.
...they left the store together. A foursome. Hooded. Each lugging a full garbage bag over their shoulder. Out the front door and into the populated chaos of an outlet mall, a place far too busy at all hours of the day for someone like, say...me for instance, to ever pay a visit.
...and they got away.
...the outlet mall, less than a decade old, and home to more than 75 stores, including Nike and The Gap, has no security cameras posted anywhere on the premises. No cameras in the stores. Only a lone rent-a-cop, no doubt resting his haunches in front of the Dunkin Donuts at the time, was the only means of justice on site during the heist.
...when the store's manager arrived on the scene, he asked our shaken friend, "Were they armed?"
"I didn't ask."
"So, you never saw a gun?"
"I didn't really want to look for one at the time."
"And you didn't call 9-1-1?"
"Do you really think they would've let me?"
"You just stood there?"
"And lived to talk about it..."
...our friend was "written up" for not attempting to stop the burglary, despite the fact that no one was hurt, and the money in the cash register was never touched. An estimated $3000 in clothing was stolen however...a burden far too heavy for a clothing store manager to comprehend.
...throwing caution to the wind, our friend, upon receiving her demerit paper responded with, "I guess next time I'll take my top off and distract 'em while dialing the cops. Would that make you happy?"