Do hard times fuel thefts?
Shoplifting, hold-up, credit card fraud transactions, break and enter, stealing of donation box constitute a major problem for retailers including 3J Filipino Variety Store Ltd in Edmonton.
January 10, 2018 (Wednesday ), a male customer nervously searched his backpack for money to pay for his purchases. Obviously he had no money. Instead of our staff charging him for the items, he was allowed to go without paying. However, on his way out he took wit...h him the donation box from the front counter. Cash donations were intended for Emma, the Musical (A Filipino Broadway in July 2018). This incident was reported to the police.
January 18, 2018 (Thursday), one customer was in 3J snooping for at least 15 minutes. He purchased a bottle of pop and a snack. As he was about to pay, he was startled to see the CCTV camera facing his direction at the front till. He adjusted his cap, turned away with his back facing me and the camera, handed a $20 bill for his payment, got his change and left. After an hour, he came back with a male customer. They did not buy anything but they were wearing baseball caps hiding their faces from the CCTV. These two spent 20 minutes in the store pretending to look on products but their eyes were in every corners and doors of the store. The first person left, leaving the second male in the store. I befriended the second guy, asked him a few questions; if he understands Tagalog, what his name was. He said both his parents were from the Philippines. His answers to my questions did not make sense. On his way out, I followed him outside to the parking lot and I had a good look of his car. Immediately I phoned the police and showed them the CCTV footage. There was no action taken as there was no crime committed.
3J captured on CCTV customers concealing items in pockets, under clothes, inside bags or back packs and leaving the store without paying for it. There were four credit card fraud transactions in November and December 2017. This happened when customers made their purchases using stolen credit cards, or could be their own credit card and denied the transactions. Some of them may wait for store busy hours where they pretend to be in a rush, leave the store without signing the transaction slip. Hard times are here and these people think retailers are their source for cash and to steal is an easier way to make money.
I am telling you this story to help bring awareness for everyone to be extra careful. Let us watch and pray for each other, report to the police any suspicious activities. Be vigilant.
I hoped and prayed that the second visa fraud payment transaction was the last one that happened at the store. This morning, we received a fax from our merchant sales provider, the third fraud transaction. To other small or big businesses out there, this is the first year that this ever happened to our company. Please be on guard out there. Time to report these accumulated three transactions to the police.
We received two fraud visa transactions in November 2017. Dispute resolution document from our merchant provider confirmed the reversal of the sales transactions. This is so unfair to businesses who are victims of this scam!
Just to give everyone an update. The police officer is still here investigating the early robbery at 3J. He is going through the CCTV footages. It is interesting how he dissected every angles of the thief’s movements.
The burglar that went into our store is definitely a pro. He covered himself so well. First, the police thought that we can get some blood sample from the point of entry but because he was fully wrapped - there was no way.
The police was able to identify the type of vehicle. More details were uncovered which I think will be helpful to identify the person.
We are six hours away from the time this happened and all just sank in. I now feel terrified and over loaded with a number of questions on safety and challenges in this world of business.
As long as I am still breathing there is always hope. Be safe everyone!
It was well-planned robbery at the store. The thief broke the glass door, took the two cash drawers, fled by foot, went around the back alley, after a few minutes came back in front with his vehicle to retrieve his forgotten crow bar which he used to break the glass and drove off.
We are still waiting for the police and it has been almost an hour since I called. Maybe because there is no one to catch and is no longer an emergency.
Drive safely everyone and have a good day!
Happy Friday to all from 3J!
Don’t forget to drop by at 3J to say hello to Martin Nievera between 5:30 to 6:30pm. Think about watching his concert on Sunday? Yes, tickets are available tonight. Buy yours later! For more information call 780-485-8830.
3J Variety Store supports Gatsby Party Hot Night with Keanna Reeves. The event is on Saturday, November 25, 6pm at Howard Johnson Hotel. Tickets are also available at 3J. Tickets priced at $48 incl dinner. Call us at 780-440-4282 ext 3 for information.