Okay, so as some of you may know I have this new handy dandy camera....well I had a friend (Hi V) who wanted me to do some beach portraits for her....so I wanted to pick up a few new accessories for my camera before the shoot (some filters and a lens hood to protect my lense while at the beach). So I got to Circuit City but they didn't really have what I originally went there for (was going to get the accessories there to save a trip to a second store but oh well) so I went on to Ritz Camera Store. For non locals to give you an idea, the Camera store falls inside the city limits, across the street from the junior college and diagonal across from the big Mall and such (best buy, a hospital etc). Very BUSY area of town, pretty much the "center" of the hustle and bustle (about 2-3 blocks away from the airport to boot).
So back to the story - I roll into the parking lot of the Ritz Camera. I pull into a park spot and notice a few children that are hanging around a white car (like a Bonneville or the like you know) and are in their houseslippers and mismatched clothes outside fiddling with the car in the heat (it was 103 yesterday) and no adults in sight. I thought to myself "hmm where the heck are the parents and why are they fidding around in and out of this car" (sidenote - they were young, three of them, ranging probably from age 6-10 - two boys, one girl).
I dismiss this and go into the store. Walk to the far corner where the Lens filters are and start "gawking" at all my choices (cuz I'm in heaven...LOL) and ask a few questions to a clerk, then resume my perusal of all the lense filters that are hanging on the wall. I hear a bit of conversation behind me at the photo lab/check out counter, but pay no mind. A few moments later I hear a man come in talking loudly (found out on his phone once I turn around) saying "No I am here in the store RIGHT now, they are still out there" and I glance over my shoulder thinking "dang, hes upset about something" and he then goes on to tell a store clerk "Did you know they just put a bunch of merchandise from your store into the trunk of their car"....
The clerk says "Uh, no, you mean from our store?" and the old man (OM) says "yes, from your store, boxes and boxes of items, I'm on the phone with the police right now". Course by this time Im intrigued and full on turn my attention away from the lovely lens filters and to the commotion happening.
The four employees of the store then start scurrying around asking each other "did you ring anything up, no, did you" etc. Then they come to the glass case/counter at the middle rear of the store and start looking and realize several spots are empty. One clerk is on the phone with the police, the other three are speculating on what exactly is missing. Meanwhile OM is still standing there in the store on the phone also with the police. OM goes outside. Clerk tells me and the other single patron in the store we need to wait here for the police (fine with me, I haven't bought my lense filters yet, I'm not leaving LOL). Police come in, OM comes in. OM says "the three women and those kids went across the parking lot to the Wendy's" Cop says "What were they driving" OM says (while pointing out the store window) "that white car right there".
So the cop asks the OM and the store clerks if they can identify the women/kids. One clerk says sure I'll walk over (I'd venture to say he was the highest ranking person in the store) and so OM, Cop, Clerk walk across parking lot. I have lost all interest in anything photography related and now completely intruigued with this situation unfolding. The Cop comes back out to find 2 more cops have shown (one comes into the store, one waits by his patrol car in the parking lot) and in tow he has three women, and three children with him as well as the Store Clerk and the OM.
I see the cop and the extra cop walk to the white car with the women, make them pop the trunk open and apparently it was full, they immediately cuffed the women and placed them in cruisers, then one cop starts bringing items inside the store while another stays outside with the children/suspects. I hear the cop with an armload of stuff say to the clerks "Is this stuff from your store?" The clerk starts "ringing" items up checking to see if they belong to that store and yes, most all of it did, however a few items did not. So the cop then tell s them he needs a list of the items as well as the price. (last # I heard said between two clerks was "that's like $2500 worth of stuff right there" but the cop was still toting in items).
The police questioned us on what we saw etc. They had the three women in custody. I also overheard the kids apparently where loading things into the car (that is what the OM saw from his car in the parking lot) while the adults were apparently int here asking stupid questions to distract the employees.
The people thought they had gotten away with it I guess and decided to have a celebratory meal over at Wendys while they left their car full of stolen goods in the parking lot of the store they just robbed.
I was allowed to leave, but had a police cruiser (with one suspect inside and an officer also inside) parked right behind my car. After walking back in the store and waiting another 20 mins or so I finally walked out and kinda motioned that it was my car that the officer was parked in front of, to which I got a dirty look, but he did however back away.
Oh and I did buy the lens hood, and THREE new filters for my camera LOL!
So I might be rethinking this whole photography is a great hobby/business, low stress, fun etc. thing.