View Full Version : Reality Check
06-03-2009, 10:22 PM
Some of you know me some of you don't, My name is Leo Martin and I have been haunting for 19 years , in the off season I am the second generation owner of a 50 year old western apparel store in upstate NY all at the same location. This morning my wife dropped me off at work early (she normally comes to work with me but had an appointment). I went out back to meet my carpenter and work on my haunt when I heard what I thought was gun shots. I talked myself out of it, it was 9:30 in the morning...Five minutes later my brother called me telling me the alarm was going off in the store and could I check it out so he could call off the police. I did and encountered a crazy 30/30 toting lunatic that had just blown out the front door of our business and robbed us. To make a long stroy short, I followed him (from a distance) as he weaved around our hayirde trail trying to get off the property. I was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher the entire time. The police caught him and he is locked up tonight. I never thought I would see crime scene tape wrapped around my business that I have been at all my life. Lessons learned: Be Careful, you never know what your walking into and have a security/video cameras in place, mine paid for itself today.
06-03-2009, 10:35 PM
How terrible! I'm glad they caught the thief and that no one was hurt.
You definitely can't be too careful.
Thats a terrible and terrifying thing to happen, but Im glad to hear that no one was injured, and everything got resolved.
06-04-2009, 05:13 AM
That western apparel drives some people nuttty? Sure you did, you sell it successfully to most of them!
I wasn't happy when my ex threw away my western shirt with the pearl buttons. She threw away alot of my neat stuff until she finally threw me away! (Thank You!)
My surveilence cameras saw the right guy going to jail, instead of me! Otherwise it would have been my word against his and he was a terrifically bold liar!
I never punched him, never said I was going to punch him, never drew my arm back, I just called him a thief,as I caught him stealing some little items from me.
He knew Judge So-inso, his brother was a State Policeman, HE was an undercover cop, with such a deep-cover he could not even show us his I.D.! (Upon penalty of death or at least severe embarrassment!)
Of course the reality of him was that he was riding on Momma's couch, eating her food.
Moral of the experience:Before you begin feeding someone living on your couch see if they really are a secret agent and not just a reporter for the Food Network!
06-04-2009, 12:19 PM
I used to own several apparel kiosks in malls throughout the South. I closed them last August and liquidated my stock as the slowdown hit smaller retail first.
One of my stores opened in April '07. The first week of business a guy shoplifted and turned in the goods for cash, as a return. I had failed to fully review policy with the employee and they took the merch and gave him cash; $60.00.
I took responsibility for having not emphasized all the store policies. It came to light later that the employee knew not to give a cash refund without a receipt but had basically been menaced by the crook and intimidated into the transaction.
The story seemed so ridiculous that I actually thought the employee made it up and had taken the money; surveillance cameras confirmed the clerk's story and we had a basic description of the criminal.
My little brother's an attorney and said that in his experience, petty criminals will return to a place they've had success. I scoffed. The VERY NEXT DAY, the same man approached a different employee with more merch for return. While at the register a woman that worked at a kiosk close by, walked over and told my clerk, in front of the crook that she'd seen him pick up the merch.
He tried to intimidate them both and even told them he had made a return there before without a receipt. The lady had also already called Mall Security [observe and report] and when confronted he ran, literally out of the mall, and across four lanes of traffic to escape police who had subsequently been called.
After the search is over the cops, myself, and mall security are reviewing surveillance footage and find a close up of the man's face on the camera above the door he exited. The Mall printed off a still of the video frame and we're standing outside the office; the cop has a copy as do I.
We're looking at the photo [you're not going to believe me but its true] and a cleaning crew member walks by and, looking over the cop's shoulder, says, "I know that dude." Cop says, "really?"
The guy clams up, cop goes to talk with him privately, ID's the guy, they literally go to his home and pick him up the next day.
I prosecuted. He got 11 mo.s 29 days probation and paid me restitution. After three months of not getting the $60.00 he owed me I called the asst. DA, she told me he was in jail for an offense after my case had been ruled.
Had I not prosecuted he would not have added to his previous record to the point that he'd actually serve time. Most large stores in malls have 'do not prosecute' policies and that's part of the reason shoplifters think they can steal with impunity. A lot of small time owners like me have the time and are principled enough to prosecute and do.
In non-felony criminal court like this, plaintiffs and defendants are all sort of sitting around in the courtroom, "together" until the case is called. This scumbag was mumbling and trying to intimidate my only witness, which was the woman that saw him pick up the goods the second time. We ignored it and he got his.
All that to say, I know, somewhat, how you feel and hope you stand your ground as the process unfolds. Being in business has hardened me a bit; if someone was in need I'd give them what they needed, and do. But if they try to strong arm me or steal from me I'll go to the mat with them.
Sorry for your experience, hope it all works out and doesn't happen again.
06-06-2009, 01:09 PM
Was a farmer/neighbor, times were tough, he had kids to feed, when he got caught the owner confronted him infront of his Wife and kids and told him if they were hungry, he would give them some chickens, but do not steal them!
Now his wife and his kids knew Dad was dishonest and this might have been the worst punishment of all, if he had any pride in his community standing.
Another man was stealing firewood, all cut and neatly stacked by the fence.
Drilling a large hole in one piece, filling the hole with gunpowder re-"corking" the hole stopped the stealing.
The stove blew up just enough to fill the room with soot as the thief sat in his chair warming himself. (Pretty un-pretty funny!)
06-06-2009, 01:31 PM
I used to work at a local paintball store. We kept a paintball pistol filled with paintballs that contain mace. Three shots to the chest, that guy is outta the game. But well...no one usually stopped at three. I was in the back fixing a paintball gun, i heard the soft "pfft" of a gun discharging. I charge in and there is Mike with the gun in his hand and a guy with a 9mm on the floor right in the door way. While the guy had his face in his hands I bolted over and kicked the gun out of his hand and picked it up. Once it was out of his reach. The cops were called and the man was persecuted.
Turns out mike popped him before he could even get in the store as he had the gun out in the parking lot.
Invest in one. Its non lethal, and it drops them like no others.
The ones available are distilled but still can take a man down. As far as i know we are the only ones with paintballs filled with mace currently.
06-08-2009, 08:08 PM
thanks for the paintball gun info , the idea sounds great.
06-09-2009, 09:41 PM
My wife's an MD and told me a disturbing and sad story tonight at dinner. A patient that hadn't been in for almost a year came in today and besides the basic check up showed her three bullet wounds in his upper torso. He'd been shot in a hold up in April.
He works construction and was doing a home remodeling when a man came in, wearing a ski mask demanding his wallet, he threw the wallet to him on the floor and the crook shot him three times. He had surgery the same day and was out of the hospital in only two days. The only shot that threatened him was near his liver but the bullet only penetrated muscle. It was cold and he had a jean jacket over canvas coveralls. You'd be surprised what denim and duck will do to enemic rounds like .32 or .380 caliber.
She didn't ask him the caliber of the weapon. No one's been arrested in the shooting.
You hear about this stuff but seldom get close to victims. The other sad thing about this is that this guy is relatively poor, he basically works odd jobs and carpenter work. The idea of some thug taking his money and almost his life is repulsive to me.
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