Megalomaniac

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Megalomaniac wrote (edited )

Googled the phone number and came up with this:

https://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/do-i-need-to-pay-these-people-or-is-it-a-scam----8-2515249.html

tl;dr

This guy & guys like them sends out thousands of these types of letters on behalf of Target, Walmart, etc. hoping to get paid by people who don't question it blindly.

Most lawyers/defense attorneys recommend ignoring them.

Might threaten to sue, but more than likely they're not because out of the jurisdiction.

"It's not a scam, but the general consensus among criminal defense attorneys is to recommend that you IGNORE the civil demands. Don't even acknowledge receiving them in the mail. They'll eventually quit sending you letters."

((This shit makes me want to shoplift even more now.))

Reply to comment by /u/Sneaky in Thank You by /u/Megalomaniac

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Megalomaniac wrote

Had a re-useable shopping bag for some groceries (frozen/refrigerated foods mostly)/the catfood, the lego thing wouldn't fit in a bag so just had it sitting at the bottom of the cart as I placed bags on top of it while checking out (if I did it again would probably put a large bag of dry cat food/litter on top of it), and the hair care products fit in two pockets.

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Megalomaniac wrote

Yeah, don't place it on the scale. Do it at a busy time when their attention is split. If you're super paranoid maybe do it on grocery day/when you have a lot of other times, and then have that item scanned in the middle of everything. Let it get lost within the list. And obv. don't do it if they're standing near you/hovering.

I'm not sure how self-checkout cameras are, to be honest. There's only been one in which I've had any issues with. But those automated and just mainly watched hand motions, speed of scanning, etc. and recorded you, said "please wait for assistance" and summed a rep, then played back the "suspicious" video. Machine asks if the item needs to be rescanned by customer or not. Apparently they get triggered a lot by normal shoppers though.

Also think that may be only at high theft stores though. So far anyways. Just know your store and you should be fine. Trust your instinct. If it's a new store/you suspect it might be high theft location, lowkey watch others and see how sensitive the machines/cameras are.

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Megalomaniac wrote

Two ways. Probably the easiest: get another barcode from something (maybe like a Hot Wheels toy car) and cover the barcode when scanning. The Hot Wheels/whatever will ring up while the demagnetizer will deactivate the source tag inside.

I'll probably get some of those $1ish fabric squares, cut off the tag (big enough to cover most barcodes), and stick over the original within a safe zone.

I usually get the squares in advance, use an exacto knife to cut however much above the barcode I want, then peel it off the fabric and stick it on like a gift card/expired credit card/laminated library card/etc. Typically I can unpeel it off the card easily enough, put it on the merch, then peel it off at home & put it back on the library card/whatever. Generally get 3-4ish uses before it starts losing stickiness, but depending how large you cut it can get anywhere from 2-4 codes on each side of the card. Replace as needed.

Alternatively (not as easy imo) cover the barcode of the item you want (maybe black it out with a thick permanent marker? or just use your hand), hold the replacement barcode near the original, scan & make sure you hear the sound, throw in bag/cart.

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Megalomaniac wrote

Not seeing a link other than the image link which no longer works, but basically this is the same thing yeah? Think it's strong enough? And on any dual-use magnet/demagnet just to be extra safe could one cut it in half to seperate?

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Megalomaniac wrote

It really depends on the situation of the individual.

If there's zero "need" to shoplift then stop now (or extremely soon) if you're getting tired, afraid of getting sloppy, or just don't want to push your luck too hard. Especially if you have loved ones/dependents. That "one more haul" can easily be the last one. Even a pro can have one off day - all it takes is one a*hole customer to walk by at the wrong time and nark. Gameover. If it was me, I'd get one last thing I truly want above all else that's within my skillset & comfort level and claim it as a trophy.

If there's a "need" then immediately upon meeting it. Pay off debt, rent, whatever said need is and replace the income with an actual job. Maybe just a smidge over to have an emergency savings started. Kinda where I'm at. The second I can live without feeling like I'm drowning in soul crushing debt is the second I'm done. (So $4-6kish, but part of that's supplemented by legit income of course.)

If there's zero people that depend on the person, and they just don't give a damn then never stop. Seriously, some jails are better than being free. No debt, no bills, no unnecessary junk cluttering your life, guaranteed food & shelter, etc. Especially great if you're homeless or if being homeless is a better alternative to one's current situation. Not going to lie, there was one point in my life where I would have happily stayed in jail instead of having to deal with everyday bs.

Of course if one has none depending on them, this may very well be a part of who they are for better or worse. Maybe it's a rush, maybe it's fun, maybe they just want/need stuff & thangs, etc. and that's okay whatever the reason. As long as they know the risk and fully accept the consequences then go for it as long as they want. "Whatever makes one happy so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else."

Heck, sometimes I'll lift a bunch of necessities (soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, protein bars, etc.) around Christmas and summer and donate them to those in need. Fulfills my "need" to lift and does good for the world. Whether they choose to or not Walmart/other big entity can do some good for the world. πŸ–•

Just my perspective.

Reply to comment by /u/Drshoplifter in Help by /u/Blackbookofsecrets

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Megalomaniac wrote

Back in my day all (?) dvds had those long, often black, security strips on the inside and they were most definitely active. Seems some Blus do too (even the cheap ones.) Is this uncommon on games (hence the various security cases) or is it just double the protection?

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Megalomaniac wrote (edited )

Several. And one in which I did get caught partially because my dumbass accomplice.

  1. In the early days wasn't nearly as knowledgeable now. Wanted new, still in package dvds (before blurays were a thing) for resell. Put them in an old Walmart bag and just walked out setting off the towers. Knew they'd go off so had my cellphone to my ear and was pretending to be on a call as they went off. Heard the greeter yell after me but just kept walking and pretending to be on my phone.

  2. Not TOO long ago (3? 4 years maybe?) was much more confident. So much so I've walked out with full cart loads of unbagged groceries and whatever (nothing tagged in any way/shape/form) but just walked out. Normally I was just ignored the 2-3 times I'd done this prior but this particular time a greeter was at the door. An elderly, wheelchair bound greeter. She called out for my receipt, but my wife was on top of it. Having read Consumerist religiously we were well aware of our rights: we did not have to show our receipt. She said this but the lady kept hounding us. Wife tried again "sorry, we're in a hurry to get back in time for class". By this point a slightly older woman (non-employee) grabbed my arm to stop me but I guess I gave her a look of death because once we locked eyes she let go. Of course I was still in motion so maybe I just got loose. shrug Wheelchair lady followed us all away across the parking lot (we had parked at the opposite end), wrote down our tag number, and wheeled herself back. Never heard from the police or anything, but honestly didn't expect to in the first place. Was living in another county anyways and the previous address hadn't been updated either.

The time I got caught? Probably the fourth or fifth time I'd had full grocery carts of stuff so was oozing confidence on this trip. Had a friend with me who was supposedly a pro at this stuff coughbullshitcough and supposedly had my back coughs again. I probably would have gotten away with it had it not been for those damn kids... wait... that's Scooby Doo... probably would have gotten away with it but several mistakes.

  1. Was careless. As such I just threw in stuff I wanted with no regard to price. This is was tipped off the undercover floor LP.
  2. Trusted the wrong person. Not only did he bail on me, but took our car and left me behind. Even if I did get out I would have been on foot and SOL. Didn't help he was in neon green shorts and a bright orange shirt. That alone should have told me "bad idea" but, again, too cocky & overconfident to care. In my mind I was "untouchable". Despite this never narked on the POS.

When I spoke to my attorney I learned I had several options. IF I understood correctly I didn't have to go with the LP dude to their little office & wait for police. HOWEVER, had I touched the guy he probably could have then restrained me. Had they kept me there without physical contact it would have been illegally detained. I MIGHT be completely misunderstanding him though so don't take this as any advice.

Since then I still clepto here and there. It's... idk... just an urge I've had ever since I was a kid. Possible partially because of depression and partially because I was raised as if we never had enough money, stuff, etc. I'll pick up things like junk food, cheese, those little flavor squirt things for water, craft supplies, mystery figures, etc. just to keep the urge under control. Stuff I can masterfully get with a simple slight of hand trick (have gotten so good I've been standing next to friends and family and they're like "wtf how/when?!?") shrug

Did have one other incident though. In this case cleptoed some scented wax. Something else triggered the alarm that surprised me. Something I still have no idea wtf was so probably was a legit item I paid for but didn't get deactivated (think it was one of those stupid $7ish blurays if I had to guess, but even those are 50/50 or 30/70 if actually tagged.) Was with fam so didn't just keep walking, showed the greeter my near 2 ft long receipt, they glanced at the cart full of bagged items, peaked at one or two, shrugged and let us go. Actually regretted not getting something bigger that time around.

And one time I SHOULD have had a close call but either the guy watching self checkouts was naive or, more likely, didn't give a fuck. New self-checkout cameras at apparently (???) a high theft Walmart next to the highway that are super sensitive. If you don't scan it "right" (too many items at once, trying to scan while the light is red so it doesn't register, put something in the bag w/o scanning, etc.) it'll record you, call the attendant over, show the clip (which showed me obviously trying to pretend to scan), have them verify/enter their code, and either ask if the item will be rescanned or not. Have only seen this ONCE out of all the Walmarts (so far) I've been to across state though. Not sure if newly being rolled out across the board or just higher theft stores. (Can anyone else confirm?)

So yeah. Nothing exciting. The extremely rare tower going off thing and keep on walking or pretend I'm on the phone (and keep on walking). But mostly stick to smaller things that are 99% not likely to be sourced tag that I can sell in bulk or that I actually use. Since getting caught that one time my confidence just hasn't fully recovered despite skill, previous huge successes, and even more alert + knowledgeable. From semi-pro to n00b all over again.

One day though... one day I'll have my white whale again and can retire on a high rather than in this embarrassing slump.