When: Black Friday, 2008
A man wearing a knit wool hat and scarf enters the store, a typical holiday shopper you might. They split up and one walks to the TV department at the back of the store and purchases a medium size flatscreen TV for 600 dollars. He carries it to the door of the store, where his receipt is checked by a presumably 80-something war veteran receipt checker. Given the approval, the man proceeds outside to his car where he hands the receipt to his friend waiting for him at the car. He loads the TV in the car and gets in the driver's seat but does not drive off, or even pull away. The second man, now bearing the receipt walks back inside the store, picks up another flat screen television, walks to the front of the store, shows the receipt to the receipt checker who reads it, approves it, and sends him on his way. Flawless, two televisions for the price of one.
But it gets better... The two men aren't satisfied with their two-for-one deal, so they walk to the back of the store, pick out a TV, walk to the front of the store, show the receipt, and exit the store with a free television ELEVEN MORE TIMES.
The TV count is now up to thirteen, almost 8 grand worth of flatscreen television goodness. That's not the end though. With the televisions loaded into the car, the man who purchased the first television grabs the receipt and one of the 13 TVs, walks back into the store to the returns counter, and gets a full rebate of 600 dollars for the TV. He walks out of the store with a fat wallet.
Un-fucking-believable. But wait, don't the receipt checkers usually mark the receipt so this isn't possible? With the holiday rush this was too much a waste of time, and large lines would build up. Instead the checker merely glanced at the receipts and ushered the shoppers on.
Walmart didn't catch on until the following evening during inventory. They reviewed their security footage and saw the same two men carrying the TVs out one by one, but couldn't get a close look because of the hats and scarves.
My thoughts: Although it was a massive electronics theft, the two men creatively took advantage of long holiday lines with a lucrative yet simple heist. And Walmart didn't catch on for over a day! In my mind, those two men should enjoy their TVs, or the money they've inevitably raked in from selling them. They pulled the wool over Walmart's eyes, so to speak. Walmart has clearly been bested, and should cut their losses or even issue a public apology; such a high level of creativity needs to be rewarded.