Yesterday started out routine. Woke up, showered, got ready for work, stopped at Hen House for my pre-work pilgrimage to the Starbucks kiosk. I was standing at the counter, just about to place my order when I noticed a small band of deli workers, one EMT, and one of the Starbucks workers sort of milling around at the entrance looking somewhat anxious. All in all, I counted about seven.
"Get him!!" I hear a collective shout. I look to see a scrawny guy in a red jacket bolt out the door, and the herd of deli workers rush out after him, aprons billowing around their legs as they ran. Red jacket guy disappears from my line of sight, but leaving a cart of items behind.
The air is charged. Within minutes the first to appear is Starbucks lady, red-faced and panting.
"Did you take him down?" I asked, not hiding the amusement on my face. She nodded. She then explains that the scrawny guy routinely comes to the store, loads up a shopping cart, and walks out. This time, they recognized him. This time, they were ready. The vigilante deli mob caught up with said thief and tackled him right next to the mums. To make things worse for the guy, his mode of transportation that day was a stolen vehicle.
Sucks to be him.
Deli workers return to the store, leaving behind a few comrades to watch over the criminal until back-up arrives in the form of KC's finest. They congratulate each other on their good work in apprehending a very dangerous fugitive. The adrenaline is pumping!
I order a raspberry iced tea.
As I was walking out, I see the guy, laying facedown next to a pile of pumpkins. EMT and two burly-looking guys in green aprons are standing watch. People are standing around, waiting for the next exciting thing (i.e. police cars with lights and sirens) to happen. A little elderly man eating a chicken leg and biscuit is sitting inside his mammoth SUV, parked next to my car. With a mouth full of food, he starts blathering about...well...hell. I don't know what he was blathering about, but I think I caught the word deli in between the unintelligible sounds his was creating. I paused to make sure he wasn't choking.
So, here's to those brave souls who risk life and limb to protect Hen House. Surely, your good deeds will not go unrewarded.
A $25 gift certificate sounds about right.
Update: I got the scoop from the Starbucks worker Sunday night before I came in. She reported that this guy had a little scam going. He would find discarded receipts, come into the store with empty shopping bags. Collect the food, stuff them in bags when no one was looking, and walk out the door like he bought the stuff, only to return a short while later and get a refund on all the stuff he didn't buy. Initially, I wasn't too critical because I figured the guy was stealing food because he was hungry. However, that doesn't appear to be the case. He'd done this many times (he was even caught on camera), and Saturday night was the first time they were ever able to catch him. Incidentally, the employees who assisted in the catch only got a $5 store coupon.