Anyone who knows me should tell you that I would never imagine shoplifting, it's just not something you could imagine me doing. I don't drink alcohol, never have. I have never tried pot, or any type of illegal drug (wouldn't know what pot smelled like if someone knocked me over the head with it). I won't even take painkillers, except for when I had my miscarriage. If I see money on the ground at work I just walk right on by like I never even saw it because it belongs to the post office. I'm just that way.
So, this is what happened.
We moved to AZ in 1998. I was 19 and we had both gotten hired on at the post office. We lived in an apartment in Mesa for the 1st 3 years we lived here. Seth bought a motorcycle in 2000, I think. He couldn't keep it at the apartment because there was no where he felt safe parking it, so we kept it in his aunt Lori's garage. In the fall of 2000 we finally got serious about buying a house, so Seth decided to sell the bike. He asked me to stop and pick up a cycle trader magazine.
I didn't realize it was an actual magazine. At the grocery stores and gas stations here almost all of them have little racks of free magazines and apartment finder books. I thought that's what the cycle trader was. So one evening I was driving home from work and he had reminded me again that he wanted me to stop and get one of those. I was in a hurry because it was late and cold, so I thought I would just run into the corner store and grab one. I walked in and asked the clerk if they had the cycle trader. She pointed them out to me on the office door towards the back of the store which was about the size of a closet. I grabbed one and walked out. She never said anything to me as I was leaving and didn't come after me (of course I was in a hurry.) I think I may have even left my car running, where I could see it of course, which just made it look really bad.
I pull in the parking lot of our apartment complex and as I'm driving down towards where I usually park, there's some guy with his door open taking up the space that was open where I would have normally parked, so I backed into the spot across from it. Anyway, I went inside and got ready to go to bed, since this was during the days when we worked about 60-70 hours a week. About an hour later I was ready for bed watching tv or something and there was a knock at our door.
Well, no one ever came to see us, and I mean no one. So Seth goes to the door and the person who knocked had their finger over the peep hole so he couldn't see (never quite figured out why). Seth is the type of person who can, and will, own a gun for protection, and since we were living in the middle of Mesa he grabbed his gun when he went to the door. We were both a tiny bit paranoid. They knock again, so he said "Who is it?" and the guy says "Mesa Police Department" Seth is freaking out! He cracks the door a little bit and it really is the cops! He asks if I live there, and Seth is like "Yeah, hang on". I don't remember exactly, but he yelled at me and then he made sure to tell the cop that he owned guns and all that. The cop takes Seth's glock and gives it to his ride along to hold (the guy wasn't even a cop). So, I come into the living room and he's asking me where the magazine is. Well, I don't read magazines, and I had totally forgotten the cycle trader already, since it wasn't for me, and I didn't consider it a magazine(not to mention my short term memory sucks). I probably looked at him like he was an alien. Finally, after he asked if I had picked up a magazine or something that night I figured out what he was talking about.
I said "You mean the cycle trader? I thought those were free." And at this point Seth is looking like he doesn't even want to claim to know who I am. The cop asks "Is there some reason why you backed into the parking space when you came home?" Like I am going to try to hide my car! I told him the truth, some guy was standing in the space I usually park in and all that. So I finally ask how much the magazine cost. It was $1.50!!! The really embarassing part is that I offered to give them the money and of course I was already hooked on the debit card by then and didn't happen to have any cash on me, so they drove me over there in the cop car to pay for it!!
I told the cop the whole story and I guess he believed me, cause he seemed like he got a good laugh out of it. So when I walked into the store to pay for it I told the clerk I was really sorry, and I couldn't believe I did that, laughing at myself. She was not in a joking mood I guess, just rang it up real snotty like.
Obviously they didn't tolerate shoplifters there, I mean really, call the cops and make them investigate a $1.50 magazine like I'm a serial killer or something.
All was well, it didn't even go on my record or anything, so my shoplifting was never really official, but I did learn what was free and what was not. I also have to admit, it took me years to be able to pick up those free books in the grocery store.