One day during the fall of 2018 I get a call from Jen and Chris asking me to check the cameras because someone had just been in the store acting kind of sketchy. They said that there was a large empty spot on one of the shelves that they did not remember at the beginning of the day. This was during football season and I was not at the store, rather I was at home watching the game with a few friends. I quickly whipped out my phone and looked through some of the footage.
It was quite easy to spot the person who they were describing as the potential culprit. He was wearing a large jacket, on a warm day??? While “trying on” a bracelet that was made by one of our talented artists, Moo, he also kept looking towards the cash register. It seemed he was looking for a chance to grab something once Chris and Jen were occupied with 1 of the 6 customers in at the time. Upon further inspection of the video he went to try on another piece of jewelry, but I never saw him return the bracelet to the display. This is about the time I started to get a little upset, but I continued to watch.
The next piece of jewelry he tried to try on was a necklace, also created by Moo. He briefly placed it up to his neck as if to see where the pendant would sit on his chest, looked back at the register, then placed it in his front jacket pocket. Now I’m heated at this point because I have confirmation that he did intend to steal. But was he going to put the bracelet back that was still around his wrist? Nope he wasn’t, and quickly after stashing the necklace he turned around and walked out the door.
At this point I looked to my friends and said, “Boys its time to take to the streets and find this thief.” Without hesitation we all hopped up and got in the truck and started driving downtown towards the shop. As we were driving, we were rehearsing how this shakedown would go in the event we find this guy. None of us were hoping for violence, but we knew it was a possibility. We planned that the three of us present would deter the guy from becoming defensive and trying to fight one of us.
By the time we got down towards the shop the robbery had only happened 10 minutes earlier. Chico is a small town so he couldn’t have gotten far, if he was on foot. We decided the Downtown City Plaza would be the first place we would search for him. We quickly parked and split up searching for the man we all had a screenshot of on our phone. AND I SHIT YOU NOT we saw him within 30 seconds of getting out of the car.
He was showing off the stolen goods to another man who was laying on the grass, looked like he was trying to sell or trade it. By this time all three of us converged and started to surround him. I took the lead and approached him first from the side. I said, “That’s some nice jewelry you got there.” As he turned to the side to see who was saying that, my friend approached from the back and said, “Yea you need to come off that right now.” And when he turned to see who said that, he saw that my other buddy was approaching from the other side. He saw that he was surrounded and the expression on his face quickly changed, from being proud of his trophies, to I hope I don’t get beat up or in trouble.
He started stuttering over his words and I interrupted him and said, “You stole those from me! That’s my store you just robbed.” He followed up with, “I’m sorry.” And I responded with, No you’re not. You just got caught and now you’re scared. Take the jewelry off now and give it back!” And my buddy chimed in, what else have you stole today? Give that up too!”
Still stuttering and fumbling to take the jewelry off he said, “Nothing, nothing I swear. Do you know why I stole it?” he asked? I responded with, “I don’t care, just give it back and never come around my store or the block ever again!” He answered with, “Paul made me do it. He’s making the ultimate machine and needed these stones to complete it. Do you know Paul? Talk to him he’ll tell you.” My friend responded with, “We don’t know Paul, and we don’t care about the ultimate anything. Are you even from around here?” he asked. The thief answered, “no.” I answered with, “Then you need to get out of here, because you don’t steal from businesses in downtown Chico.” Intermittently during this confrontation, he would say, “Please don’t call the cops, I don’t want any trouble.” Well you shouldn’t have stole from my store if you didn’t want any trouble, I was I thought to myself.
We didn’t end up calling the cops, but we did get the stolen jewelry back. We also made him leave the park and told him to go back where he came from because he is not welcome here. The pieces he stole were valued at around $300 dollars! We went to the shop and put them right back on display so that they could go to a home of someone who appreciated Moo’s work. She works really hard to create such intricate designs and that effort should be acknowledged or at least appreciated by the patrons that come through our shop.
Now I can imagine as you sit here and read this, some of you may think, damn they were mean to that guy and some of the things they said were harsh. Well when you steal from us after we’ve worked so hard to acquire all the things we have in the shop, you better believe we’re going to be harsh and upset that you disrespected something we care so deeply for and have so much pride in!
Please don’t steal from us! Because, We..Will..Come..Find..You. And then afterwards write a blog about it and post your face so everyone will know to look out for you in their establishments that they worked so hard to open, maintain, and share with the community.
- Kasey V