I walked into the Walgreens at 23rd and Mission streets Thursday at 9:25 a.m. to get some plastic cups to find two men and two women walking backwards toward me, trying to block a young woman from leaving.
The young woman looked as if she was in her 20s — her hair was tied back, her frame small, her dress jeans and a sweater. One of the crew from Walgreens had the woman’s black jacket and purse.
Earlier, an employee had seen the young woman allegedly shoplifting toiletries and approached her, according to the manager Edwin Perez.
It was unclear how they managed to get the suspect’s jacket and purse, but at the moment I walked in, the young woman was looking between the woman who held her purse and the automatic doors. She opted for the latter. The employees did not get physical and so the young suspect walked out easily.
Seconds later, she returned. It was almost as if she thought, I can’t just leave my purse there.
It quickly became clear that the Walgreens’ workers were not going to hand to it over. The manager said they were calling the police.
The young woman had no choice. She left. When I tried to find her outside, she was no longer around the store. I returned to watch the employees pulling items from the woman’s purse. There appeared to be little of much value, but I may have missed some of them, it was hard to see and no one was talking.
Why write about this? I suppose it was the look on the young woman’s face and a desperation that made her return. Yes, it is both stupid and wrong to shoplift, but also terrible to realize that one’s identity is in a purse that will soon be turned over to the police.