One time, an employee we shall call Yuna had a concern that her iPod had been stolen from her purse. She had kept her purse in a locker in the breakroom, but did not keep a lock on that purse.
Additionally, this was a few years ago before iPads and when iPhones were still really really new. iPods were still kind of a "cool" device.
Anyway, it was fortunately a slow night, so I could devote a lot of time to finding the culprit. I began to review surveillance.
I pretty quickly found who it was. We shall call her Latifah. I could very clearly her open Yuna's locker and dig in her purse.
I couldn't technically see her take out an iPod, but it was good enough for me. Latifah had left, of course, so I had to wait until the next day she worked to talk to her.
When she worked again, we brought her upstairs and began to interrogate her. Since the actual theft of the item couldn't clearly be seen, it would be best if she admitted to stealing the item.
"So, Latifah, did anything unusual happen the last time you worked?" I asked. She said no.
"It would have been around the time you left. Do you remember anything about that time?" Of course, she had stolen the iPod right as she was leaving.
"I left early?" she asked.
"Maybe you did," I said, "but that's not what I'm referring to." She said she couldn't remember anything.
"Okay, well, are you aware that there are cameras that record everything that goes on in the break room?" I asked.
"And that if we were to receive a concern that something was missing we would then review that footage and find out what happened to it?"
She looked a little disappointed, but not guilt-ridden or ashamed or anything. "Okay, I took."
"You took what?"
"I *accidentally* took Yuna's iPod," she said with full conviction.
"You... accidentally went in to Yuna's locker, took out her purse, opened it, rummaged around until you found an iPod, took the iPod out and then carried it home with you? Accidentally?"
"Yes," she said. No shame at all.
She said after she didn't have the iPod with her,
so I discussed with her how it long it took for her to go home and get back to the theatre and then gave her a strict deadline (basically her estimate plus 20 minutes) to get back to
the theatre with the iPod. Once she did, I formally suspended her and contacted our HR department regarding termination.
We received permission, of course. I was all prepared to hammer out justice during my meeting with Latifah, but she didn't show.
Rather, she was late enough that I was conducting an interview when she arrived. Another senior manager had the meeting with her. According to him...
"So, you stole Yuna's iPod, correct?" he asked.
"I accidentally took it," Latifah said with a straight face.
"Right... Well, we don't employ liars or thieves here at [Movie] Theatres, so you are fired."
And she left. Still no shame. I wish I could say this was the only time something like this has happened, but unfortunately...