Why stealing video games from an ex-GameStop employee is almost always a bad idea.

Posted: February 16, 2012 by Ash Saraga in Editorials

I was on the phone with a close friend when I heard the front door open. Assuming it was one of my roommates, I dismissed it and continued my conversation. I heard something fall (which later turned out to be our Menorah), but still paid it no mind. I was busy and it was nothing.  Half an hour later, I was leaving the house with one of my aforementioned roommates, and noticed a game case sitting on the floor.

“Seriously,” I thought. “Can we not make sure the games get put back properly?”

I then glanced to our mantel to see where the game had come from and my heart dropped. Every single piece of our gaming collection was gone. I frantically looked to our TV stand, where I saw that my backwards compatible, original 60gb PS3 was missing, and our Xbox 360 yanked from its home, sitting in the middle of the living room. Wires were everywhere.

“We’ve been robbed,” I said quietly.

We were devastated. We had been violated, our home had been violated, and our video games had all been taken from us. This was wrong, and unfair.
Disparaged, we left on our errands – the show must go on, right? In the couple of minutes it took to leave and get to my Jeep, I could do nothing but mourn our loss. But then it hit me.

I scrambled for my phone, and called one of my old stores. I lucked out – an old friend was current manager-on-duty.

“Have you gotten an old 60 gig PS3 and a whole ton of games in trade today?”

He was quiet a moment… “What were the games?”

I began rambling off a list of titles, to which he responded, “I’m doing it right now. Get here, quick.”  I hung up the phone, whipped into reverse, and was off.

After hopping a curb to grab a parking spot, my roomie and I sprinted into the store. We had already called ahead to mall security, and they were waiting for us as we came to a stop, panting in front of the red and white sign.  As it turned out, they didn’t have the authority to arrest anyone, and so they were on guard outside so they could follow the culprits if need be. I left my roommate as he was calling the cops, and nonchalantly entered the store.

My friend was nowhere to be seen – I was informed by the other guy working that he’d gone into the back to look for some cords. This was GameStop speak for he was standing in the back room killing time. I went and knocked, and was greeted by a hushed “I’ve been stalling back here for you. It’s the couple at the counter.”

I whispered, “the cops have been called,” and we both made our way back into the store.

My friend proceeded to stall like I’ve never seen anyone stall before. For more than forty-five minutes, he used such tactics as “the computer made an error,” “I can’t seem to find that cord you gave me,” and “oh boy, I think I might have missed one of the games, let me check on that.” It was marvelous.

About halfway through, the man turned to me and asked, “do I know you? You look familiar.”

For a split second, I froze, but then responded, “you know, I have one of those faces. I don’t actually think we’ve met.”  He seemed content with that answer, and turned back to his transaction.

By the end of the trade, both and he the girl who accompanied him (who was 24, but looked like she was 35) were almost yelling at my friend that they needed to leave. Apparently, he had a job to get to. So my friend finished the transaction, gave them their money, and they left with my PS3 still in tow (you can’t trade a system without the cords, which they managed to leave behind.) Mall Security followed.

After a few minutes of waiting (and still no actual policeman in sight), Mall Security returned with a black backpack. They told us that after following them to the bus stop, one officer had said “that bag is stolen, I suggest you hand it over.” The woman immediately dropped the bag and they both bolted. Security bravely tried to chase them down, but to no avail. Luckily, you have to give a license in order to trade at a GameStop, so all the information we needed was already on file.

We stuck around for ten minutes more, to see if any police decided to come round, but none did. And after an hour of waiting, we decided just to call from home. We thanked the mall security and my friend, shook some hands, and left.

So I’d say there are a couple morals to this story:
1. Never steal video games from a GameStop employee.
2. Mall Security is often more helpful than the real cops, and almost always nicer.
3. If you’re going to steal a bunch of stuff, don’t immediately try to pawn it at the nearest location.

He was stupid enough to steal, but good enough to get away with it. Unfortunately for him, I’m rather clever, and really like my video games.

  1. jake saraga says:

    that was good ash

  2. Tim Utley says:

    Wild story Ash, like I said on FB, I’m just glad no one was hurt, and I’m still floored by how stupid those people were

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