Expensive items have been stolen from my work, I could be getting the blame

Long story short, 2 empty boxes were found of expensive game consoles in the storeroom of my work. It almost has to be an employee that stole it, and probably a keyholder at that. So that brings it down to the two managers or the two senior casuals, of which I am one of them.

Unfortunately out of the four key suspects, I'm the most likely to be blamed. Though I've not stolen anything, I've bought and resold items from work, which hasn't done anything good for my reputation.

I know that in other stores, whoever was in charge of the store that day that consoles went missing is fired immediately. In this case, we don't know how long they've been missing, because they were the last consoles left in a pile that's been there for weeks.

On one of my most recent shifts though, the casual I was working with brought a backpack in with him, and it was for his last ever shift. I actually know that he has stolen things in the past, and so I can't think of any other explanation than he has stolen the consoles. But even with this gut instinct, what can I do? I'm terrified of losing my job, I just got my most recent roster and got no shifts, which is a pretty big indicator of where I'm headed.

Has anyone got any advice?


  • -2

    the managers there sound kinda stupid. why would they blame you if you had bought items from there previously? why would they assume you have bought items one time and then stolen items another? makes no sense.

    anyway i'd tell them about the other casual. being a snitch will protect your ass.

  • You could deal with it outside of work if you know what i mean! man handle a few people!

    • You mean "meet me in the underground car park at 7" type of deals?

  • +5

    "I actually know that he has stolen things in the past" Well there goes your credibility….

  • I'm terrified of losing my job

    Why? Im sorry man, but casual lapdog is barely a job.

    Has anyone got any advice?

    Yes, start looking for a real job/career, or at least focus on the steps you need to gain the career you want, not worrying about a place that doesnt care a shred about you.

  • +1

    Sometimes getting fired for something you didn't do might be the best thing to ever happen to your career. So many start-ups begin like this.

  • +1

    On a side note- if you knew for a fact the other guy stole things in the past why did you do nothing about it/report him, and let him go on his merry way stealing more?

  • -1

    Your employer, if they want to dismiss you probably has strong grounds to formally dismiss you after reading this post anyway …
    On your own admission, you know the previous senior staff member was stealing yet you didn't report it .This in itself is dismissable conduct. An employer has the right to do so simply because you knew about the wrong doing and did nothing about it.
    Good luck to you trying to justify it.

    • Good luck to you trying to justify it.

      Good luck trying to pin down what store OP is talking about.

    • +2

      Strong grounds for dismissal from this post? Lay down the wacky tabacky bargain.

      You draw so many assumptions from him saying he knows this guy has stolen - which could range anything from speculation to not having any evidence to an anecdote the guy told of him stealing at his last workplace.

      Lets have tea in the moral saltpans please and keep away from the highground ( I heard the air is this up there)

      • ( I heard the air is this up there)

        I wonder what gesture goes along with the word this

  • I await your fate, please keep us updated.

    • +6

      I await your fate, please update and don't be late….. thanks mate, that will be great and do not be lured….by the bait. Stand your ground, upon the mound….. catch this crook…..and get off the hook!!!

  • +2

    Id speak to your boss immediately and tell them about your concerns. Tell them what youve told us and definitely mention the casual with the backpack on their last day. Ask them if they could install surveillance cameras so something like this doesn't happen again. Tell them you value your job too. If you dont talk to them they wont know how you feel or your side and theyll just make up their own story which may involve you being the culprit. So you definitely need to talk to your boss about it. Hope this helps :)

    • +1

      If the store is in a shopping centre, perhaps there are surveillance cameras around the store… This should be able to show the backpack.
      Probably need the store owner or the police to request the footage, and the footage is probably only kept for a short period of time…

  • I think Lucky13 was on the right track.
    Explain to them you a well aware of the scenario being played out and what is most likely going to occur.
    So why would you steal when you will be blamed. Unless you have a dodgy track record they should believe you.
    Its a bit ridiculous that a computer gaming store has no cameras. Even I have 4 at my house (don't ask).

  • This is perhaps rather obvious, more so it may have already been said, but; it sounds like communication with your manager/s & colleagues is going to be a key component here.

    Why not speak with your manager/s and ask them why you haven't received any shifts?

    Imagine that you weren't in a position to steal these products. In that instance if you were allocated zero shifts for a week wouldn't you ask why? Maybe you wouldn't, if it was a one of, but if it continued?

    What I'm getting at is; considering you didn't steal the consoles(?), presumably you'd just be going on with your job as usual? If the store was robbed at gunpoint you wouldn't expect to receive no shifts the following week?

    There may also be other avenues to consolidate your position with your superiors that you weren't involved in any way?

    It seems spectacularly unreasonable that you are assigned no shifts on the assumption of your guilt, without even having been debriefed or had a formal sit down with a direct superior.

    Further to the point, in the instance that management did consider the prime (and only) suspect why not terminate your casual employment immediately?

  • +1

    No cameras? So I assume that there's no insurance as well?
    I would just find another job, because even if they let this one go, they will always point the fingers at you in the future. Also this reduces the chance of a raise or promotion.
    Although if you wish to stay, just talk to them about it. All managers are humans too, never think that they are more superior than you because the harder you work, you will eventually end up in their position.

    • Agreed, if it isn't cleared up. Then anything else that potentially goes missing and your shift coincidentally falls on that day, people will start gossiping and assuming you took it….

    • Most retailers excess for insurance are quite huge (tens of thousands) so a couple of consoles wont be something they will claim on insurance.

  • Yeah looks like your gonna to be the fall guy as you the only junior still around with a key.

    Your only 26 y.o. just find another job if the hours have been reduced to nothing.

    But sure do complain about not getting hours should reflect that your the innocent party.

  • +2

    I'm willing to buy the consoles off you if you haven't gotten rid of them yet.

  • I think you are onto something with the casual who left probably stealing it. Same thing happened to me when I was 15 and started a new casual job in retail. During one of my first shifts the safe (which I wasn't allowed to touch) was stolen when the manager was on her lunch break. The manager was resigning and it was one of her last shifts. I remember saying to the owner a few years later that I suspect it was her that stole the safe. Good luck!

    • +4

      Was she a russian olympian?

  • +1

    It's hard to make a judgement when we haven't heard the comments from the other senior casual whom you're attributing the theft to. He may have a similar story about you which will render you in the same predicament.

    I've bought and resold items from work, which hasn't done anything good for my reputation

    Whilst it's not theft, this is most likely against company policy as you rightly suggested.

    I actually know that he has stolen things in the past, and so I can't think of any other explanation than he has stolen the consoles.

    So if you're such a good employee, why haven't you ever reported this person on the occasions you knew he stole things? did you guys form some sort of a covenant pact?

    I'll have let you both go if I was the store manager.

  • Talk to the corporate head office (if they have one)

  • Do EBGames outlets get pillaged on a regular basis or something?

    It sounds like they have a serious and widespread problem with staff theft if they're this gung-ho about blaming staff whenever something goes missing.

    What's incredible to me is how the hell do you actually cram two consoles/accessories/cables into a backpack at an EBGames without arousing suspicion?

    The average EBGames is about 20sqm in size if that, and the store room is effectively a broom closet.

    So a guy walks into the storeroom, takes the time necessary to unpack the consoles from their cumbersome foam/shrinkwrap while making as little noise as possible, removes all the valuables and neatly places all the packaging back inside the box to arrange it so it looks unopened, walks out with a bulging and heavy backpack (how big is this backpack anyway?) and then there's suddenly two opened boxes in a corner.

    The average store has what, 2 staff on deck at any given time? Maybe 3 at peak hours? Hanging around in the store room for anything longer than a few minutes is obviously burdening the lonesome guy at the counter with more responsibility.

    I don't get how other staff could overlook this. Particularly given how often staff need to go into the storeroom to grab the actual contents of game boxes; how many game consoles are back there at any given time?

    • -1

      When was the last time you visited an EB Games Store?
      I've had staff spend 15mins in the storeroom looking for a Gaming Keyboard for me. That's sufficient time to unpack an XBOX One and place it in the backpack unless you've got turrets.

      EBGames is usually filled with stupid parents who are clueless about consoles and just taking their spoilt brat to brag and choose something of their interest. This means taking up staff time on the front desk for petty questions. In the meantime, Mr Thief can pretend to be in the storeroom helping a customer. It's not hard dude.

      • That's sufficient time to unpack an XBOX One and place it in the backpack unless you've got turrets.


        Okay so, what next? You walk out of the storeroom and say "Hey I'm just going somewhere with my backpack for 5 minutes, never-mind where; watch the counter." Convincing alibi. Meanwhile all it takes is for someone else to walk into the storeroom at any point after, bump into one of the empty boxes you left behind or actually fetch a console box for a customer and go… "Hmm that seems a bit light; oh yeah it's empty. Oh yeah didn't I see you in the storeroom an hour ago? Do you know where those consoles went?"

        Just because it's your last shift doesn't mean they don't still have all your personal information on file and could easily track you down (we're talking teenage casuals here) if they wanted to press charges or get the police involved, so stealing on your last night at EBGames doesn't suddenly make you a Jason-Bourne-mastermind-fugitive.

        It's actually pretty stupid because if a theft is discovered to have happened some time ago, the obvious thing to do would be to suspect former employees as people in low-paying retail jobs pull stupid shit like that when they're leaving, especially if leaving on bad terms or being dismissed.

        Think it a through a bit. Like I said, pinching two consoles plus assorted box contents and smuggling it out in a backpack doesn't make sense. I don't know what kind of RFID tags or chips EBGames use but surely there would be security devices on high-value items and they wouldn't just be laying around in the open like under a pile of cardboard boxes where you can hide them away so people forget about them. Their inventory/stock tracking system might also quickly show a discrepancy in available stock versus stock sold.

        The OP is speculating anyway. He doesn't have evidence a former employee actually did anything. Suspicion is not evidence.

        It's not hard dude.

        It's also not slipping a Mars Bar into your pocket at Woolies and walking past the checkouts. Shit like that will go on your criminal record and I don't regard the average, pimply-faced teen "video game consultant" at your local EBGames as much of a capable thief; or much of a capable anything.

        Didn't neg you by the way. Dude.

        • +3

          Ah Tourettes, that makes a bit more sense now. I thought he meant actual turrets in the storeroom defending the stock, and was thinking, man, they're taking tower defense to a whole new level.

        • A security system is usually weak to an insider attack.

          Its not too hard for someone working in retail to have access to the device that can remove thee tags. They could not only use the instore one, but also one nicked one from another store and people would hardly know any better. No one was logged accessing a tag remover in the afternoon yet the tag was conveniently removed mysterious ha?

  • I feel for you i had same problem many year back at store where i was working. i give you side of story leave it at that.

  • +3

    I think you should use your skills to steal the same items from a competitor store and return them in place, and then pretend that nothing happened.

  • If boss ask you, explains to him that you have exercised reasonable duty of care and examples why.

    If the consoles are expensive stock for your business, your boss has responsibility to safeguard them better. (Eg. Install camera)

    Boss should claim through insurance.

    If you are ever dismissed because of this incident, you can lodge a dispute. If you earns 40+ an hour, maybe cost you too much to lodge the claim. But if you only earns 20 something, you should go for it.

  • +1

    Recommendation on this. If you get blamed you do the following. You say that you did not do it and that you are willing to write a statutory declaration for this on the basis that everyone also does this. Everyone would be advised that writing a false statutory declaration can lead to criminal charges. Tell your manager to provide a grace period prior to signing this so either someone owns up or they can quit. This method often weeds people out and innocent people are generally willing to write this.

    • Up.vote. well-thought out answer.

  • +1

    I wonder what ended up happening with this case?

    • the whole thing was dropped because lack of evidence. Turns out it was another employee, however we learnt too late for my boss to bother doing anything about it.

      • You should pester the boss to ensure adequate security cameras are up and running (including the storeroom). Access to the storeroom should be denied to juniors and casuals, to avoid temptation. Police checks should be carried out on every employee (to avoid discrimination issues) each and every year.

        I often work as a casual in government departments; it is a condition for employment. I don't have a problem with these checks, and why should I? Honest staff members don't. I don't have a problem with security cameras either; so long as they are not located in toilets or change rooms. They actually serve to protect the innocent employees reputations.

        • Access to the storeroom should be denied to juniors and casuals, to avoid temptation.

          Totally impossible to work like that…

        • @noodlesfordaddy: That is unfortunate then. At the very least I would have expected that someone should be accountable for the stock in the storeroom. When I was young in my first jobs in the workforce, there was (most) always someone I could go to for advice. That seems to be missing in some retail circumstances, as I have seen juniors harassed by the public; without a senior manager stepping in (apparently not available).

          If it is a games shop we are discussing, then one would expect the scanning sensors would sound off if goods were being taken out of the store without being paid for. I don't think that is impossible at all.

          The store you are employed by has an obligation to its employees to protect them against unwarranted accusations too. The stress you were put under (worry you were being blamed) simply is unfair. Your employer, as far as I am concerned anyway, owes it to you and other employees to have the system upgraded; either and/or including technology and checks and balances. If no change is made to the system then I would look for employment elsewhere. Totally up to you of course, but at least ask them what they are doing to avoid the same situation in the future.

        • At the very least I would have expected that someone should be accountable for the stock in the storeroom.

          Someone is every day. That day, I was accountable. Hence this thread.

          scanning sensors

          on storeroom stock?

          I understand the concern, but it isn't like blame was directly being put onto me. I just felt like it could be, as I was accountable for stock on some of the days over the timeframe in which the consoles went missing.

        • @noodlesfordaddy: Yes; why would it not be possible to have the storeroom stock scanned as they are entered into your stock levels database, serial numbers checked off there and then?

          "I'm terrified of losing my job, I just got my most recent roster and got no shifts, which is a pretty big indicator of where I'm headed."

          I don't think I was the only one believing you had recent concerns about losing your job.

          When the other employee (old mate) sussed you out; at the time of the few drinks after work, you basically gave him your approval to continue to steal. That was your opportunity to make it clear that type of behaviour would not be tolerated. By saying nothing he was implicating you in his behaviour. When you are in a supervisory or senior role you are expected to show loyalty to your employers, over being friendly with staff. I guess you have been lucky in retrospect, but I still think you should press and suggest improvements to the stock system.

        • @JediJan:

          Yes; why would it not be possible to have the storeroom stock scanned as they are entered into your stock levels database, serial numbers checked off there and then?

          We have this, how does this change anything or have anything to do with sensors??

          When you are in a supervisory or senior role

          At the time I was new.

  • +1

    Forgot about this thread tbh and felt weird talking about it before but whatever.

    My boss didn't know who it was and kind of just gave up on it. Turns out my hunch was right about old mate backpack, because he told his friends and through word-of-mouth someone else at work ended up hearing the story. At that point it was months past the initial incident and nothing resulted.

    Everyone saying I should have been fired for not reporting it at the time, armchair counselling is sometimes hilarious. He had worked there much longer than me, and told me over beers one night that he had taken a few games over time. Trying to report "old mate told me that at some point in the past, he may have taken unknown amounts of unknown titles without paying" to your boss would not get you far.

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