tiktoker falsely accused of stealing at thrift shop


‘I just went to try the shirt on’: TikToker says she was falsely accused of stealing after thrift store worker let her into staff area

'You weren’t discreet enough,' the worker said afterward.


Cecilia Lenzen


Posted on Oct 17, 2021   Updated on Oct 18, 2021, 10:05 am CDT

A woman on TikTok says she was falsely accused of stealing from Anastasia’s Vintage thrift store in Berkeley, California. The accusation came after a store employee told her to try on clothes in the back of the store because there were no dressing rooms. It’s unclear if he told her that she was not actually supposed to be in that area.

The woman, Phae or @playaphaeya on TikTok, uploaded the video last week and it has since garnered 428,000 views. She went to the back because she didn’t want to buy the shirts without trying them on first, as they were nonrefundable.

But as she got ready to try the shirts on in the back of the store, someone who seemed to be an employee confronted her, saying this was the second time he found her back there. He took the merchandise and asked her to leave. 


Phae was shocked because this was the first time she’d seen the man and been to the store. She was also confused because she was doing what another employee had told her to. 

“Dude, I just talked to the people, and they told me—you don’t know me,” Phae said, walking back up to the front counter with the man following her. When she found the other employee, she said, “Excuse me, your person is trying to kick me out of the store.” 

Another voice off screen admitted to telling Phae she could try on the shirt in the back, and the accusing man replied, “Alright, that’s not a customer area. Don’t go back there.”

Phae called the man out for saying he found her in there twice, even though this was her first time at the store. Without apologizing, the men just repeated that she can’t go back there again. 

Phae’s on-screen TikTok caption read, “Broooo some guy tried to accuse me of stealing, and it’s my first time at the store.” 

Although the man can’t be heard in the video explicitly accusing Phae of stealing, he did try to kick her out and took the items she was interested in. In the midst of the heated exchange, Phae stormed out, accidentally taking a pair of socks with her.

Phae posted a second TikTok that showed her driving back to the store “because that was out of pocket as fuck” and she shouldn’t have been treated like that. 

“I need to talk to somebody’s manager because that’s unacceptable,” Phae said. “That man accused me of fucking stealing when I was told to go and hide in the back to change and see if the shit fit.”

Phae then pointed out how ridiculous it was that she was accused of stealing while in the far back of the store.

The next clip of the video footage showed Phae in front of the store with the man who initially told her to try on the clothes in the back. 

“I wasn’t supposed to do that. I wanted you to be discreet about doing that,” the man said. “You weren’t discreet enough apparently.” 

Phae tried to defend herself, saying it’s not her fault that he broke the rules for her. She said she was a customer who shouldn’t have been blamed for his error. The two kept talking over each other trying to get their points across, with the man saying no one accused Phae of anything. Phae said she shouldn’t have been treated like that.

The man continued to deny that the situation was his fault. He also mentioned that he has 8 hour days and has to deal with a lot of customers. 

When Phae asked when his manager would be in so she could talk to them, the man told her, “She ain’t gonna be here. And I’m not gonna make her deal with that. So you can hop in your car and go about your day.” 

Phae said she’d be back every day until the manager comes out to speak with her “because that’s not how you treat people.” The man continued telling her to go about her day. 

“Nobody treated you badly,” he said. “I broke the rules for you, and you fucked it up. You weren’t discreet enough.” 

Then he told her that if she “started shit,” he could lose his job. 

A third TikTok showed the man close to Phae, trying to steer her toward her car. When that didn’t work, he stood by her car and said, “Get in your car, and get the fuck out of here.” 


Clearly upset, Phae said, “That’s how they treat customers here.” And the man responded, “Apparently so.” 

Then the man went on another rant telling Phae to stop crying. 

“That’s fucking crazy,” Phae said, finally opening the door to her car. “And I’ll be back up here with somebody because that’s some fucking bullshit. And I have that shit all recorded.” 

Phae did not respond to the Daily Dot’s request for comment via TikTok, and Anastasia’s did not respond to a request for comment via email. 

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*First Published: Oct 17, 2021, 2:42 pm CDT