Ex-Ulta employee says she written up for trying to stop a shoplifter

@jojoscirkus/TikTok @houaka.muas/TikTok Jonathan Weiss/Shutterstock (Licensed)

‘Just let them go’: Ex-Ulta employee says she was written up for trying to stop a shoplifter

'I used to work there too. I definitely just let them steal.'


Jack Alban


Posted on Feb 19, 2023

A former Ulta employee claims in a TikTok clip that she was written up after attempting to stop a recurring thief from walking out of the store with a basket full of products.

Jo (@jojoscirkus) says she was promoted to a store management position at just 21 years old and worked double shifts every day for two weeks straight at two separate stores. She attributes the added stress and exhaustion of working so much to why she thought it would be prudent to try and stop the well-known thief from pilfering items from their store. She used her video to tell retail employees to never try and stop someone from stealing items.

@jojoscirkus #stitch with @houaka.muas I have stories for days about my time at ulta… #retailproblems #retail #management #underpaidandoverworked #fyp #fypシ ♬ original sound – Jo

Jo stitched her video with another user on the app, @houaka.muas, who discussed Ulta shoplifters in a clip of her own, saying, “But anyone who works at Ulta knows that shoplifting happens every freaking day.”

At this point in the clip, Jo cuts in and adds her own experience with shoplifters at the popular cosmetics chain.

“Oh have I been summoned! So I worked at Ulta Beauty for four years I started when I was 18 as a seasonal employee and worked my way up to being a manager,” she says. “And we dealt with [shoplifting] all the time.”

Jo describes a specific shoplifting incident while she worked for the franchise.

“But this particular time I got in trouble and got written up because I got involved and I have videos if y’all want to see,” she says.

Jo explains how after one location’s entire managerial staff quit, she started helping out at that store and was working for two weeks straight between both locations.

“I ended up working a 14-day work week or span of weeks like every single day for 14 days,” she says. “Which I advise nobody does, it is exhausting, it drains you and clearly it drove me crazy.”

She continues that the particular location was “getting hit” every single day and that it usually happened right before the store closed for the day.

“I never closed so I never really had to deal with it cause they usually came in the evenings,” she says. “So on the like 12th of my 14th day, I’m closing there and then they come and hit the store.”

At this point, Jo says it’s not fair as it makes their jobs harder since the employees will need to make “thousands of reports” to try and inventory everything.

When the recurring shoplifter showed up that particular night, Jo vowed he wouldn’t get away with it.

“So, on his way out, I tried to grab the basket from him and kind of tugged like did a little tug of war with him for it and then he pushed me away went back, and picked up the fragrances that fell out the basket and then walked out the door,” she says.

Jo was so frustrated with the customer’s persistent stealing that she ended up getting into a physical altercation with him and the thief still managed to leave the store with the stolen goods. Because she accosted the thief, she says she ended up getting in trouble.

“That little tussle was caught on camera,” Jo says. “And I got written up for it. I got in trouble. I do have a video of it, I may post it later. If y’all wanna see it it’s kind of funny but they had me a little 21-year-old, closing that store that was getting hit every night, and then when I tried to save the merchandise I got in trouble anyway.

She concludes, “so just, that’s just something you don’t want to do, ever, ever. Just let them go.”

Jo did ultimately make good on her promise and uploaded a follow-up clip on TikTok that shows the security camera footage she was referring to. The man in the clip violently pulls the basket away from Jo and pushes her hand away before picking up the items she tried to stop him from taking and then makes a b-line towards the door with the goods.

@jojoscirkus Replying to @capturesby.liz We closed at 9p and i ended up leaving at 11p. And after the fact they sent a hot police officer and I was looking especially busted that day. 🙄😩 #underpaidandoverworked #management #fragrance #Theft #retailproblems #fypシ #fyp ♬ Oh No – Kreepa

The Daily Dot has reached out to Ulta Beauty via email and Jo via TikTok comment for further information.

Several viewers who said they were both Ulta employees and shoppers at one point witnessed theft going on in the store. They agreed with Jo, stating that it’s never worth stopping someone from stealing.

“Stores have insurance,” a user wrote. “If you would have been hurt, the company is liable, which costs them more in the end.”

Another wrote, “I’ve been in an Ulta when they got robbed they always take the fragrances I just looked at them while I continued to shop.” An additional TikToker penned, “Yeah I use to work there too. I definitely just let them steal.”

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*First Published: Feb 19, 2023, 10:26 am CST