Target sign(l), Target employee(c), Walkie Talkie (r)

Alexander Oganezov/Shutterstock @mister_twister_55/Tiktok @mister_twister_55/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘The way I look like I’m probably stealing when I go out shopping’: Man eavesdrops on Target workers talking about customer through walkie talkie

'Sometimes I think I'm being suspicious but I'm really just awkward.'


Braden Bjella


Posted on Dec 21, 2023   Updated on Dec 22, 2023, 2:25 pm CST

TikTok user Michael (@mister_twister_55) has become notorious for filming himself tapping into various stores’ walkie-talkie systems.

Previously, he showed himself listening to the goings-on of a Chick-fil-A location. Earlier in the year, he also documented what appeared to be a Bath & Body Works manager gaslighting an employee. He also claimed to have listened to Target workers while they were on the job.

Now, another one of his videos has gone viral and sparked discussion. In a clip with over 2.1 million views, the TikToker returns to Target to show how employees track a potential thief as they make their way through the store.

Over the course of the video, the employees discuss what items the woman has in her cart. They also are able to identify her and look up her record, which includes a “$44 PMR, a $150 PMR,” and a “$77 KTR.”

For context, a PMR is a Productive Merchandise Recovery, whereas a KTR is a Known Theft Report. These are both terms used by Target employees to determine whether someone has been shoplifting.

The video ends before the shopper is confirmed to have engaged in any illegal behavior, so it’s unclear whether the employees ended up apprehending them.

That said, many in the comments section claimed that hearing this conversation highlighted their own anxieties about going shopping.

“The way I look like I’m probably stealing when I go out shopping because I have heavy anxiety and constantly forget what I even went for,” wrote a user.

“I now wonder what asset protection thought of me that one time I couldn’t decided between a nespresso or keurig and stood there for the longest,” added another.

“Sometimes I think I’m being suspicious but I’m really just awkward and absent minded and have to walk around target at least 3 times to get everything I need,” echoed an additional TikToker.

@mister_twister_55 Replying to @Tash Castro ♬ original sound – mister_twister_55

A few shared their own shopping stories.

“I was crying at tj max bc my grandma died and then I heard the guy say ‘she seems to be looking at holiday bags’ as if I was gonna steal while sobbin,” recalled a commenter.

“No wonder why asset protection was eyeing me down when I couldn’t decide whether or not I need to try the elf grip primer or the putty one,” offered a second.

The Daily Dot reached out to Target via email and Michael via Instagram direct message.

Update 2:25pm CT, Dec. 22, 2023:

In an Instagram direct message exchange with the Daily Dot, the TikToker said that this kind of interaction happens relatively often.

“It happens every day,” he explained. “I just don’t listen much because everything else is pretty mundane. I just happened to catch this conversation when I was driving through.”

He noted that he wasn’t sure how this particular interaction ended.

“I didn’t hear anything that makes me think she was apprehended,” he stated. “I’m fairly certain (not 100% though) that the lady I show with the cart is the lady. She has everything in her cart that they talked about on the radio. Unsure how much (if any) of it she paid for.”

He also claimed that there was additional conversation about the person’s previous theft accusations, and noted that Target has been accused of building profiles against customers who shoplift.

“I never heard of that until the video but it makes sense,” he shared. “Especially when you hear them talk about the prior incidents on the radio. I actually cut most of it out. She had a hella lengthy list of previous thefts.”

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*First Published: Dec 21, 2023, 9:00 am CST