A Joann Fabrics employee called out a shoplifter allegedly hiding in their store past closing time via internal intercom in a viral TikTok video.
“One of our most frequent shoplifters thought they were slick by hiding in the bathrooms so my managers gave me permission to make a special announcement,” a text overlay on the video reads.
The video has garnered 1.5 million views since it was posted to the platform last week. When the employee who filmed and posted the video, @essiebiecos, reads the announcement, they let the shoplifter know that a manger is on the lookout for them.
“Attention gentlemen and guests the time is 9:23 and we are way past closing,” the employee says over the intercom. “You have the audacity to stay here, and since you like it so much, we have locked the doors. Our manager will come to have a very special conversation if we find you. But you will not be leaving tonight, except in a trash bag. Have a good evening.”
In a follow-up video, another staff member confirms that they could not find the shoplifter after they made the announcement the night before.
“We don’t know where he went, so as far as we know, he did leave, or he’s in our ceiling panels somewhere,” the other staff member says.
Commenters wrote that they were half-expecting to see someone’s face peering down at the workers after they mentioned he might still be somewhere in the building.
“I was ready to see someone peeking down from the ceiling when you put the camera down facing the ceiling at the end,” one commenter wrote.
Other commenters shared stories of people having done exactly that——hiding in the ceiling of retail stores——happening in their hometowns.
“We had that at my Kmart,” another commenter wrote. “A woman climbed through our ceiling into (the pharmacy) to steal narcotics. She went to jail. Scary though she even attempted it.”
The Daily Dot has reached out to @essiebiecos via Instagram DM and to Joann Fabrics directly.
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