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13 Store Employees Reveal the Strangest Things Caught on Security Cameras

From funny to downright scary, these cameras have caught it all.

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Say “cheese!”

As we’re walking through a store minding our own business, it’s easy to forget that there are surveillance cameras following the moves of every customer to ensure safety and prevent theft. But not every day is an average one for these security cams. These are some of the wildest things employees have seen through the lens.

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Watch out

Whenever we do something clumsy, we’re always hoping no one is looking. Unfortunately in the case of retail stores, there are cameras everywhere. “I worked in a store that had entrance and exit doors spaced with a floor to ceiling window that was well cleaned,” says a Reddit user in a forum about wild security camera footage. “So many people on their phones or just not paying attention would smack into it at a walking pace. The store manager recorded quite a few of the good ones for quick access on bad days.”

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The whole point of security cameras in retail environments is to help aid in loss prevention and to catch thieves in the act. One would-be robber in Siberia was his own worst enemy while trying to steal from a gas station when he actually pepper sprayed himself in the face, according to Today. The gas station clerk saw the opportunity to begin hitting him with a mop before the robber fled. Read up on 15 of the dumbest criminals ever.

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Bad news bear

Well, this gives the term “dumpster diving” a new meaning. Employees at a marijuana dispensary in Lyons, Colorado were shocked by their security camera footage when a bear sidled up to one of their dumpsters (which was outfitted with a bear-proof lock) and tried to open it. Then the bear, who dispensary employees have since nicknamed “Cheeseburger,” reportedly pushed the dumpster down the street, according to a report by NBC News 12. Now that’s truly something you don’t see every day, but you can watch these 12 adorable animals via animal cam whenever you need a pick me up.

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Hair-raising story

“The place where I saw the weirdest stuff on camera was when I worked at a gas station in Joliet, Illinois,” says Tina M. of Maryland. “A random totally normal guy walked in and asked where the hairspray was.” She pointed him to the aisle where the store stocked small cans of Aquanet, then went back to watch the camera. “He casually walked over, sprayed his face for a good minute, put the spray down, and walked out like it was the most normal thing in the world.” Find out the dumbest law in every state.

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Pregnant pause

Jaime S. of Orlando Florida admits she saw a lot of bizarre things on the security cameras during her time as a manager of a Burdines department store, particularly when a person was trying to get creative with how to shoplift. One situation, in particular, stands out: “A young, very thin girl wearing large maternity clothes was basically stuffing the entire store in her ‘bump,'” she recalls. Don’t miss 11 of the creepiest things ever caught on security cameras.

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Ghostly encounters

We certainly wouldn’t want to work the night shift at The Guitar, Amp and Keyboard store in Brighton, England—it’s allegedly haunted. Their security cameras caught guitars seemingly moving on their own in one instance. In another, a price tag was see getting thrown to the ground when the music store was closed (perhaps the spirit didn’t care for the cost?). And in truly creepy footage, a ghostly figure is spotted walking towards a customer standing in the shop. Read on to get spooked out by 10 true ghost stories from the most haunted places in the world.

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More spirited security footage

In yet another shop across the pond, a comic book store in Spalding, Lincolnshire, England named Strange Apparitions, workers swear they caught a ghost of sorts on their surveillance camera. Store manager Alex Hunt described the scene to newspaper Spalding Today: “I looked at the security feed at home and I saw this tennis ball-sized orb floating around. At first, I thought it was nothing, but then the alarm kept going off and I sat there for hours watching it. There is no explanation.”

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Bag check

You might not expect a high-end jewelry store like Tiffany to have a lot of strange security footage, but one location in Baltimore had a particularly unusual visit. “A woman walked in wearing very little clothing in winter,” recalls Sarah M. of Maryland. “She was wearing Minnie Mouse ears. She asked for a bag, which we don’t usually give away without a purchase but in this situation, something seemed off so we gave her one. She took off whatever clothing was left and walked out. The operations guy in the back was watching the cameras and couldn’t believe what had unfolded.”

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Befuddled crooks

No one wants to see their business robbed, but when vape shop owner Cam Rochon saw the security footage of two ridiculous thieves stealing from his shop while the place was closed, he had to share the clip with the world…because they were not very bright. For starters, one of the robbers can’t seem to figure out how to unplug a laptop from the wall and fights with it for a lengthy period of time. They also awkwardly use a sledgehammer in an attempt to grab more loot. The entire security camera footage looks like a bad comedy. The more you know: This is the difference between a burglary and a robbery.

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Fruit by the Foot

In a New Zealand grocery store, a man was spotted on security footage using a very interesting technique to steal produce. According to the Otago Daily Times, the man is shown dropping bags of apples and oranges to the floor, then waiting to see if anyone is looking. Once the coast is clear (or so he thinks), the thief kicks the bags out of the entrance door, then picks them up once he’s outside. News outlets in New Zealand even nicknamed him the “Fruit Ninja.” While the oranges weren’t likely that costly, these most expensive items ever stolen certainly were.

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Apron thief

There are the typical things that robbers are after, like money and high-priced items. But a thief who broke into a cupcake bakery also stole something out of the norm. While he did make off with $400 from the sweet shop, Kansas City, MO’s Fox 4 News says security footage showed him also stealing a bag full of dirty aprons. What he planned on doing with those we’ll never know. Find out 17 more of the most bizarre things ever stolen.

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Jewelry heist

Robbers come in all shapes and sizes, but The Mirror reports a 9-year-old boy in Buenos Aires, Argentina was caught on camera trying to hold up a jewelry store with a toy gun. Fortunately no one was harmed, and in the video, you can see the jewelry store owner removing the boy from the store without injury. Still, what a sight to see! Learn the hiding spots where typical criminals check for valuables.

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Mind-boggling barbecue

When he was just starting out as a lawyer, Joseph Hoelscher, managing attorney at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC in San Antonio, Texas, often defended shoplifters, including a client who allegedly stole over $300 worth of meat from a grocer. He couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the security footage. “He was clearly stuffing whole briskets and racks of ribs in his pants,” says Hoelscher. “Blatantly. In front of a crowd of shocked customers. He easily threw more than 100 pounds of meat in his baggy jeans and then sprinted out a fire exit as people just gaped and one little girl pointed after him.” The man later told him that they had a great barbecue for the Fourth of July that year and the bond he had to pay was cheaper than the meat. Next, read on to meet 38 more of the dumbest criminals of all time.