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Who doesn’t love people watching, right? I reckon a night sitting in the International arrivals lounge at a busy airport is better than a trip to the movies. Tonight there was some amazing people watching to be had at my local shopping centre.

Firstly there was a fallen tree in the car park, the victim of a traffic accident. The back of someone’s car was all smashed in and about 10 people were taking photos with their phones. It wasn’t clear what had happened but the body language was rather intriguing.

Inside the shopping centre, I waited for someone to get my ‘click and collect’ trolley from the back of the store. While I waited, I sniffed the roses (they had no smell) and casually observed people. The man attending the counter was a pleasant looking guy in his mid-twenties.

I was in Vetland, just thinking about flowers and whether the kid in the trolley near me was a boy or a girl (hard to tell) when the pleasant looking checkout guy called out in a very loud voice, “Excuse me!”

I looked up. He was calling out across the shopping mall, toward the exit.

“Excuse me!” he called again, loudly, but without urgency or aggression.

I scanned the area and then realised what was going on. A woman had glided through the open plan entrance to Woolworths, exiting the shop with a full trolley. It was very likely that she had not paid for her shopping.

“Excuse me,” the man called out to her a third time.

The lady did not pick up the pace, nor did she look around. She just continued to walk away as though she had not heard him at all. I was impressed with her unflinching nerve.

I waited to see what would happen. Would he chase her down?

The man said nothing else, but got on the phone and called someone.

“Wow, you handled that well,” I said. He had not caused a scene and he did not seem upset at the thief. He was cool as a cucumber.

I watched the lady sail around the corner and out of sight.

Later that evening I was telling Leigh about it: “I wonder if she planned to rob the store? I wonder if she left home knowing she couldn’t pay for her groceries and knew she had to steal them instead…”

Sienna (4): “Maybe she just didn’t want to line up. Maybe she saw that the pay people were all busy and thought, nah, I don’t want to wait, I’ll just go this way…”

Me: “I reckon she just seized the opportunity. There was no one watching the exit so she just walked out.”

I think my conclusion is correct. The woman was wearing ugg boots and bright pink tracky pants.

If she got caught by police on the way out, I definitely could pick her out in a line-up.