Editor’s Note: Our readers responded strongly to this story when it originally ran; we’re reposting it here in case you missed it.
A year-old video of a daring small business owner has again gone viral, as it shows the business owner tracking and following a shoplifter onto a Houston city bus and outing her on camera as a thief.
Sophia Romo, the owner of Erotic Cabaret, grabbed her cell phone last August and followed a woman who allegedly shoplifted items from her store.
According to KTRK-TV, that woman was identified as Kandy Alarcon.
While Romo did call the police, Alarcon was already walking away, so Romo followed her, even when the alleged crook got on a bus.
“I was pissed yeah,” Romo told KHOU-TV last year. “It’s literally like stealing from my house. How would you feel if someone went into your house and took $600 worth of stuff?”
Romo boldly sat right down next to Alarcon on the bus and began recording a video to turn the tables on her.
“You’re looking at me like I’m crazy and you stole from me, the irony,” Romo said when she boarded the bus and confronted the woman.
She also went through the woman’s bag and found items from her store, but no receipts.
“Let’s play a game called, ‘Look in the thief’s purse,'” Romo said in the video.
“When you take from us it’s coming out of my bank account. And when you take from my bank account, employees can’t get paid,” the business owner added, accusingly.
WARNING: The following video contains language that some viewers may find offensive
“People steal all the time,” Romo said when KHOU reported the story originally as she noted how businesses are reeling from retail theft. “Almost every day, which is why we’re kind of fed up with it.”
TV show Inside Edition added that Romo called the police and they were waiting to arrest Alarcon when the accused thief got off the bus.
Romo explained that she followed the woman because the situation during this shoplifting incident was ideal.
“Usually, I’m not in a position to do something about it,” Romo told the show.
“She was on foot, which a lot of times they leave, like, in vehicles, or, you know, we don’t have an opportunity to confront them. So, it was like the perfect opportunity,” Romo explained.
Romo laughed that the other passengers had a “full-blown entertaining bus ride.”
The accused thief received an August 29 court date at the time. According to KTRK, Alarcon was charged with misdemeanor theft and was released on a $500 bond.
The viral incident originally earned more than a million views last August when Romo posted the video to her TikTok account. But according to tracking website NewsWhip, the story on Reddit received 35,000 interactions May 27, so the story is heating up all over again.
And why shouldn’t it? In a society far too comfortable with laws that coddle criminals, abjectly embarrassing and shaming shoplifters may be the next, best, and only option left.
(The word you’re looking for to describe seeing Alarcon squirm while being interrogated in a public square is schadenfreude.)
This business owner deserves a lot of credit for her independent, justice-loving gumption, though it is likely that police would warn against such an action for risk of the situation turning violent. Still, you really can feel for these small business owners, especially in big cities like Democrat-run Houston where shoplifting is generally ignored by prosecutors and so many businesses are being robbed into bankruptcy.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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