Monday evening, I had gone into Wiesbaden and sat down in Karstadt (the upscale store in the middle of town), on Kirchgasse Strasse (street). I had a coffee in the basement cafe....an outstanding place which I would recommend.
So forty minutes before closing, I wrapped up the coffee....took the escalator up and came to exit through the watch department and the perfume department.
There stood Huns (the security supervisor.....my name for the guy) and Franz (the junior security guy.....my name for him). They were eyeballing this kid....maybe fourteen years old....southern European look....deep back in the women's perfume area.
Huns was chatting over the cellphone with some guy.....I would assume the video cam guy. I was probably a meter away from the two and had kinda slowed down to view the scene.
The kid moved and now faced Huns and Franz.....realizing they had him in full view. It was like a bolt of lightning. The kid took off.
As the kid hit the exit door, he had maybe four seconds ahead of Huns and Franz. Huns was probably late 30's and looked like a good runner. Franz, the younger guy, looked lean and probably had a fair amount of speed on his side. I followed, with an absence of speed.
I exited the door and could see as darkness was around the street.....streetlights showing the chase in progress. The kid had already crossed the street and probably had forty meters of space between him and the two chasing him.
I sat down on a bench by the shopping zone and figured in roughly ten minutes that Huns and Franz would return.....strong-arming the kid and dragging him back. Fifteen minutes go by and the the security guys return....without the kid. He apparently out-ran both guys.
My humble guess is that the kid had at least one 40-Euro perfume box on him.....maybe even two or three. You will see street vendors around Wiesbaden on occasion, with more expensive perfumes for sale....discounted off thirty-percent from what you'd pay in the store. Generally, when you see that....it's stolen goods being marketed by some middle-guy who probably paid a quarter of what the perfume is worth to the kid who scored on the item.
You can go back twenty years ago and almost never saw any security around German department stores. Today? I can walk through the shopping district and weave through various stores to note at least a dozen-odd security guys. Even city cops now are more apparent in the shopping district than years ago. All of this relates to the perception by the public and the stores themselves....of an increasing problem.