Suicide and retail.

I’ve been wondering what happens to merchandise when it gets shop-lifted from a store. A co-worker of mine today told me that it does eventually get returned to the store when the case is closed. What happens with that merchandise if it turns out that it was used in a crime? The co-worker didn’t know but he guessed it’s returned if it’s no longer evidence. Suppose some guy stole some rope and then hung himself with it? Would the store even take it back? Personally, if I owned a shop that sold rope and this happened, I would not only take the rope back but hang it on the wall. It wouldn’t be to make a point of any kind. It would just be a curiosity to attract customers. Call it morbid if you want, but tourists love this kind of shit. Of course, I couldn’t sell rope anymore. I’d worry too much about other suicidal people trying to copy the guy now that he and my store have a reputation. I wouldn’t want to have too many ropes on the wall. Then the police would start asking way too many questions.

Okay, now suppose the guy buys the rope legitimately. Not only did he buy it, but he kept the receipt. Would the family try to return it? It’s of now use to them anymore. They would probably have to get a friend to do the returning. I suppose they could burn it or throw it away or something to get rid of the bad memories, but that would be a waste of money. Again, if it was my store, I’d follow the same procedure as above.

Let’s take that guy who got in trouble for abducting those three girls and then hung himself. If he had bought the rope and kept the receipt, then I have to wonder if the lawyer handling his estate could then claim the rope as a business expense of some sort. After all, when you take the cost of rope and compare it to the money the state would have to dish out for the guy as a prisoner, the state’s getting the better deal here. The least they could do is give the lawyer a break in this case. By the way, if he was able to claim it, does that mean he could no longer return it? Let’s say I’m the owner of the store again. I think I would probably want to be able to take the rope back and display it. This time I would have a story behind it.

One more point on the last example: what if the first rope breaks and the guy has to buy another piece of rope? Could the lawyer then claim both? For that matter, could the lawyer then return the first rope if he was going to return the second? I’m guessing that the guy who killed himself didn’t bother returning the first rope. There’s no point in saving money when you’re about to kill yourself, is there? Hell, you don’t need to worry about the lawyer. He’s already saving money with these tax breaks on the rope anyway.

By the way, as the store owner I would not display the broken rope. It might be an interesting story but there’s no need to advertise that I’m selling shit that breaks. I guess the moral of the story is that if you’re going to kill yourself by hanging, read the label on the rope first. You could save the shopkeeper some embarrassment.

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