Already there had been two couples, four women on their own, a family of five and the store had only been open ten minutes. Luckily, they had all paid by EFTpos, and so there had been no need to provide change. Because they couldn’t. Arriving at the store half an hour before opening, the Saturday manager, Felicity, had opened the safe and found all the money missing. She’d tried to call the store manager, but there had been no answer for fifteen minutes. Finally, she’d called the head office hotline and had been told to call the police and get the store open. All transactions would have to be cash free until the situation was resolved.
‘Isn’t there a problem with having customers walking all over a potential crime scene?’ Felicity had asked, only to be told to do as was instructed and not complain. Someone from head office would be out within the hour.
The police and the rep from head office arrived at the same time.
‘Is it true there has been a robbery?’ asked one of the police officers.
‘Yes,’ said Felicity. ‘There was no money in the safe this morning.’
‘Why exactly is the store open? This may be a crime scene.’
‘I was told by head office to open.’
‘I am James McPhearson from Head Office,’ James shook hands with both of the police officers. ‘I’m not sure what she is talking about, that is totally against policy.’
‘What?’ The officer turned back to Felicity. She looked concerned.
‘I’m not making it up! They told me to open up!’
The police officers stepped away, chatted for a moment, and then returned to her.
‘Shut the doors, ask the customers in the store to leave. Then, we will check the safe and area and commence some initial enquiries. Beginning with you.’
Felicity felt her heart drop.