Coaches employees wrongly accuse and arrest clients of shoplifting

Phil West


Published January 6, 2023 Updated January 6, 2023 11:08 am CST

A TikTok creator has shared the story of how he was arrested by employees at a Coach store near Seattle for stealing a wallet the creator allegedly bought a week earlier. The story has since evolved into a harrowing saga complete with multiple videos about poor customer service.

The TikTok comes courtesy of creator Colin (@cmg781995), who identifies in his bio as both a drag queen and “the guy who’s mad at Coach.” The first video detailing the incident, posted on the platform on Tuesday, generated over 3.8 million views and nearly 11,000 comments in its first three days on the platform.

The on-screen caption reads, “I was arrested today at the Bellevue Square Shops for allegedly stealing a wallet I bought elsewhere a week ago.” According to Colin, the Coach store is in Bellevue, a chic suburb of Seattle.

In the first video, the YouTuber films two employees and challenges the allegation that he stole the wallet in his possession. He expresses his displeasure at being arrested for the incident.

@cmg781995 These nice employees stopped me in the carriage in Bellevue. (Remember my bag triggered sensors and nothing came of it before.) I don’t usually buy #coach and I’m sad to see I get that when I buy nice things for myself. I’m being #imprisoned for #false allegations @Coach ♬ Original sound – Colin

In this first video, Colin looks up the store manager’s name and number and remarks, “I don’t often buy nice things for myself… and then you guys accuse me of stealing.”

The clerk in the clip mentions by way of explanation that the store has had a lot of shoplifters lately, and indeed one commenter noted, “They tried to accuse me of stealing too… I just went in there to browse; obviously he wouldn’t buy a bc, who would.”

In a subsequent Storytime video, Colin claimed to be seeking a formal apology. The creator says a store representative declined to give the names of managers and employees, though Colin claims he already got them through his previous interactions.

The TikToker also attempted to move up the management chain, trying to contact the store that left the security tag in his purchased wallet that set off the Bellevue store’s detectors, he says. However, Colin claims that Coach wanted to “keep quiet” about the incident.

@cmg781995 #coach #coachstorytime @coach #falseaccusations #falsearrest #k18results ♬ Original sound – Colin

“All I’m looking for is an apology,” Colin shares in the clip. “And they can’t.”

He then advises viewers to tag Coach in the comments and bombard the Bellevue Square store with negative reviews.

In another update later that day, Colin claims Coach responded via Facebook and promised to contact a manager as he reportedly wanted to “escalate this further”.

@cmg781995 #coach #storytime @coach #k18results #falseaccusations ♬ Original sound – Colin

The saga has even more to offer. In another video released Thursday, Colin describes the arrest. He claims that after leaving the Coach store, he went to a Nordstrom to buy a shirt. As he exited the store, three officers outside confronted him and told him to “put it in.” [his] hands behind [his] back or [they] will fall [him]says Colin before handcuffing him in the middle of the mall.

After what the creator described as a 30-minute interrogation while Coach employees checked their security camera, one of the cops asked if the creator really stole the wallet, as the creator portrayed the cop as saying, “All his stuff is.” in here.”

Later Thursday, the creator returned to the platform for a chat with Coach’s West Coast regional manager, who reportedly offered the apology the creator was looking for.

Colin says the manager also asked him if there was anything Coach could do to keep him “loyal to the brand.” The creator said he replied, “I really don’t know what to do with this.”

Colin wondered not only what he should expect or want in compensation, but also whether he should return the wallet that was now associated with such unpleasant memories.

@cmg781995 I am conflicted #coach #fyp #foryou #k18results #update #story ♬ Original sound – Colin

“If I continue to support this brand, the only thing I would be afraid of is that I’d go to another Coach store and they’d accuse me of stealing even though I’m wearing all my Coach stuff,” the creator mused.

The Daily Dot contacted TikToker via comment and a Coach representative and Bellevue Square representative via email.


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*Initial publication: January 6, 2023 11:07 am CST

Phil West

Phil West is a veteran professional writer and editor and the author of two books on soccer, The United States of Soccer and I Believe That We Will Win, both from The Overlook Press. His work has recently appeared on, The Striker Texas and Texas Highways. He lives in Austin and is also an instructor in the Writing Program at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Phil West Coaches employees wrongly accuse and arrest clients of shoplifting

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