Ex-Ulta employee says she got into trouble trying to stop thieves

A former Ulta employee claims in a TikTok clip that she was messaged after trying to stop a recurring thief from walking out of the store with a basket full of products.

Jo (@jojoscirkus) says she was promoted to a store manager position when she was just 21 and worked double shifts every day for two weeks in two different stores. She attributes the added stress and exhaustion of work so much to why she thought it wise to stop the known thief from stealing items from her shop. She used her video to tell retail workers never to try to stop someone stealing items.

@jojoscirkus #stitch with @houaka.muas I’ve had stories about my time at ulta… #retailproblems #retail #management #underpaidandoverworked #fyp #fypシ ♬ O-Ton – Jo

Jo stitched her video with another user of the app, @houaka.muas, who spoke about Ulta shoplifters in a clip of his own, saying, “But anyone who works at Ulta knows shoplifting happens every damn day.”

At this point in the clip, Jo steps in, adding her own experience of shoplifting at the popular cosmetics chain.

“Oh have I been summoned! So I worked at Ulta Beauty for four years. I started as a seasonal worker when I was 18 and worked my way up to managerial level,” she says. “And we’ve dealt with it [shoplifting] the whole time.”

Jo describes a particular shoplifting incident while working for the franchise.

“But this time I got in trouble and was messaged for getting involved and I have videos if you all want to see them,” she says.

Jo explains how after all senior management at one location resigned, she started helping out at that store, working directly between the two locations for two weeks.

“I ended up working a 14-day week or week span like every single day for 14 days,” she says. “What I’m not advising to anyone, it’s exhausting, it exhausts you and it’s clearly been driving me insane.”

She goes on to say that the particular location was “attacked” each day and that it usually happened just before closing time for the day.

“I never closed, so I never really had to worry about it because they usually came in the evenings,” she says. “So around the 12th of my 14th day I close there and then they come and hit the store.”

At this point, Jo says it’s not fair as it makes her job more difficult as employees have to create “thousands of reports” to try to inventory everything.

When the recurring shoplifter showed up that night, Jo swore he wouldn’t get away with it.

“On his way out, I tried to take the basket from him and kind of pulled on it, like a little tug-of-war with him, and then he pushed me away, went back and picked up the scents that fell out of the basket and then walked out the door,” she says.

Jo was so frustrated with the customer’s persistent stealing that he eventually got into a physical altercation and the thief still managed to leave the store with the stolen goods. Because she spoke to the thief, she got into trouble, she says.

“That little scuffle was caught on camera,” says Jo. “And I was contacted for it. I got in trouble I have a video of it, maybe I’ll post it later. If y’all wanna see it it’s kinda funny but they had me a little 21 year old closing this store hit every night and then when I tried to salvage the merchandise I got in trouble anyway .

She concludes, “Well, that’s just something you never want to do. Just let her go.”

Jo eventually made good on her promise and uploaded a follow-up clip to TikTok showing the security camera footage she was referring to. The man in the clip violently pulls the basket away from Jo and shoves her hand away before picking up the items she was trying to stop him from, then B-lines the goods to the door.

@jojoscirkus in reply to @capturesby.liz We closed at 9pm and I ended up leaving at 11pm. And after the fact they sent a hot cop and I looked particularly broken that day. 🙄😩 #underpaidandoverworked #management #fragrance #theft #retail issues #fypシ #fyp ♬ Oh no – Kreepa

The Daily Dot has contacted Ulta Beauty via email and Jo via TikTok comment for more information.

Several viewers, who claimed to be both Ulta employees and buyers, witnessed theft at the store. They agreed with Jo, explaining that stopping someone from stealing is never worth it.

“Stores have insurance,” wrote one user. “If you were injured, the company is liable, which ends up costing them more.”

Another wrote: “I was at an Ulta when they got robbed, they always take the scents I was looking at while I continued shopping.” Another TikToker wrote: “Yes I work there too. I’ll definitely just let them steal.”


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*Initial publication: February 19, 2023 10:26 am CST

Jack Alban

Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot, covering trending human interest/social media stories and real people’s reactions to them. He always tries to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and relevant facts to those stories to create your not-so-average viral post.

Jack Alban

https://www.dailydot.com/irl/ulta-worker-written-up-stopping-shoplifter/ Ex-Ulta employee says she got into trouble trying to stop thieves

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