I look suspicious, and I use that to my advantage in robbing Metromarts blind.

How’s it work? Pretty simple, really. I’m a smart guy, but there’s only so much the cops can pick you up for walking while black before you decide it would be easier just to meet their expectations. But the real money’s not in drugs, at least not when there’s a thousand people up that totem pole with their hands out from dealers all the way to Escobar.

No, retail theft is where it’s at. Stay mobile, steal things that are small but pricy, and hawk ’em quick online.

But like I said, I look suspicious. That’s where Carl comes in. He’s not the smartest guy in the world, but he gets led real well. Did him proud in the Army until they kicked him out for…reasons.

I’ve got the smarts to jack valuable stuff. iPods, laptops, smartphones, sure. But also makeup, baby formula, designer stuff, and medicine. People don’t realize how much money you can get by hawking a little half-price baby formula, since babies are expensive and boobs only refill so fast. A good pair of designer sandals that will shatter a lady’s ankles could net you $100 or more at a go.

So here’s how it works. I keep an eye on the Metromart and see what’s the most valuable thing that no one is keeping an eye on. It’s electronics more often than you think, but they never have anyone in shoes or the baby aisle. Then I grab something. Instead of stuffing it down my shirt like some idiots I just add it to my cart most of the time. Even if I open it, nobody notices because it
s in a cart.

That’s where Carl comes in.

I meet him in a deep dark corner of the store–well, figuratively, since they’re always fluorescent as hell. I give him the thing. If it’s got an anti-theft tag we take it off. Then he takes it and walks out the door carrying a receipt. It’s not a receipt for the item, just for whatever. The parking lot’s always full of them.

Then I try to slink out, looking all suspicious-like. The greeter always stops me, and they find…nothing. Because in the meantime, Carl has slipped out behind them, flashing a receipt for something else. But because Carl looks like a schoolteacher and he’s as pasty as a kindergarten art class, no one stops him.

We throw the stuff in the van, list it online, and drop it in the mail the next time we stop. Print out the label in the public library and everything.

Oh, and we pay taxes on our stuff. It’s the best way to prove to Uncle Sam everything’s on the up and up.

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