About 6 months ago, this lady came into our shop. She was dripping in gold jewelry. Tons of necklaces - ala Mr. T - and a bunch of very heavy bracelets.
She browsed our jewelry cases, which were very lean at the time Hey, we'd only been open a couple of months! She couldn't find anything she liked, so she left the shop.
As the door closed, one of my partners noticed that one of her bracelets had somehow come off, and was on the floor. He looked out our front window and saw that she was still walking towards her car. In a semi-panic, he secured his sidearm, ran around the corner of our cases, grabbed the bracelet and bolted out of the door.
By the time he got the door open, she had just gotten into her car, had started it up, and was backing out of her space. My partner came running and yelling up behind her car, trying to get her attention.
Apparently he looked like some kind of mad man. The lady "burned rubber" out of the parking lot as this "crazy dude" - my partner - chased her towards the lot exit!
So... what to do? Well, the first thing we did was weigh this bad-boy bracelet up. It had $1700 of gold in it - 6 months ago!
We had no idea who the lady was, so we pulled some images from our security cameras, and called our rep at the local newspaper to see if they would run some sort of Lost and Found story. No dice, unless we wanted to kick in $300+. Not really possible for our start-up company.
So, we just kept the bracelet in one of our safes, hoping she'd pop in again.
Guess who came in yesterday? Yep, The Catwoman.! The same partner who had chased her down was working yesterday. When she came in, he recognized her immediately. Still dripping in gold jewelry, he told her he had a very special piece for her.
He ran back to the safe, and brought out the bracelet. She said something along the lines of, "Wow, I've got a bracelet just like that."
"No you don't," was the reply from my partner.
She was a little taken aback, so he told her the story about how he had chased her in the parking lot 6 months ago. Yep, she remembered the incident!
He gave her back the bracelet, and she started crying. It was pretty cool.
OK, you're probably wondering why we call her the Catwoman. No, she didn't have a bunch of cats, or boxes of cat food, or cat charms, etc.
When we looked at her footage on our security system, my other partner noted that her hair style looked like someone had wrapped a dead cat in her hair!
Apparently, her hair style is still the same, as my partner recognized her immediately!
Hey, cut us some slack - we sell PMs, not cut hair ;-)
Did we ever consider melting this thing down and taking the cash? Hell yes! But the whole pesky morality/karma thing kicked our butts, and we decided that if we had it for a year, we'd melt it down and donate the money somewhere.
Unlike a bank - where unused or forgotten bank accounts are escheated (handed over) to the State - there are no clear rules for shops like ours. No way was this going to some bureaucratic Lost and Found. The bracelet would have "found" its way to Sacramento to be pissed away.
We told the story of the Catwoman to many, many folks that came into the store, and one of our customers gave us the answer. The customer, named Kat (seriously), did animal rescue of..... wait for it.... cats!
If the Catwoman had never returned, at least the money would have gone to her namesake!
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