The store sure looked open, but when a group of young men walked into a Wayne, N.J., discount department store and found the place abandoned by its employees, they left money for their purchases anyway, proving that honesty is still a good policy. The store rewarded each of the four men with $50 gift cards.
As it turned out, the newly opened Wayne branch of Buddy’s Small Lots closed at 7 p.m. on Sunday night, but whoever was responsible for making sure the front door was locked did not get the memo. The door was left open and the store’s lights were on. To all appearances, Buddy’s was open for business.
In walked the group of young men, whose images were captured on video by the store’s security cameras. They look a little puzzled by the lack of other human beings in the store, but all the merchandise is there, so they do their shopping.
"We got a phone call from the police department saying there had been a break in at the store," said Buddy's employee Marci Lederman."But this wasn’t a break-in. It was just a few guys picking up some stuff in what they thought was an open establishment.
Though no one is at the cash register, one young man is seen apparently adding up the cost of his purchases in his head and leaving the requisite amount of cash on the counter.
The store’s management called for the honest shoppers in person so they could be thanked in person.
The men turned out to be football players from the William Paterson University squad. One of them, Thomas James, pointed out to a local television station that not everyone is a thief.
Though it is always uplifting to be reassured that there are still some honest souls in the world, the African-American news publication NewsOne made an interesting point about the incident.
“Though most have taken the story as the feel good human interest story that it is, there are some black people who take it as insulting that the story of three black men doing the right thing — by not robbing the joint — is news worthy at all,” said the NewsOne staff report of the incident.
SOURCES: Associated Press, News12 New Jersey, NewsOne