When I was a kid (I think this happened in Walmart) I had just gotten my allowance and had begged my mom to take me shopping fully intending on getting some new doll I had seen on TV that I just HAD to have. I had gotten all dressed up to go out and away we went.
Right after we got inside I had set off to bee line for the toy isle, my mom let me know she’s be in the electronics area and to wait by the register if I couldn’t find her.
Once I got to the toy isle I grabbed the doll I wanted and noticed it was on sale. I still had a decent amount of money to spend and decided to shop around and see what else I wanted. As I walked around the girl’s section I noticed an elderly man, heavy set, he had a white beard and was wearing overalls over a bright red long shirt with clunky boots. I remember I found this really weird since it was a particularly hot day in the middle of August and was at least 83 with an expected 97 by the middle of the day.
After a few minutes of him pretending he was shopping he started talking to me and asked if I worked there. Now, being a child I assumed he was asking because I also had on a red shirt and the employees wore red. It didn’t even occur to me to think about how no one could mistake a small child for an employee, since even for my age then I was short.
I said “No. I’m only 10. Are you lost?” He smiled and said “Yes I am, can you help me?”
My family had been to that store many many times so I thought there’d be no harm being in a well lit public place to at least tell him if he’s in the right area of the store. I agreed and he approached me and said he was looking for something. He got out his wallet. It was a worn brown leather with a golden embossing that said “Santa Clause”. I looked at him very skeptically and asked “Your name is Santa Clause?” he actually did the whole Santa Laugh and said “Of course!” and started pulling out credit cards and and library card that all had that name. I didn’t believe it for a second since my parents had never raised us to believe in Santa. He then said “Now there is something I have just for you for being such a good girl” and kept digging in his wallet. At this point I was getting bored and tired of this weird old man, but still didn’t think anything bad of him, other than he was just a strange old man.
He then pulled out a planned parenthood card with his name on it and put his hand on my shoulder. He looked me right in the eye and said “I just want you to know that I’m always safe”. The look he gave me creeped me out to my core, I knew from his tone and expression exactly what he was implying and smacked his hand away and yelled “YOU’RE A FREAK” and bolted out of the isle still clutching the doll. I frantically checked the other toy isles until I found a mom shopping with her son since My mom had always taught me if I feel threatened to find an adult. I very quickly told her what had happened and she went back to the isle to try and stop him from leaving. But he was long gone. The security office was on the way to the electronic isle so she agreed to help me find my mom since we were passing the isle. When we got to electronics I got more upset because I couldn’t see my mom over the displays. So I just started shouting for her. Her head popped up over the display from whatever she had been looking at and the lady told my mom to follow her to the security office and explained what I had told her.
The manager told the employees to close the front doors temporarily and the store security was watching the exit. I’m guessing however, that in the time it took us to get to the security office from the toy isle (It was on the other side of the store) he had already left the building.
They looked on the security camera and couldn’t find him anywhere in the store. They reported it but we never heard anything else about it.
We never went back to that store again.