Store Security Brings Happy End To Youngster’s ‘Shrimpie’ Saga





Shrimpie has been found alive — in a manner of speaking — and all is well in the DeLay household.

The journey of the lost stuffed shrimp began Monday when Stephanie DeLay took her 6 week-old daughter, Adeline, and 3 year-old son, Porter, to the College Place Walmart pharmacy. 

Along for the ride — always — was Shrimpie, Porter’s steadfast companion since he was 6 months old.

The fuzzy crustacean is a souvenir from the Milton-Freewater family’s trip to Las Vegas that included a visit to a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. seafood restaurant.

Porter and Shrimpie became inseparable. But misfortune struck at Walmart, where Shrimpie had been riding in a shopping cart.

It was at a nearby restaurant afterward when Stephanie realized Porter’s pal was not at the table with him.

“So we went straight back, within 15 minutes and he was gone,” she said. “We parked in the same spot and looked everywhere we had been.”

The family scoured the store, joined by Stephanie’s parents, Jim and Pam Frank. After three hours, they departed minus one pink decapod. On Tuesday Jim went to Walmart to look yet again. Stephanie posted the sad saga on social media and continued to check back with store employees.

Enter Christine Brooks, Walmart’s asset protection manager, Thursday morning.

She’d heard about the compelling crustacean crisis, and as the store does in the case of missing purses and cellphones, Brooks and undercover security employee “Casey” watched videotape from Monday recorded while the DeLays were in the store.

The two saw Stephanie and her kids wander, Shrimpie right there with them.

But when the group left the store, Brooks and Casey could see Shrimpie alone in the cart. Within 45 seconds, a teen grabbed the same cart and appeared to join his dad and sister inside Walmart. That trio shopped just under an hour, meandering the auto care and gardening departments, Brooks said.

Some time before checkout Shrimpie disappeared from that cart on the security video. 

It was her turn to search and Brooks spared no effort, fishing under shelves, lifting stacks of pillows and inspecting check stands. She then asked Casey to join her for one more round.

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“We went back to the (flower) bulbs and the first box Casey grabbed had Shrimpie in it — after I’d looked for three hours,” Brooks said with a laugh. “Not every story has a happy ending like this.”

No one has to tell that to Porter.

When Stephanie picked up her son from day care and reunited him with his buddy, he inspected it head to tail, making sure the toy’s worn tag was just right, soft from being flicked and rubbed.

“And he realized it was Shrimpie and said, ‘You found him!’ three times in a row while giggling,” Stephanie said. “And Shrimpie has been glued to him since.”

There are no plans for extra security measures, she added. 

“We did joke about getting him microchipped at the Humane Society.”

Source : http://www.union-bulletin.com/news/store-security-brings-happy-end-to-youngster-s-shrimpie-saga/article_b320afea-32df-11e7-b65e-671926afcddc.html

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