“Mall Security”

A defendant charged with child molestation skipped town. I had his photo, and I knew he lived near a shopping mall where his sister worked. Even though he left his home, I figured his sister was the best lead I had. Maybe he’d come back and somebody would see him with her, or maybe someone would overhear a phone conversation between them and find out where he was.
I put his photo on a flyer that advertised a reward for finding him and I made a bunch of copies. I posted the flyers around the neighborhood and then I went to the mall. The mall had a “No Soliciting” policy, but I ignored it. I went from store to store handing out the flyers. I didn’t know which store his sister worked in or what she looked like, but I figured someone would make the connection and maybe learn something to help me locate him.
A clerk in one of the stores refused to take the flyer. “There’s no soliciting here,” she said.
“I realize that. But there’s a man charged with child molesting who lives across the street. He’s missing and there’s a reward for finding him.”
Apparently more concerned about my soliciting than about a potential child molester in the neighborhood, she called mall security. I continued to hit every store I could until security caught up to me. They told me I’d have to leave, so I handed them the flyers. “I’ll leave, but if I were you, I’d pass these out and be sure everyone who works in the mall is aware of this.”
Later that day I received a call from the man’s sister. Apparently my flyer had made its way to her store, because she was furious. “I don’t appreciate you circulating flyers around my workplace with my brother’s name on them. We have the same last name, so now everyone here knows you’re looking for my brother.”
“So help me find him.”
“That’s not my problem. But stop passing out these flyers. How many stores did you hand them out in?”
“I passed them to every store in the mall,” I lied.
“Then I’m going to sue you.”
“Go right ahead.”
She slammed down the receiver.
Shortly after that, I started getting calls. When she first saw the flyer, it must have unnerved her enough that she confided in someone that her brother skipped town, and she told the person where he was. Several people overheard and called me. Within a week, her brother was in jail. She never did attempt to sue me.

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