Feeling unsafe at Giant


To the editor:

My wallet was stolen from my purse at the Giant on Duke Street the afternoon on October 1. When I quickly realized the theft I yelled out that my wallet had been stolen and asked for someone to call 911. No one did anything! Not any of the employees of Giant the three employees of the PNC bank who just stood in front with blank expressions on their faces. 

Fortunately, I had my cell phone and quickly went outside to call 911.

There remains the question of whether Giant called 911 and I have asked Police Chief Earl Cook to have his communications office check out the 911 calls for that day and time.

I know Giant very well as I grew up in Baltimore where Giant was founded by Izzy Cohen. He died 14 years ago. Mr. Cohen and his staff would have trained all of his employees how to respond to this emergency situation. Giant was a family-run business. Mr. Cohen didn’t have an MBA from Harvard but he knew how to run a business. He was tough, but he was fair, and gained the loyalty and respect from all of his employees no matter their job title. He would stop into his stores unannounced, mop up the floors, empty the trash cans and pitch in whenever needed. When he died, his family decided they did not want to continue with the business, so they sold the business and the grocery store chain is no longer family-owned. 

The reason I make this point is there is no longer any sense of loyalty by the employees to the new owners nor the customers. Yes, my identity has been stolen for now. But thanks to Alexandria police officer Nugent, I have made all of the calls to cancel my credit cards, called social security, called the credit bureaus so my credit history is not ruined, contacted the Federal Trade Commission so my name is now listed on their identity theft list, contacted the Department of Motor Vehicles and whomever else needed to be notified. Thank goodness I didn’t have an ATM card or a debit card. And yes, my credit card was used at the Best Buy in the West End and I am challenging that charge by the 3 suspects.

Residents who live in Alexandria and shop at the Giant on Duke Street and may be in need of help from any employees or managers or assistant managers, forget it, you are on your own. Izzy Cohen isn’t here any here any more and Giant is no longer the family owned business we all knew and loved. Its just another grocery store that doesn’t care about its customers.

– Annabelle Fisher