Truesee's Daily Wonder

Truesee presents the weird, wild, wacky and world news of the day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Woman opens her wallet and creates uproar in store

Woman with open wallet creates uproar at discount store

J. Harry Jones

7:07 p.m., June 8, 2011

Claudia Smith yells at customers inside an Oceanside store Wednesday

Claudia Smith yells at customers inside an Oceanside store Wednesday — Charlie Neuman

OCEANSIDE — A bizarre scene unfolded inside a discount store in Oceanside Wednesday afternoon as a 66-year-old white woman, intent on buying things for “poor Mexican women” paid for $5,000 worth of clothing purchased by about 50 women.

The night before, Claudia Smith, who lives in the neighborhood, had walked into the same store, Everything a Deal on Plaza Drive east of College Boulevard, and bought $2,200 worth of clothing for a handful of customers.

The question was why. The answer, very confusing.

At times Wednesday, Smith screamed out “Aye, Aye Aye Aye, Ayeeeeee!” while standing in the store.

“You’d better laugh when I’m around!” she yelled. She loudly proclaimed her love for Mexican women. She used profanities directed at men in a steady stream, then moments later held a toddler in her arms.

After what had happened Tuesday night, word off mouth spread. At 9:30 a.m. Wednesday hundreds of women had arrived at the store and piled shopping carts several feet high with clothing believing the woman would purchase everything.

The crowd Wednesday was eventually limited to about 50 people and 25 stuffed carts. A security guard blocked the entrance as more tried to get inside. The customers waited for hours. It wasn’t until after 4 p.m., after Smith’s $5,000 check had cleared, that each was allowed to purchase $100 worth of clothing.

As many customers left they stopped to hug Smith, then would roll their eyes as she dispensed nonsensical advice and blushed at Smith’s obscene language.

“This is a blessing that wasn’t asked for,” said Rosa Zamora, 27, of Vista, a single mother raising two small children.

“I’m happy she can do this,” said Karen Leon, 24, also of Vista and also a single mother of two. “I’ve never seen this. It’s never happened to me.”

Smith said she lived for many years in San Felipe, Mexico. She told the women and their daughters to stand up to their husbands and fathers who she said do not treat women with respect.

Marco Mitrowke, director of loss prevention for 15 Everything a Deal stores in the county, tried to keep Smith calm throughout the day. He had the police check her out to make sure she was mentally competent.

Smith said she has been “drinking and drugging” since she was 15. She said she was not under the influence Wednesday, but admitted she suffered through a five-month long alcohol and drug blackout not long ago and had entertained suicidal thoughts.

Store manager Paola Garcia said Smith walked into the store Tuesday night and told the handful of customers inside to buy whatever they wanted. There were just a few people there, and they bought everything they could get their hands on. Nothing in the store sells for more than $9.99.

“They were greedy,” Garcia said.

Smith evaded questions about her financial health. She said her credit cards were maxed out, but she drives a Prius and a Lexus. She said she has invested well and recently reaped a financial windfall by selling her mother’s home after she had passed away.

At one point Smith screamed at one woman, “Get out, Get out,” apparently because she wasn’t from Mexico. Almost the next moment she was holding a small child telling the girl how much she loved her.

They had the police check her out to see if she was mentally competent?
And they said she was?
Somebody should see if those police are mentally competent.
Then the store takes this woman's money after she divulges she's been on a bender and is maxed out on all her cards and has suicidal thoughts?
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