The Shoplifters


Original airdate
March 2, 1964
Directed by
Written by


Ben Weaver complains to the Mayberry sheriff's office that merchandise has been disappearing from his department store. While Andy investigates, Barney decides to go undercover to catch the crook(s).


Andy and Barney are patrolling (and gossiping) when Ben Weaver flags them over to his store. He tells them that he is being robbed blind. Barney investigates at night; yet nothing but chaos is found when he runs into Ben Weaver and Asa Breeney, the night security man. When all tactics fail, Barney decides to go undercover as a store mannequin and he confronts the thief. Barney targets a little old lady, and at first Ben thinks Barney is wrong. However, Andy has bumped into the old lady, and she "clanked". Getting a scales from inside the store, they weigh her, and discover she was putting merchandise under a large over-sized trench coat.


  • When Barney and Andy are outside of Weaver's at the end (when Barney is wearing sporting over coat and winter hat), when Barney puts his own hat back on his right ear is folded down. When lady comes out of store, Barney's ear is normal and his hat was adjusted.
  • Frances Bavier is listed in the End Credits, but does not appear in the episode.
  • Will Wright, the actor that played Ben Weaver in previous episodes, was replaced in this episode by Tol Avery due to Wright's death. It is sometimes thought that Avery plays Ben Weaver's son, Ben Weaver Jr.
  • When Andy comes into the store at night and finds Barney & Ben Weaver, he reaches for the light switch, and the lights come on even though he obviously does not move the switch. Moments later the switch is still in the same position it was (down) before the lights came on.
  • When Ben and Barney enter through the back door of Weaver's Dept Store there is a sign just to the right of the door that says "Don't forget to feed the "Kitty"." This appears to have something to do with the coffee pot, maybe some kind of coffee fund.
  • The tie that Ben Weaver wears in this episode is the purple tie with acorns that Gomer buys for his date with Mary Grace Gossage in the episode "A Date for Gomer."


Barney: Well, play the game, play the game! I hate it when you get obtuse. Now where'd I leave off?
Andy: C.
Barney: All right, D – who in their entire life ever got a bargain in Weaver's store?
Andy: Uh... Weaver?
Barney: Ah, come on, Andy. I'm tryin' to give you the name of the criminal and you won't accept it. The answer is "nobody".
Andy: Nobody's the criminal?
Barney: (very annoyed) Boy, when you get obtuse!


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The Song Festers Andy's Vacation

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