We recently discovered that the security tags on the "Better Quality" items at one of our local thrifts are neither linked to the security gates that flank the store's entrance nor filled with the fabled ink cartridges that are designed to crack when the tag is jimmied. We know this, of course, not because we lifted a $9 shift dress, but because the sales clerk neglected to remove a tag upon checkout. Unfortunately, it was only once we'd gotten home (nearly one hour later by train), that we realized this fact. A few Youtube videos seemed promising, but, ultimately, none of the methods illustrated in the most-viewed videos worked (see, for example, the futile plier teeth marks on the edge of our tag). So what did work?
Certainly not the safest method since you run the risk of burning your item, your person and your house (all while inhaling potentially deadly toxins!), but these are the risks we must be willing to take for fashion--and return train fare.