"Talk about invasion of privacy," said the Oakley resident. "I was very surprised. What's next? A mouth swab for DNA to cash a check? This is outrageous."
Costco is one of a growing number of Antioch businesses participating in Operation Thumbprint, which was developed by the Antioch Police Department to help prevent check fraud and identity theft. Customers in these stores are required to submit an inkless thumbprint when writing a check.
"Basically what the program does is stop the fraud that is going on," said Antioch Police Lt. Pat Welch. "Check fraud is so rampant, it's gotten ridiculous over the past few years. The bottom line is that criminals don't want to give a print. It's that simple.
"This just speeds up the process. When you're the victim and it's your check and/or credit card that has been stolen, half the time by the time you get home and get it reported, activity has already occurred. But if you have a thumbprint on file, it gives us another resource."
Since the program's inception nearly two years ago, more than 25 Antioch businesses have given it a big, inkless thumbs up.
Janet Choate, manager of Terry's Touch of Gold, signed up for the program a few months ago and believes just having the sign "Operation Thumbprint" in her jewelry store window serves as a deterrent. Has she had any complaints from customers?
"No, not at all," said Choate. "It's a great protection for them. So far I haven't had any bounced checks. I'm even suggesting to other merchants that they sign up. It's unfortunate that the times are calling for something like this, but that's the way it goes."
But along with the video surveillance cameras being installed at various intersections and parks, might this be a case of too much Big Brother watching what we do?
"I think there are other ways to handle this that are less invasive," said Dawson. "When I go to Wal-Mart, they have that instant electronic transfer thing that automatically takes the money out. I'm not sure how this (thumbprint program) protects me. It's just invasive. If they continue this at Costco, I'll go to another store."
According to Kim Silva Hutson, general manager of the Antioch Costco, Dawson's complaints are definitely in the minority.
"Most of our customers are saying this is great," she said. "We've been doing this since the first of the month. We see about 2,100 checks a week come through here, and of that number, I've gotten exactly four complaints. It's been very well received."
Antioch City Councilman Arne Simonsen supports the thumbprint program from both a personal and professional standpoint.
"Unfortunately, we don't live in Mayberry, and I think this makes great sense," said Simonsen. "I know this was something that was discussed by the council last year and we support it. If someone steals your checks, the police are going to have a thumbprint to track down the criminal. I appreciate it when someone asks for my ID, and I would appreciate this as well."
Inkless thumbprints are far from new. Over the past few years, banks and other customer-based businesses have implemented similar thumbprint programs.
"It's definitely a sign of the times," said Lt. Welch. "With all the modern technology available, there are certainly people out there taking advantage of it. This is just one more way to protect people. Identity theft is everywhere. I think when people understand the reasons for giving a thumbprint, they won't mind."
And if they do mind?
"Well, people are always welcome to pay with cash," said Choate. "I have no problem with that, and I won't even ask for proper ID."