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The Making of a Criminal: Part 2

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Confessions of a Shoplifter

I started shoplifting when I was six years old.

Caught Shoplifting: What happens next?

So there you are walking down Aisle #6 and you can't help yourself. A pair of glasses is just sitting there waiting to be stolen.

So there you are walking down Aisle #6 and you can't help yourself. A pair of glasses is just sitting there waiting to be stolen.

For some reason you can't justify paying so much for a cheap pair of sunglasses. "That's insane", you're thinking. "How can they expect me to pay all this money just for that?"


You glance around. There's no one in the aisle. You look up to see a black camera dome, straight above you. You think it over. Your palms get sweaty. "No one really watches us through those things, do they?", you ask yourself.


You reach over and swipe it off the shelf already feeling (and looking) guilty. Within 10 seconds it's inside your pocketbook. What a rush! Your heart is pumping, and you can actually hear it.
"I got away with it.", you're thinking.


You decide to do some legitimate shopping. It takes you another half an hour to fill up your grocery cart and then you head up front to the tills. You feel better. You've almost forgotten you've just committed a crime.


The grocery bagger has placed your last bag inside your carriage and you walk outside, feeling pretty good about yourself.


All of a sudden from behind you hear a professional, sounding voice and she says. "Excuse me, ma'am. I'm with store security. Could you please step back inside the store with me? There's been a mistake made and we need to discuss it."


At this point you're praying for a heart attack as the "fight or flight" syndrome takes over. Hundreds of questions are going through your mind. "What should I do? Should I run?, should I go back? Am I going to be arrested? Will this get in the paper?”


Bad news. You're being stopped for shoplifting. What you do from this point on might determine how you spend the rest of your day.


1.) Don't run. This will cause a reaction from the store security. If security is allowed to apprehend you, they will attempt to grab you and force you to come back into the store. If the store security is NOT allowed to touch you (depending on local laws and the rules of the store), and you run, they may at their option notify the police. It's not a bright idea to run.


2.) Don't over-react. Remember this. As nervous and excited you are, story security is just as (and perhaps) more nervous than you are. They have no idea who you are. They don't know if you're carrying a weapon or capable of striking them. Try to remain calm. Don't make any sudden movements that might be misconstrued as a threat of bodily harm.


3.) Don't try to bargain. "I'll never come back, please don't do this." I'll never do it again!", "I did it for my kids" "I was going to come back and pay for it later!", "I forgot to pay for it!" "Can I please go if I pay for it?" The list goes on and on. The excuses get old after awhile. You stole an item and that's all there is to it.


4.) Don't try to cut a deal. Store security generally does not care about your reasons for stealing. They want the apprehension to happen. Most don't just want the merchandise back. They NEED your name, address and other personal information for their records.


5.) The longer you stay outside with security, the more embarrassing it's going to be when your neighbour walks by. You can try to hand off the merchandise and walk away and HOPE that they don't call the cops, but don't count on it. If you go inside the store with the detective, you can be out in 5 minutes. Decide carefully.


6.) Don't sign anything until you read it. If you have proper ID, security will probably release you upon your signature. Be careful what you sign. If you have any questions about what you're signing, feel free to ask questions, but beware. Use your own judgement. You could refuse to sign, but this may be taken as a sign of non-cooperation and the police may be called.

7.) Don't do it again!


Have you ever made a mistake and shoplifted? If you or a loved one has a problem with stealing, do not hesitate to contact NICRO right away!