shoplifting incident

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Aug 3, 2008.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child has become very close to a very nice girl and her mother. He really has learned a lot about life's choices and good choices too.

    Yesterday a third person joined them. They walked to the store. My husband gets a call....Come pick him up. (I was sleeping due to working nights) husband was angry at that point until he gets the story.

    Three kids go to the store. Look around. difficult child and friend go to the bathroom and get a drink (quite a walk). They return to third person. Pick out something and go pay for it. As they were walking out they were stopped.

    Third person stole some items when difficult child and friend went to the bathroom. Police were called. difficult child and friend were searched. difficult child said friend flipped out on third person. (rightfully so). difficult child and friend were released to parents at the store. Were told IF they had been with third person when the items were concealed they would of also been charged. husband asked police officer if this will be reflected on difficult child in anyway. Police said no but he had to take names for the report.

    Third person's parens out of town. Third person was led away in hand-cuffs and taken to police station. difficult child thinks she went to jail.
    I was surprised they used handcuffs. It was a very small inexpensive item. I am glad they did. This left a very big impression on difficult child. Very upset. Third person was given a fine too.

    I spoke with difficult child, he is so upset. Said he had no idea this person did that. I told him he was lucky he wasn't charged since he was with. We talked about what to do if he IS with someone that does this. I told him to leave, but I don't know if that is a solution. What would be??

    Third person called him later in the night. Told difficult child they did not get in any trouble, parents picked up, let person go. This person was actually out at the movies!!!!! !!!!!! !!!!!

    Still, the memory of the handcuffs left an impression.
    He was told he is not allowed in this store any more. I don't understand that. If he didn't know...(camera's) why can't he go to the store?
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I think it's a bit unfair to ban him from the store when he was clearly innocent. I also think it's a ban you could fight, but frankly I wouldn't bother and I suspect difficult child is not going to want to go back there anyway, due to the unpleasant memories.

    I had a friend who shoplifted. We were both very young, I was probably no more than 10 years old which meant she would have been 7 or 8. I was a kid who never had any pocket money to spend on anything (we couldn't afford it) and all the other kids did. So I would look on enviously as they bought sweets, knowing I couldn't. I did what I could to earn a few coins - collected drink bottles for cash-back, for example.
    I was with my friend when she said she wanted to get some sweets. We visited the sweet shop (it was run by the family of a classmate of mine) and I was horrified to see my friend's hand snake up and steal a couple of packets of sweets. I was sure she had been seen and would be told to put them back - but no. I was too scared of her to say anything, expecting her to pay at the last minute.
    As we left the shop, she grabbed my hand and dragged me around the corner, sitting down and opening up the sweets. She pushed some into my hand and ordered me to eat some. I was too scared of her, I didn't want any sweets but she threatened to hit me if I didn't eat. I only had one, though. She still sat there and ate the rest when I got up and left.
    I never hung around with her again. I went home, told my mother and asked her what I should have done. She said I shouldn't have eaten any, I said I was afraid of getting hurt by her if I didn't.

    Looking back, I'm sure she made me go with her partly so she could show off to me ("I'm not afraid to take risks"), partly to initiate me into "a game" and also partly to try to implicate me if things went sour. She made me eat at least one sweet so she could again implicate me, in case she got caught, and to also make it hard for me to tell (because she could say honestly that I ate some too).

    I don't know where she ended up, long-term. I do remember seeing her after we both went to different high schools. She would be hanging around with the rough kids, one of the local tarts who wasn't afraid to do whatever she wanted and who was out of control. Even though she was younger than me she always seemed older and looked down on me as a "loser" and "goody two shoes". I have no doubt that the shoplifting continued and probably escalated. I learned to avoid the street corners where those kids hung out.

    Your son - he needs to steer clear of the thieving kid. Otherwise he risks getting tarred with the same brush. Just be innocently being in the same store, he's been banned from that store. It is so easy to get hooked in by kids like this, especially when they use your presence as cover and even try to get you to do it too. It reminds me of the heroin-trafficking mother who stashed the heroin in her baby's diaper. A determined thief or other crim will involve whoever they can in order to get away with it.

    I know shoplifting is often a cry for help - your son is not qualified to help. He needs to stick with the decent kids, or learn to love his own company. That other kid who stole - bad news until declared otherwise. And it would take a lot of hard work for that kid to win back MY trust.

  3. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My niece was at the mall with two of her girlfriends and they went into Am Eagle. One of the girls was shoplifting. They were all taken in the back room, police and parents were called. The amount stolen was less than the max so no fines or record. My niece didn't take a thing - nothing found on her.

    The deal is that he police and store management believe that those around the shoplifter knew what they were going to do ahead of time and that perhaps they even helped. Niece (and other two) are not allowed in Am Eagle in Virginia for two years! Guess they'll have their picture at the cash registers!!!!!

    Even though difficult child didn't steal or was even there when the girl stole, they probably assume he knew she had intent.

    It is definately a powerful experience that teaches a lesson.

    Don't even get me started on parents who don't give consequences!

  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Wow! And for this third kid to say they were not in trouble. That person will soon make fun of the others for being afraid of the arrest. Third person will try to appear very tough in their eyes "No big deal - Let's do it again - Nothing will ever happen to us - See, nothing happened to me, just a trip to the jail and parents came and took me to a movie."

    If the parents of the third kid really did take her to a movie, than she really does have deep deep issues to deal with. When parents ignore the bad behavior that will lead to bigger problems, they are adding to their child's problems.

    Avoiding that kid at all costs would be my advise. I always tell easy child that kids can not solve each other's problems - easy child has a friend who continously gets involved in bad news because she believes she can help turn the other kid around to stop the behavior.

    If that person really was at the movies with her parent's permission (and I would question anything she says), than she is trying to get her parent's attention in bad ways. She will continue to look for "friends" to help validate her actions because she knows she is doing wrong but if she can get her "friends" to help her it will not be so scary.
  5. Christy

    Christy New Member

    I'm so Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) your son didn't get in blamed for this. It is fortunate that he was not with the shoplifter when he took the item. I hope he chooses not to hang out with this person in the future.
  6. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Unless this store is a Mom & Pop, the "banning" is a joke not to be taken seriously.


    They are not going to remember difficult child, or even the thief. Heck, they probably won't even have the same employees in a year. It's simply standard procedure to "ban" shoplifters to hopefully avoid it happening again. I mean, what are they going to do, put up their pictures like wanted posters?

    When I was 10 I befriended a girl who lived nearby. She was the same age as me. However, I was the oldest child and very naive. She was the youngest out of five sisters who were all teenagers. My friend and I liked to walk to the nearest supermarket and buy a soda, etc. Soon after my friend confided to me that her sisters "ripped off" stuff all the time. Some of it some big and expensive stuff. I was shocked, but also impressed. Money was always tight at my house, so I was intrigued.

    We decided to go the store and steal. Honestly, I don't remember what it was, but we got away with it. Of course, this was before video cameras. Emboldened by not getting caught, we tried it again a few days later. Interestingly, I remember a man sort of standing in the distance, talking to another store employee. Whenever I looked around to see if anyone was watching, he would turn back and keep talking to the employee. A red flag went up, but I decided to ignore it. As we exited the store, just as we walked out the door, someone grabbed my arm. I swung around and it was the guy in the distance.

    What did I steal?

    Green mascara.:sick:

    We were wisked into the back room and grilled. We signed a statement under the words, "Yes, I did it". Then we were picked up by the police and taken to the station. We were put in a holding cell with a little window. Then, the worse. I still shudder when I think about it. A police woman came in and, well, basically, felt us both up and down. I was mortified! I was 10!

    Once I got over my though then turned to who was going to pick me up, Mom or Dad.

    "Please be Mom, please be Mom, please be Mom", I prayed.

    Then, they told us our parents were there to pick us up. There was a one-way glass where we could see. I saw the stone cold face of my Father (gulp!).

    I can't even describe the fear I felt. This is a man that beat and bruised me over forgetting to take out the trash. I figured I going to be beaten near death. My Dad could barely speak to me. He did tell me he wasn't going to "spank" me because he was too afraid that he might kill me. Anyway, I wasn't allowed to go anywhere without one of my parents for a year and I was pretty much treated like a criminal.

    The irony of this story is that my Dad stole money from me three times in my early twenties before I became wise to him. I guess he didn't want me to turn out like him.

    Anyway, I never stole again.

    I'm sorry about what difficult child had to go through. Definitely stay away from that kid!
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm glad to hear difficult child was not involved. I remember when I was 12 or 13 and went with a friend and a friend of his to a store. When we came out he showed me what he had shoplifted. I was so furious and told him if he didn't take it back I would let the store know he had taken it. It went back quickly.
  8. amazeofgrace

    amazeofgrace New Member

    phew, thankful your difficult child was not the one lifting, I have caught my difficult child I doing it, and I am waiting for the store owner to catch him, so stupid, glad your guy learned a lesson
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    It's a tough lesson but guilt by association is very real. While it' not fair, I would do my best to support the store's ban as a way to underscore the importance of not associating with the "bad" kids. I know this sounds harsh but our kids are often naive and become the fall guy when trouble starts.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I don't know, I worked retail for 8 years for a (what is now a) Kroger store. Believe you me, we remembered who had been banned from the store. First offense is a mamsy pamsy slap on the wrist theft. But they add a "no trespass" onto the conditions of the charge and when someone comes back, they arrest them for "burglary II" just for walking in the door. Any arrest gets the employee upstairs in the security room with what is essentially a paid break for an hour or so to give a statement. If you do a burglary/trespass, it's you and the other employee who knows about the previous arrest that gets the break upstairs. Those big chains work your hind end off and they don't treat you all that well. I would have done just about anything to get upstairs and off my feet, and I knew everyone who had ever been arrested on my shift on sight.
  11. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member


    I went back to that supermarket a year later and not a peep from anyone.

    I worked at busy supermarket for a few years and I didn't remember anyone except the weird old man who began to "dry" shave his legs in my line.

    It was just nasty!:sick:
  12. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, maybe not after a year. Most of the thieves didn't have that kind of restraint! Dry shaving in line is a new one on me, and let me tell you, I saw plenty. Too much of it was too gross to mention. But I remember we had a one-loo public restroom right inside the door, and people used to gather in it to smoke pot or shoot up. They did worse stuff too, but I digress. We'd bust people one or two times a week in there. I remember the one burnt out dude saying "What?!?! Everyone knows you party in Fred Meyer's bathroom!" He was living large, I tell you!
  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Well maybe we live in a fairly small town but Cory stole from a store in our local mall and he was banned from our mall for 3 years I believe. About 9 months after that conviction Keyanas mom just HAD to have some clothing item from a store in that mall and convinced him that they wouldnt remember him and got him to go...well they did! He was arrested again.

    When Billy started working for Radio Shack in that same mall he checked the security station plus the back room at his store...Corys picture was still there...and this was 2 years later! After Billy started working there the guards did remove the picture and tell him that they would allow Cory to come in the mall again as long as he behaved himself since Billy worked there. That was nice since that is where Santa goes.
  14. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can remember being 15 and going to Beall's Dept store during lunch. The shopping center was right next to the high school, so a LOT of us went there at lunch.

    One day I was with a friend and a new student a teacher had asked us to be nice to. We went browsing, because we got allowances that weekend. As we walked out an alarm went off. My friend and I looked at each other in confusion and then grabbed the new girl's arm.

    We took a look at her and noticed her purse was HUGE compared to when we left. the girl said, "Let's RUN" and we held on to her until the store manager and counter person came. It was a struggle to hold her. She was PI$$ED at us.

    We were allowed to go back to school after we wrote down what happened. They called school and told the principal what happened and thanked us for being honest and holding the girl. We later found out she had a $200 purse and a shirt in her bag, along with some makeup from the makeup counter. ALL stolen.

    She was banned from all stores in the shopping center and we never went anywhere with her again. I know she tried to go into a drug store down from the Beall's and was thrown out.

    I am glad your son was not part of the theft. He needs to be vigilant about what others are doing when they are with him. It could have long term results.