The act of stealing items to be purchased and sold from a store or place of business is known as shoplifting. It is a form of theft in which someone takes someone else’s property without their permission and intends to own it. Many states make shoplifting illegal, and states can prosecute shoplifters under their general theft laws. Willfully taking or possessing items that are being sold and the purpose of taking items from their owners without paying are the two components of shoplifting. It is illegal to conceal an item to avoid paying for it, and it is also illegal to take steps to avoid paying the full price for an item. I was only fourteen when my mom had let me go shopping alone with a friend. It was the first she had let me go shopping. This was back when it was super easy to jack things from stores. No accessories were security tagged so one would just stuff something in your bag and you were done. We admired the jewelry, and my friend Mary chucked some jewelry in my bag.
After coming out from the store, we were so happy and shared the loot. I got a bit too full of myself and the next day I thought I would manage to nick some jeans and go out through the front door, but the store detective kicked me as I was about to leave.
They called the police while I was kept behind the back, two police then came and walked handcuffed all the way to the town center to the station. I was in shock, and it was pretty shameful. I was only a child at this time and was very scared. Down the station one officer said to me “listen, child, you are on a slippery slope with this type of behavior.”
It had me shaken up for a bit. I had to call my parents to come and collect me. So basically not only did I get arrested but also ratted myself to my parent. After being caught stealing, I found out how wrong it was and how it is a disadvantage to everyone. My change will have to do with getting caught once and being dashed to the police cell.
Many parents are getting similar calls concerning their children being caught shoplifting, and this brings the question why do people shoplift? And why is the line between right and wrong often hazy for young children whose brains are still developing can be one of the trickiest jobs a parent faces? Many parents overreact or mislead the motivation of small children, say, researchers and educators when it is more important to explore the underlined cause.
Shoplifting may be a least detected and reported crime, but it is a major problem. There are many reasons why people shoplift. Some people shoplift to survive by selling what they stole. Shoplifters also take things to own and consume. Psychological may also be one of the reasons that make one shoplift.
Drug abuse and addiction have caused some people to shoplift due to the need of drug money. Low chances of getting caught have motivated many people to shoplift, and some shoplifters can offer believable excuses such as, forgetfulness and intention to pay. Lack of tracking and security is one of the reasons why people shoplift since they know it is hard for them to be caught (“Why Do People Shoplift?”, 2013).
Kleptomania which is a mental disorder, that makes one steal without needing to steal. Experts think that this mental disorder accounts for up to five percent of shoplifting cases. Signs of this disorder include the inability to resist stealing, feeling happy and relieved while stealing, feeling terrible, guilt, shame or fear of being arrested after stealing, increased tension or anxiety that leads to the theft.Victims of kleptomania exhibit these features, unlike shoplifters, people with this disorder do not steal for personal gain, and they only steal because they cannot resist the urge. It occurs naturally without planning or helps from another person. They steal from public places and the items stolen have no value to them (“Why Do People Shoplift?”, 2013).
Research shows that juvenile males are more involved in theft than another age group since they spend a lot of money buying items that build their social status among their peers thus this age group shoplifts to get money to spend. Most people who are caught shoplifting pay low fines and this can also be a factor why they engage themselves in shoplifting (Klemke, 1982).
Is shoplifting an addiction? This is a question that has come up from the recent analysis. Shoplifting can be caused by drug addiction, but it is also an addiction on its own especially when one steals without intending. Shopping lifting is usually associated with women, but statistics shows that men shoplift more than women (Shulman, 2003).
Shoplifting Addiction is similar to kleptomania, but the difference between the two is that shoplifting addiction causes the shoplifter to be restless in the process of shoplifting. Shoplifting addicts have experienced some loss of life, and they do shoplifting to make things right or out of anger.
The following symptoms can be seen in those suffering from shoplifting addiction, high desire to shoplift items, anxiety and pressure to shoplift, very little time of relief after shoplifting, shoplift to get things right or out of anger.
Study has shown that shoplifters can be grouped into, drug addicts who steal to support their addiction, professional shoplifters make stealing a career, and they show no remorse when caught, kleptomaniacs are careless and steal for no reason, research show that most of them steal items that do not fit, forgetful shoplifters steal without intending and they are remorse when caught, these can be elderly people, people on medication or peo.ple who buy in a hurry to leave.
Impoverished shoplifters steal things that they cannot afford to satisfy themselves and their families. Thrill seekers including teens who steal because of associating themselves with shoplifters. Peer pressure is one of the main motivation for thrill seeking shoplifters.
Shoplifting possesses effect to the community, the individual that is the shoplifter and the retailer. Shoplifting is a crime thus a person who steals commits a crime. The act of shoplifting lowers one’s self-esteem and self-worth. When friends and family witness this kind of act, embarrassment, and distrust enter the scene.
Society tries to punish those who break the law. Once one shoplifts from a store, there are setbacks that may cause one to lose his or her job, and the person can be a friend. If caught shoplifting and it is indicated on your record, it will be hard to get a job since no one would want to hire a law breaker.
Shoplifting causes many losses to the retailer. Loss of revenue for the stolen item which causes an increase in the price of goods to compensate for the loss and this directly affects the consumer. Retailers also have to prepare costly anti-theft programs to prevent shoplifting and security measures such as surveillance cameras, security guards and electronic articles must be put in place to prevent theft (Blanco,2008).
Consumers are affected by paying higher prices due to losses that are passed to them by the retailer, limited selection of the items are no longer on the shelves for the consumer, complication in shopping experience since high-value items are placed behind counters and locked and honest shoppers fall under mistrust because they cannot be distinguished from shoplifters (Murphy, 1986).
When the retailers increase prices, consumers shop elsewhere thus increasing time used during traveling and increasing the volume transportation systems. Stores can be closed due to loss of shoppers, depriving the community of a retail source and reducing social and economic growth. This makes the community suffer due to selfish acts of a few. The community spends a lot of time trying to resolve shoplifting issues instead of planning projects that will result or contribute to community growth (Kokemuller, 2017).
Shoplifting law deals with theft crimes that occur in retail level. Laws prohibiting shoplifting are found in state and municipal codes. Penalties can be jail time, fines, court fees and punishments such as community service and restitution. The penalty given depends on the money value of the property taken. The penalty can be severe or light depending on factors such as remorsefulness of the defendant and previous conviction (Bishop, 1988).
It is hard for law enforcers to personally present shoplifting crimes since the police are called to the scene by store employees who hold the suspect after witnessing the theft. Sometimes, the employees act without sufficient proof and justification. Merchants have authority to hold the suspect until the police arrive. This is according to shoplifting statute. Security guards or employees must have a reason to believe a crime has been committed before capturing the suspect.
The law requires the store employees to question the suspect and detain them in a proper manner. Once criminal charges are filed, one should take action and force the prosecution to prove their case beyond unreasonable doubt, and the attorney can approve whether the suspect is guilty or not. To avoid conviction, the defendant should warrant taking a case to trial than pleading guilty despite the strong evidence. A defendant can also agree to accept responsibility in exchange the prosecutor amends charges that are something less demanding to the defendant’s reputation and future employment (“Shoplifting – FindLaw,” 2017).
The court also provides deferral option that allows it to erase all record of shoplifting defendant to the first time offenders. A suspect may also opt to contact a criminal defense lawyer to resolve their case. If you are found guilty of shoplifting, you can be fined or jailed for up to six months. A shoplifting conviction means you will have a criminal record.
Retailers can prevent shoplifting by, staying vigilant, ensuring the store is secure, work in partnership with the local community who share information about the known shoplifter, they can also link up their closed circuit televisions with others in the network to allow the police and making it easier to identify and catch any shoplifter. Through introducing additional security measures such as CCTV cameras, tags, alarms, hiring security guards discourages shoplifters.
Putting up warning signs can easily scare shoplifters and make them believe that they are being watched. This can be initiated by informing customers that you have CCTV cameras inside and outside your store. Taking regular stalk record is also important since it is hard to know if you have been stolen from if you did not know what you had in the first place. Keeping records will help one to identify any theft and make changes (Blanco,2008).
If an item is very expensive or you have experienced it being stolen in the past, take care of them since it is a target for shoplifters. You can place this item in lock display or ensure they are safe where employees can keep an eye on them.
It is also important to change the way out of your shop to make it hard for shoplifters to get away with any product. This can be through, displaying your products in a more secure manner, put cash registers by the door, so customers have to pass you when leaving and reducing blind spots by installing mirrors and brighter lighting.
A retailer can also implement shoplifting policies and procedures and ensuring employees are trained on how to implement it. Also research on shoplifting policy that you can include. Knowing how to spot a shoplifter is very vital.
Shoplifters display the following behaviors which will help you spot them, attempting to avoid being noticed, wearing large coats or carrying large bags, picking up and putting back the same item repeatedly, looking nervous and paying attention to what surround them than the product in their hands.
The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention is an agency that deals with shoplifting prevention efforts. It brings together consumer (“Theft Class -,” 2017), shoplifter, community, stakeholder and retailer through crime prevention and law enforcement. It conducts research and offers education, prevention, and rehabilitation programs to stakeholders in the shoplifting problem in addition to self-help and support for the individual.
Stealing in this case shoplifting is a crime and punishment that comes from it is greater than what one shoplifting. No matter how urgent you want something or whether the act is as a result of peer pressure and your intention is to impress your friends, it is still wrong to do so. This is because it will only cause embarrassment to oneself. This act is solely wrong and against the law. Am sorry for what I did.
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