Saturday, June 09, 2007

Seeing One Caught

I was at a nearby variety store today picking up a bottle of diet Coke and yakking with the cashier when a woman about 10 years older than me left the store followed by the store manager and another employee. They confronted her outside the store and there was a brief shouting match and a few minutes later they came back, minus the woman.

She had been shoplifting and was caught. Now what struck me as odd is not that someone was stealing; I am sure it happens a lot, but what she was stealing.

She was not arrested but she was banned from that store. She was stealing a couple packets of cheap stickers, no more than a couple of dollars worth and no of real value to anyone. I guess the old theory of "if you're going to go to jail make it worthwhile" does not always apply. I would expect that kind of theft from a kid on a dare, but from an adult?

I have known one woman who was a kleptomaniac, and she is a wonderful person whom I would trust with my life and well-being, but at times you have to watch your possessions around her, especially if she and her husband are fighting. I was also once acquainted with a very young woman a number of years ago who had a serious case of multiple personalities, and one of her personalities was a habitual thief. (They ultimately had to institutionalize her until they could find a way to control her multiple personalities.)

Like these two women, the woman I saw being confronted probably had no need for what she stole, and I wonder why she did it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the words of the theologian Jim Morrison, "people are strange."

I have all but given up trying to figure out why people do the things they do. Figuring out requires consistency, and people are notoriously inconsistent.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Shoprat, this is really weird. I just posted my Sunday post, "Confessions" and in it is a similar story. We seem to be on the same wavelength. I know that sounds a bit moonbatty, but It's true.

I had a stepsister who was a kleptomaniac. She constantly stole things she didn't need, and she never even cared when she was caught. She was caught so often she ended up in Juvenile Hall, and later on in a psychiatric ward. I remember her stealing elastic stockings from an 89 year old woman who lived next door to us in Nevada. She was 13 at the time, I was 14. She crawled into the woman's window in the daytime and stole her elastic stockings, and then buried them in our backyard! The poor woman mentioned the theft to us, but no one knew what happened until months later when my step brother and I decided to bury a "time capsule." Sort of a thing some kids do. We started digging and dug up 10 pairs of elastic stockings! My poor deranged step sister was dead from an overdose at the age of 21.

Kleptomania is a very serious mental disorder. St. Augustine stole pears (it's in my post) even though he was wealthy and had better pears than the ones he stole. He did it because at the time he was an adolescent and was hanging out with the wrong crowd. I think a true kleptomaniac does it for the thrill of it, not for the object they are stealing. It's the feeling of "getting over" on authority. It's definitely a mental disorder.

If I ever saw someone caught because they were stealing bread, milk or meat, I would offer to pay for what they stole, but I never have seen that.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

PS: When you get a chance will you please change the link to "Dragon Lady's Den"? Thanks. The URL is the same.

12:45 AM  
Blogger ChrisA said...

I used to work at a Walgreens in Pontiac. People would steal the weirdest things there. That was definitely a life experience working there.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Bizarro, Winona Ryder Syndrome :-).

1:26 AM  
Blogger pete in Midland said...

it's not what they steal, it's just managing to steal.
The professional shoplifters are in it for the money, of course, but in most cases with the "casual" shoplifters .. they almost always have enough cash on them to pay for what they lifted. As LMC noted - Winona Ryder "syndrome". Aren't I clever and smooth, sneaking this out under their noses.

And it's big business according to all the reports. The latest figure I saw bandied about was $13 Billion a year in the US ... and we all know that this cost is included as part of the "overhead". Its really too bad that they don't do more to prosecute AND make public the people who get caught. Eventually it might actually sink it that crime doesn't pay that well when your poster is on display at every store. Banning only moves the thieves to another store ...

10:50 AM  
Blogger nanc said...

felony stupid?

12:55 PM  

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