Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Free For All

The berlingo was having new tyres fitted this morning, and so, while the cheerful mechanics did their thing. I took myself off to a nearby " budget" supermarket for a coffee and the paper.
The coffee was shite as was the news, so I killed some time wandering around the aisles buying things I didn't really need.
I was just pricing up a packet of cheap chicken roll ( a dog treat) when I noticed a young woman brazenly stuffing a packet of meat down the sleeve of a coat she was carrying over her arm.
I turned to stare at her and she caught my eye for just a second before walking off.
It was a look more of defiance rather than shame.
And that pissed me off more than anything.
I walked  to the tills and caught the eye of a supervisor, and I told her what I had seen. I described the thief and pointed to where I last saw her, and left the professionals to it.
 A few minutes later there was a scuffle of sorts beyond the checkouts. The thief was shouting at the supervisor and a security guard. Her coat and it's contents strewn across the floor.
A packet of meat, chocolates , toiletries and what looked like expensive men's razors lay on the tiles.
Apparently razors are a popular choice by addicts as they can be sold on quickly..so my check out girl explained....she also told me that the woman in question already was banned from the store for theft.
" they come in everyday, seven days a week stealing" the checkout girl added wearily
" it's a full time job for many"

It's another world is it not?



69 comments:

  1. Why are razor blades (and razors all together) so expensive? I just don't get it.

    Good for you, or as your lot says, good on you!

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  2. Well done, most people wouldn't have been bothered to get involved...even though it's thieves who add cost to their groceries.
    Jane x

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  3. Good for you...it's so easy to turn a blind eye.

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  4. drugs are changing the world. it is so very sad.

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  5. Another tick in the "John's a good egg" box.

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  6. As Jaz said, drugs are changing the world. Everybody knows of someone who is hooked and it is always heartbreaking for them and their families.

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  7. Well, it's certainly not Les Mis, one hopes the young lady can somehow get out of whatever downward spiral she's in.

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    1. I hope so too.
      Note.....apart from an expensive box of chocs there was no food on her steal list

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  8. I can sort of understand it when people are desperately hard up and just can't afford to buy things they need, but when they're stealing things to order for other people, or habitually stealing like the woman you describe, there's no excuse for that.

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    1. Do people nowadays steal to eat?....I suspect the answer is in much lower numbers than we think......stealing to eat.....ok almost acceptable.......

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    2. Why should people have to steal to eat when we have foodbanks now. FOODBANKS in the 21st century....hard times indeed.

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  9. Recently this girl, maybe ten, was taking the stickers off of the fruits and vegetables and putting them in a notebook! Odd, and a pain in the neck for the cashier who would be inconvenienced by that, I turned her in to the produce manager. The girl's mother knew what was going on, too. Weirdos.

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  10. the Caped Crusader of Trelawnyd. I'm thankful I'm not that desperate; I've never seen that at the Newton Abbot branch of suspected supermarket, but it probably does.

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    1. I am not pious EM....it's just a pet hate of mine. I think some people think that because it's a supermarket, well then it's alright then ...fair game.....
      For many habitual thieves.....it's normal to " help yourself"

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  11. Excellent, J.G. I feel (even more) proud at 'knowing' you.

    I've never shop-lifted - or even been tempted to do so - in my entire life, not even as a kid when sweets and choc bars and lollipops were laid out on the counters of those corner shops of old. (Though some kids did do it and treated it all as a 'game').
    I've never seen the attraction of something like this which is so clearly 'wrong'. Must be something to do with a buzz they get? As Nick (above) says, it might be excusable if they were really desperately in need, with no money at all, and just had to eat or die - but razor blades? Good grief! Lock 'em up, I say!

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    1. I believe the psychologists would tell you that the only time it's difficult to steal is the first time. After that it just becomes a habit.
      A bit like serial murders.

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    2. Interesting jean....nowadays many people who observe someone stealing shrug it off as almost normal...especially in faceless supermarkets .........this bugs me almost as much as the thieving does.
      If they saw the same action in their local high street deli but they would open their traps then

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  12. You are lucky the junkie was only stealing meat, razors and toiletries. Over here the parasites are in the habit of holding up drugstores for oxicodone or other high power pain drugs. Apparently not satisfied with that they have now taken to doing armed home invasions on the elderly to steal their pain pills. There are at least two reports a week on the news on such events.

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  13. You surprise me, John. Being pretty observant myself many a time I see someone stealing. Do I report them? Of course not. To be vigilant is the shop's security guys' job. For someone to steal in the age of CCTV watching your every fucking move it takes either despair or supreme confidence to think you can get away with it. And if someone does [get away with it] good on them.

    I do not condone stealing. However, my heart is not exactly bleeding for supermarkets with their inflated prices and huge profits.

    Let's put it another way: When my corner shop (privately owned) gives me too much change I' give it back. If the same thing happened at, say, Tesco? You've got to be joking.

    U

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    1. I couldn't disagree more with you Ursula
      It is EVERYONE's job to confront thieves
      I wouldn't condone direct confrontation...but I made sure she saw me watching her.......
      I have reported many a thief...and will continue to do so
      Because of them, your food bills, your insurance bills are so much higher.

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    2. Grocery stores are not profiteers like the banks and oil companies, methinks. Things may have changed, but when I was a kid, our neighbor who owned the local grocery store (franchise operation) told us that losing one jar of applesauce out of a case to theft or breakage pretty much erased his profit.

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    3. At least here in the US, the profit margin has always been surprisingly slim in grocery stores....

      The junkie's life: strange indeed.

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    4. John, I thought about the subject and your reply to me at some length. That there is a moral/ethical dilemma of that there is no doubt.

      However, If I had been you and had really felt the need to intervene I'd have had a discreet word with the shop lifter. A sort of first warning. A warning that things will not go unnoticed. A jolt to their system. Report? Still a firm NO.

      And I am afraid you, and some of your commentators, are mistaken that theft makes prices go up. Doesn't work like that. Trust me.

      U

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    5. My foray in challenging young women has I am afraid come to an end. I will in longer put myself in a position of abuse
      I looked at the shoplifter, I gave her the opportunity to react to my stare..she chose to walk away.
      Tough shit
      I reported her...
      Her choice
      Not mine

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  14. Well done you! Too often folk just don't want to get involved but that's another shoplifter stopped ... for a while anyway.

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  15. This explains why the packs of quality razor blades in our local supermarket have security tags on them. I often wondered.
    None of these people are as hard up as say my parents or grandparents were at some point in their lives. Poverty is relative.

    In order to get enough money to feed her three small children after her husband was killed in the first world war, my grandmother did other people's washing. She lived in a house with no running water, no gas or electricity and one solitary coal fire. That's real hardship.

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  16. It seems you have had two unsettling incidents in the last couple of days. I cling to the belief that most people are decent and caring (despite the news) but some days hell really is other people.

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  17. Blimey, what an existential nightmare that can be!!!

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  18. what a world it would be if they could cure drug addiction. a one time treatment to erase that damage portion of the brain that makes them "crave".
    ..

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  19. good on ya, john! and you did it the right way.

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  20. Well done sir, as you well know I'm not opposed to a little piracy upon occasion but the steal to feed an addiction, or for reasons over than desperation to survive is beyond the pale.

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  21. She must have had big sleeves in that coat!!! x

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  22. You're just like that boy in the children's annuals, rushing off to call the police because they suspect that the swarthy gypsy down the road is a German spy. And they were always right too.

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    1. You can be as snide as you like dear Thomas....I stand by my convictions.....even though they may sound daily mail to you

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  23. I'm so glad you reported that woman and that she was apprehended. The more people steal and shoplift, the higher our prices are. This is also a full time job in South Africa. I wonder how they can keep people out that have been banned? A photo for the door security?

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  24. A woman in my neighborhood has been banned by our local restaurant. She would come in and eat from the buffet, and then go across the street to the biker bar for a beer or two. She'd come back and eat more from the buffet once she had a little buzz on. I'm grateful she's gone because God only knows what she might bring back from the biker bar.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. A biker perhaps ;-)

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  25. Good for you ...it's these types that make prices higher!

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  26. I so agree with what you did.
    We have become people of "this is someone else problem not mine".

    cheers, parsnip

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  27. Well done you.

    If she had been someone stealing food that obviously looked as though she had needed it and had the grace to look ashamed when spotted I might have kept quiet but usually in the circumstances you describe I would report her every time.

    When I managed a charity shop I had a little old lady that came in every Wednesday and stole a skirt. The first time I couldn't be definite that she had done it, the second time as she looked strapped for cash I said nothing. The third time I approached her and read her the riot act and said if she returned I would phone the police and pointed to our security cameras as they would be providing evidence. She didn't come back, she did however try to start exactly the same thing next door in the CR charity shop but as the manager was a friend I had forewarned her and she was nabbed!!

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  28. Difficult one... as I am learning to, " look at the bigger picture " as I tell my teenage son.
    BUT theft is theft; we get it at the charity shop....what makes my blood boil is the waste of food from the Co-Op whose bin area we share....

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    1. Waste needs addressing
      I am all for that
      But don't forget the smaller picture too?

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    2. There are so many weird laws about food (at least here in my area) - fortunately, our state just changed their laws so we're rescuing a lot of food, esp cooked food, which wasn't allowed to be distributed before, and delivering it to people in need.

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  29. I have no problem with helping out a person in need; I do, however, object to turning a blind eye to those who just 'help themselves' in such a way.
    As a young single mother things were often tight, even when working three jobs. If there wasn't much in the house my daughter got what there was and I did without...stealing to support a habit? Yeah, no, it's not okay, not a game, and I won't give anyone a free pass on it. Good for you John.

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  30. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer and more desperate.
    It is hoped that the police offered this woman some place to go get the much needed help she so desperately needs and not just becoming a part of the vicious drug-addiction cycle.

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    1. I think she was just kicked out jimbo

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  31. God John! wow

    Its good that you told someone. But please be careful, this used to happen in a shop my sister worked in. and when confronted the woman pulled a syringe on her. These people a lot of the time feel they have nothing to lose.

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  32. Would you have still reported her if she had looked shameful rather than defiant? Judging by your response to the comments probably.

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    1. I think I would
      Perhaps we should remember the old gal with just 2 quid to spend on food , who spends it honestly to buy a merge meal

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  33. Just think in days gone by they would have been shipped to Australia!
    That is not how I got here!!

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  34. The charity shops have security in the town I live in. I kid you not, they're volunteers who instead of manning the till or sorting the donations watch customers to try and prevent shoplifting. So sad.

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  35. Theft from the store is theft from all the shoppers, since the money lost will be result in raised prices.

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  36. How absolutely appalling, and all she'll get is a slap on the wrist!!!

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  37. I volunteer in a charity shop one afternoon a week at the moment and you would not believe the amount of theft that goes on! And we can't do a great deal about it as you can't challenge them directly, ,just ask them if the would like to pay for the goods now. Personally I would love to say at the top of my voice, 'Stop Thief!' or something worse. But you get to know the 'regulars and don't give them a moments peace to slip something in their bags or under their coats!

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  38. What a *caring* thing to do. And then boast about it on your blog... Disappointed.

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    1. It IS actually a caring thing to do. After a number of arrests for theft she may well be offered counselling and help to come off drugs.

      Turning a blind eye is the most uncaring thing to do in most cases.

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    2. Not boasting at all. Merely bringing an important issue out in the open. Stealing is stealing no matter who does it or where it takes place. We all have to pay higher prices to cover the money lost to shoplifters. Good for you John, I would do the same.

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    3. Elsewhere
      Sorry I disappointed you
      But I stand by what I did.....I cannot abide people turning the other way when thieving is concerned
      .....it's not boasting
      It's just what I believe....
      What would you have done?

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    4. 1. I donot think myself a better person than you, I often disappoint myself.
      2. I think I would have quietely said something to the thief - something like 'just don't do it, you know it's wrong', and left it at that. Knowing full well he wouldn't be converted by my words.
      3. To me posting about it feels like standing on a soapbox and saying: look, I've done the right thing! When it is about rescuing rabbits (sorry about Mary btw) or orphaned geese or working for the Samaritans, I'm all for it. It's nice to do the right thing and share that with the world, especially as you write about it so well. In this case, the guy stealing, it is a sad occasion. Whatever his motivation to steal, it shows he lives a less than happy life. Because of thieves we invented police, security, law etc.
      4. And if you really really needed to shop this guy (word joke), do it in private, just warn the security guy. I wouldn't post it so my readers could applaud me, as it is a sad event, which ever way you look at it.
      5. thanks for asking me to explain.

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    5. sorry, forgot it was a girl thief and not a boy thief.

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    6. I have challenged people before, but recent
      Y had a very bad experience challenging three teenage girls....about their antisocial behaviour
      So I won't challenge someone directly again.
      I looked at the woman, she knew I saw her steal and like I said she ignored me.
      That's when I reported her. The point of the blog was just how " normal" some types of theft has become
      I didn't need applause for reporting her
      I was more shocked it was such a common occurrence

      Nice to have all points of view though
      I actually prefer a good debate about something rather than just have blanket agreements

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    7. Keep on commenting!
      I am not as saintly as I make out!

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    8. **big sigh of relief**

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  39. I thought this issue was only on our side of the pond, the drugstore across my office keeps a lot of high theft items like razors in locked cases.

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  40. I spent my career dealing with drug addicts. It is always unfortunate to see people in pain BUT because of their issues they make victims of other innocent people. People have to be accountable for their actions. period. People who are self righteous about the treatment of addicts usually do not give the addict's victims the same consideration. Good for you John.

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  41. I'll get off my soapbox now

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  42. It's funny I should read this today, as earlier my daughter was telling me about her friends boyfriend who had "rescued" a couple of plants from the local supermarket. Apparently his excuse was that they needed watering! My daughter said she was glad she hadn't been there because, friends or not, she would have reported them. I was proud of her when she told me, but shocked when she finished the story by saying that the girls Aunt heard her and sneered, saying "For God's sake it was only a couple of F***ing plants, what's the matter with you?"
    Apparently my daughter told this woman that nothing was the matter with her, but she was brought up not to lie or steal. No matter how large or small the goods taken, theft is theft! I could have stood up and cheered her!

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  43. It is definitely another world.

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