My now-ex best friend is a thief

(117 Posts)
wineoclocktimeyet Thu 31-Jan-13 17:57:57

Initially I was really sad and disappointed but now I'm just furious.

Background - became friends with a mum with a similar aged son to DS2 about 8 months and we just clicked from the start - really good laugh we'd meet at least twice a week and I thought we were developing a life-long friendship.

Until, yesterday - we met in our local shopping centre as usual and pottered about getting bits and pieces and then had a coffee and a snack - she was queueing and her DS spilt someone so I opened her changing bag to get some wipes, sitting on the top was a eyeshadow set which we'd been looking at in Boots but hadnt bought as it was too expensive.

Long story short, she admitted she'd stolen it and that she has been shoplifting items for years.

I'm thinking so many things:

- someone I thought of as a best friend is a THIEF
- how can I have got someone so wrong
- I totally trusted her, she has babysat a couple of times - she promised she has never steals from friends (so thats ok then) but of course now I'm trying to think of all the things I might have 'lost'
- she has stolen items when I am with her - would anyone really have believed I wasnt in on it and she knows I am working in a job which would be ruined if I got any type of criminal record
- I'm wondering if any of the presents she has ever given my children are stolen.

and so it goes on

I'm not sure why I'm writing this but just getting it out helps. I did think of name changing but actually J if you are a netmum and are reading this, I want you to know how hurt and angry I am and so very very sorry but this is the end of what could have been a wonderful friendship sad sad

ThingummyBob Thu 31-Jan-13 18:04:58

YANBU to decide that you feel you cannot be friends with a brazen serial shoplifter.

YABU to think -

a) this is nethuns
b) for comminicating your thoughts to her about this via an internet forum
c) that you would be implicated in shoplifting by virtue if being in the store with her. I'm assuming she didn't hide items about your person confused.

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 31-Jan-13 18:05:22

Sorry, meant to put this in Chat

MixedClassBaby Thu 31-Jan-13 18:06:34

Well, perhaps I'm morally bankrupt but his wouldn't bother me too much. I'd just ask her not to do it around me because of work etc.

TheLightPassenger Thu 31-Jan-13 18:09:38

a bit [puzzled] at the netmum reference. but I used to have the sort of job too where I needed to be particularly careful to have a clean criminal record so I can sympathise with feeling freaked out by having been around her while she was comitting a crime.

pictish Thu 31-Jan-13 18:13:43

Seeing as someone else's shoplifting wouldn't affect me or my life, I doubt I'd be outraged enough to end the friendship.
I dunno...I know I'm probably supposed to be disgusted but I can't be bothered.

Is that bad?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 18:13:47

Do you realise you got the wrong forum?

I don't blame you for feeing upset and even angry with her. Shoplifting is not an attribute I'd choose in a friend.

noviceoftheday Thu 31-Jan-13 18:16:01

I guess you're suffering from discovering that you don't have the same shared moral compass and values with a trusted friend. 10 years ago I would have reacted as emotionally and cut off my friend. I have learned that you can have different types of friendship and not everyone has to be my bosom buddy. Deep breaths and a step back before you cut her off.

MammaTJ Thu 31-Jan-13 18:18:59

Is your friend my 7 year old DD??

TheLightPassenger Thu 31-Jan-13 18:19:54

for a recent friend only really made due to having children of the same age, habitual shoplifting probably would make me run a mile tbh. If it was an old friend then I would be more understanding. But wouldn't go shopping with them!

BumBiscuits Thu 31-Jan-13 18:21:02

I am sure that even being with someone who is shoplifting implicates you. All my school pals pilfered and I wouldn't go into shops with them when they were at it.

If you feel this strongly yanbu.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 18:21:28

My brother once stole a toy when we were out shopping. He was about 12. My mum made him take it back to the till and tell them he stole it.

mirry2 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:21:50

yanbu. I could never be friends with a thief.

ThingummyBob Thu 31-Jan-13 18:22:31

MammaTJ grin

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 18:26:27

I just can't bring myself to get that worked up about shop-lifting.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 31-Jan-13 18:29:06

I can understand. I would feel let down too


MammaTJ Thu 31-Jan-13 18:30:54

Jamie, that's exactly what I did and I started a thread about it on Tuesday. Took her back yesterday and hope she won't do it again in a hurry!

TheSecondComing Thu 31-Jan-13 18:31:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

andubelievedthat Thu 31-Jan-13 18:32:29

can you have a "clean criminal record" i imagined you had a criminal record.,or not at all? to chuck my 2p worth in , soz , dont care re your mate nicking stuff,(shelves prob stocked by poor peeps on workfare programme ,which i believe involvement in, is voluntary)

EllieArroway Thu 31-Jan-13 18:36:32

I want you to know how hurt and angry I am

Er...what are you "hurt" about? You sound a bit silly and hysterical to me.

Yeah - it's wrong, and I wouldn't much fancy going round the shops with someone who is pinching stuff - so tell her you won't go shopping with her again.

But all this "being hurt" and ending the friendship sounds a bit like you are milking your ride on the moral high horse for all it's worth.

teenagersmother Thu 31-Jan-13 18:37:04

I once had to pick my daughter up from the police station after her friend had shoplifted. Luckily the cctv showed that she had no involvement in it and the police were happy to let her go with the suggestion she choose her friends more carefully. She still recalls the embarrassment of the ride in the police car as she hadn't known that her friend had done it ...
I wouldn't be going shopping with an adult who shoplifts regularly if I was you!

vigglewiggle Thu 31-Jan-13 18:37:50

I am shock at so many blasé attitudes towards theft! I'm not in the "cut off their hands" camp, but surely this crosses the line?

specialsubject Thu 31-Jan-13 18:39:29

theft is theft. Those of you who don't think shoplifting matters, don't whine about high prices and don't call the cops if you get burgled. Because that means these things don't matter either.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 18:40:51

viggle I don't know, I just don't care about shop-lifting. Shops rip people off every day but I don't see anyone being shocked at them.

Cailinsalach Thu 31-Jan-13 18:41:46

I knew someone who went shopping with a work colleague. She had been asked for a lift and was being kind. On their way back the colleague began pulling out a good number of items that she had nicked in various shops unbeknownst to my friend. Apparantly she had a nice little business nicking stuff to order. She charged half the figure on the pricetag.
My friend was utterly aghast, especially later when the Police knocked on her door as they had traced her via CCTV and her number plates. She reported her colleague next day at work,they worked in retail- lots of cash and high value stock. My friend refused to work with her incase she was implicated in any theft. The thief was dismissed and was charged with the shoplifting.
So my advice would be to choose your friends carefully.

mirry2 Thu 31-Jan-13 18:44:03

Mechanical, would you shoplift if you had the opportunity?

noviceoftheday Thu 31-Jan-13 18:44:37

To clarify, I understand the OPs anger because I would be similarly screwed if implicated in anything criminal but my point is that I wouldn't get emotional about it and would distance myself in a less dramatic way.

I agree with the OP and I wouldn't want to spend time with an habitual shoplifter either. It's a horrible seedy CRIMINAL way to behave. Do the posters who aren't bothered realise that this woman will be using her pram and her baby to conceal stuff? Do you realise that shoplifting forces up prices for everybody else and is associated with other criminal activity. Plenty of people shoplift to order. It's a gang activity as much as an individual thing.

Op - tbh I would get rid of or replace anything she's given your dcs because chances are it was stolen. You might want to contact the police too. Business owners deserve to know this woman is an urepentant thief. Then they can exclude her from their shops.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 18:49:24

I just think that ofif you are prepared to shoplift, you are probably prepared to lie, steal, be devious in other ways. So even if you perceive shoplifting to be on the less serious end of the criminal spectrum, i could not trust that person. And i don't spend any time with people i don't trust.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 18:58:17

No mirry , I don't fancy the criminal record were I to get caught.

Pourquoimoi Thu 31-Jan-13 18:59:02

OP - I don't blame you for being upset. I would be shocked too and it would be the end of our friendship. I also have a career that would be ruined by a criminal record but even if I didn't, my reaction would be the same.

Theft is criminal however you dress it up. I don't want to associate with criminals, I am above that. Sorry if that sounds snobby, I think it's about basic standards and decency.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 31-Jan-13 19:01:59

well, with friends like you, she will be better off alone, have you conidered that she might have mental health issues and maybe looking for some help? Of course if she thinks this ok then fine, dump her, but if this was going to be a wonderful friendship like you make out, step up to the plate and BE HER FRIEND, pull her up on it, tell her its unacceptabe and encourage her to seek help.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:03:14

Northern the shops are the ones that force prices up. Yes, they allow for shoplifting/breakage costs, but I'm more pissed off at them for ripping us off.

Like I said, I wouldn't do it myself, but not that bothered by anyone else who does it.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 31-Jan-13 19:03:28

I'm not condoning shoplifting, but what saddens me is people think that the OP should just dump this woman without trying to find out if she needs help.

DontEvenThinkAboutIt Thu 31-Jan-13 19:05:11

I would drop her as a friend. It is stupid to steal.

fluffiphlox Thu 31-Jan-13 19:05:15

I don't really get why people are not bothered by shoplifting. Taking anything at isn't yours is theft. Stealing from shops makes goods more expensive for others; the loss of profit, the cost of security has to be paid for somehow. I would ditch this person too.

RuleBritannia Thu 31-Jan-13 19:08:20

Why don't you report her to the Police, OP? You are aware of criminal activities.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 31-Jan-13 19:10:14


Good point. If it's compulsive behaviour then maybe she does need help.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Thu 31-Jan-13 19:10:38

I totally understand how you feel OP, a similar thing happened to me many years ago. I wasn't raised to think shoplifting was ok 'because these big companies can afford it' and the 'friend' was dumped.

racingheart Thu 31-Jan-13 19:11:52

Drop her. That's vile behaviour and suggests she has zero moral standards. What else does she think is OK to do?

In my early twenties I used to work with a girl who always begged me to go shopping with her after work. I'm not much of a shopper, but like your friend, she was witty and fun to be around. I enjoyed her company. When she started 'giving' me little presents she'd picked up at first I thought she was a shopaholic, they were such trashy pointless presents. Then I realised she was shop lifting and stopped shopping with her but did nothing about it. We still got on at work.

Then one day I was hauled into the bosses' office and really grilled about lots of money missing from the till, always on my shift. She was sacked and I walked out in disgust. Met the boss at a party years later and I could tell she still doubted my innocence. Made me feel sick. I'm soooo unmaterialistic - never been even tempted to steal - can't see the allure of it at all.

SushiPaws Thu 31-Jan-13 19:12:53

Mechanical - as a small business owner I want you to know how I feel about people thinking its okay to shoplift as all us shops are ripping you off.

We work our asses off and put prices as low as we can but the tax, rates and overheads we pay are massive. We do not price our items with consideration for shoplifters.

If I hear one more person come into our shop and say "I've just come to try this on, I can get it online for cheaper, your prices are a rip off", I may do something terrible. Online shops have lower overheads, but I guess you can't shoplift from them.

Op yanbu.

HecateWhoopass Thu 31-Jan-13 19:14:24

I am most certainly bothered by shoplifting!

People think it's a victimless crime.

As if the shops absorb the cost! No. It's muggins over here and all other customers who pay! They just add a bit on to cover the cost of the light bloody fingered.

Not that it would make a massive difference grin But I resent even a penny if it's coming from me because someone else thinks it's ok to steal!

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:15:07

Hrm, well, I was talking more about big supermarkets and stuff than small businesses, I'd have a problem with that, definitely.

It would be the end of the friendship for me. I wouldn't want to be with her when she gets caught and you also get arrested along side her.
For those who think it's OK, that disgusts me, if you can't afford something, save up like honest people do, no one owes you anything for free, you aren't entitled to take what you fancy.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 31-Jan-13 19:20:07

So, the OP describes the friend as someone who was really nice, who she clicked with, so i am assuming that she is not Vicky pollard! So maybe if it is so out of character then a MH issue could be the route of it. I am wiling to bet that people have done this sort of thing whilst suffering from PND. I know that i walked out of of boots having not paid for my babies nappies when i was not well. OK so it wasn't serial shoplifting but a case of being away with the fairies and not aware of what i was really doing. I would have hoped that any friend i was with at the time would have been supportive rather than judgemental.

By all means dump her if its just something she does, but if it were a friend of mine, id give her the benefit of the doubt and at least try and find out if there was issues.

Really shocked by the judging actually. MN is usually a lot more aware and considered.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:22:20

I don't think it's "OK" I'm just not bothered by it.

How on earth can my non-involvement in a crime bother you? I just have bigger things I worry about. In the list of crimes committed on this planet, shop-lifting just seems a bit silly.

My mum and dh's dad both had small businesses too. I can assure you mechanical that thieves do NOT distinguish between big business and small. They steal from anybody and I am sick of people thinking it a victimless crime.

As for she may have mental health issues - well in more than 10 years and numerous episodes we weren't aware of any of the shoplifters we caught having any such issue. They all had a history of shoplifting though - a long, long history.

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 19:26:27

I would feel let down. I would also feel that I could never trust her. I might not end the friendship, but would vow to never go shopping with her. The implications of her being caught with you by her side are far reaching.

I'm shocked that some people on here don't think shoplifting is wrong. I agree with specialsubject. As consumers we all pay higher prices because of shoplifters.

IT. IS. STEALING and is therefore wrong

SushiPaws Thu 31-Jan-13 19:31:45

Mechanical, in that case I'll be nipping round your house to nab your tv, because on the grand scale of crimes committed on this planet, it's no big deal???

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:34:08

Northern I'm sure the thieves don't distinguish. I do though. Like I said, I just can't get worked up about someone nicking £5 from a shop when people are such cunts in other ways.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:35:46

Sushi I don't have a telly, a burgler would be bitterly disappointed in my stock. Actually, I've been burgled and it didn't really piss me off that much. I mean, it's not nice to think someone's been in your home, but it's just stuff.

Sallyingforth Thu 31-Jan-13 19:38:00

Shoplifters very often work in pairs so that one can distract staff or hide a camera view. If youir 'friend' was stopped at the door you would find it difficult to prove you weren't involved.
Mechanical - your attitude stinks.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:40:00

What, my attitude of not being fussed by something?

I don't really get how that works. I mean, people buy clothes that are made in sweatshops. That's really more concerning for me than you having to pay 5p more for a packet of Pop Tarts. But I don't go on Style and Beauty saying "HOW DARE YOU BUY CLOTHES?"

Salmotrutta Thu 31-Jan-13 19:45:18

If everyone took the "But it was only a £5 eyeshadow/pack of mince/ blah" it wouldn't be long before other so-called less serious or so-called victimless crimes became perfectly alright.

And then where do we draw the line.

I'd be mighty peed off if a friend did that and I'd view them very differently from then on.

firesidechat Thu 31-Jan-13 19:45:41

I've only read the first page but already a little bit shocked that anyone would think it's ok to shoplift. It isn't!

OP YANBU and I would probably react the same way.

Salmotrutta Thu 31-Jan-13 19:46:56

It would make me wonder what else someone "wasn't fussed" about tbh.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 19:49:17

Well, I know plenty of people who aren't fussed about feminism/where their clothes come from/who is in government, but they are still decent people.

HoHoHoNoYouDont Thu 31-Jan-13 19:52:42

Being fussed about feminism etc isn't breaking the law. Shoplifting is.

aldiwhore Thu 31-Jan-13 19:54:40

It's not right, and I understand your horror OP.

I do though think it's about balance.

My friend does this, I found out. Much as I hate what she does, on balance the friendship is worth so SO much more. We had a row about it.

I don't go shopping with her, I strangely WOULD trust her around my stuff, BUT she would always be the first suspected if anything of mine went missing... I have told her this.

We will not speak of it again, and she will not get my sympathy is she gets caught.

It may not sound rational, but this friend has truly gone out of her way to help me when I needed it, without being asked... so, on balance, I didn't want to lose her friendship.

It makes me angry, especially as I was once falsely accused of shoplifting, and though I wasn't charged, my name/DNA/photo etc is on file... if she got caught and I was with her, would anyone believe MY innocence?? I have simply chosen never to be in that position.

I hope my disapproval is enough, but I suspect her habit is complex (she is not short of money, not rich but certainly doesn't have 'need' to steal) so I decided to remove myself from the situation.

If you cannot do that, YANBU to walk away from the friendship.

firesidechat Thu 31-Jan-13 19:56:16

Well, I know plenty of people who aren't fussed about feminism/where their clothes come from/who is in government, but they are still decent people.

But none of those things get you a day in court and possible prison term do they?

Isn't it also a bit disrespectful to shoplift when you have a friend with you who doesn't know and agree with what you are doing. If she wants to engage in criminal activity she can do it alone surely and not involve the OP.

DontmindifIdo Thu 31-Jan-13 20:00:46

I wouldn't have anything to do with her again. Just distance yourself.

That's not accidently walking out without paying for something you intended to pay for, she'd already said she couldn't afford it, it's not stealling something out of desperation because you need it, noone needs posh eyeshadow - it's either a sign of having a bad moral compass and not seeing what's wrong with taking something if you can get away with it (not someone I'd want in my life and in my home) or it's a sign of mental health problems. She's someone you've not known for htat long so might be hard for you to judge. And if you aren't someone she's close too then it might be hard for you to help her.

Distance yourself, do'nt have her over in your home, if she's at any baby groups you are at, watch yours and anyone else's stuff - you know she steals. you can't assume she only steals from large companies if she thinks she can get away with it, she might have a moral code that says "it's ok to steal from someone faceless but not a friend" but quite frankly, even if she told you that, I wouldn't trust her not to be lying to my face. It could be she'll take from anyone if she can get away with it.

MechanicalTheatre Thu 31-Jan-13 20:01:18, they don't get you a day in court. My point is that to me feminism, sweatshops and who is in government are moral issues. Shoplifting is a legal issue.
Morals are important to me. And on the scale of shit things you can do, stealing from big business is just not high on the scale.

Anyway, bowing out of this now, since neither side will change their minds.

I'd be furious. It only takes her to hand you the bag with the stolen stuff in it just before you leave the store "oh hold my bag for a second while I clip reins onto DS" for you to be done for shoplifting.

I cannot begin to describe how annoyed I'd be if I got 'caught' with stolen goods that some cunt had asked me to carry in a shop.

I'd lose my job (enhanced crb), my foster child would go back into the care system after 5 years angry

"well, with friends like you, she will be better off alone, have you conidered that she might have mental health issues "
Sorry, but I find that a particularly pathetic statement that does a great disservice to those with MH issues. Have you considered that this woman is just a greedy bastard with a sense of entitlement that outstrips her income?

Mechanical - your moral compass needs a huge overhaul. So theft is fine basically?

WeAreEternal Thu 31-Jan-13 20:18:32

When I was in my late teens I was good friends with a girl who although lived on benefits and was in a lot of debt, always had lots of expensive and new make up and nice things.

After being friends for a few months she gave me an expensive lipstick, that I had been lusting after but could not afford, as a gift.
I couldn't understand how she afforded it, and then I found out, she was a shoplifting addict.

She eventually admitted that she stole everything from food in the supermarket to clothes, and jewellery.
She told me that she hadn't paid for make up in years, and had boxes and boxes of the stuff in cupboards because it was just so easy to steal she could take a full make up bags worth in one visit to boots.
She wasn't even sneaky about her stealing, she carried a big bag on her arm and just picked items up and as she walked around the top of isles she would swap the bag from one arm to the other and while doing so drop the items into the bag.
She must have done it in front of me 100's of times and I had never noticed. Although looking back I do remember that she always picked items up and then changed her mind and put them back onto other shelves, or so I thought, very regularly.

I tried to ignore it, as she was a good friend, and I asked her not to steal when she was with me but she just couldn't help herself.
In the end it ruined our friendship as I just felt that I couldn't trust her.

catkind Thu 31-Jan-13 20:19:13

Never mind dropping the friendship, I'd report her to the police. Shoplifting is stealing just as much as picking pockets or burglary. I wouldn't be accessory to that.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 31-Jan-13 20:19:25

Whereyouleftit chances are, she probably is just a greedy bastard with a sense of entitlement that outstrips her income. Upon re-reading the woman has said that she has been shoplifting for years so it does suggest that maybe you are right. It is possible to misread people. It does not do a disservice to those with MH issues to consider it though, as someone who has suffered a breakdown in the past i know how it affected my behaviour and made me do things im not proud of. Thankfully not illegal but you guys would have an absolute judge fest if i disclosed some of the things i did. I have no excuse and i feel deep shame about it, but i have come to terms with the fact that I wasn't well and I am not that person.

catkind Thu 31-Jan-13 20:20:24

And if she has mental health issues, the police will find out about that too, and be able to put her in the right direction for treatment.

WhichIsBest Thu 31-Jan-13 20:20:33

I wouldn't go shopping with her again and I'd tell her I thought it was wrong, and I'd be very surprised, but I wouldn't feel personally upset. I'd assume she had issues.
It wouldn't make me not want to spend time with her ever again.

WhichIsBest Thu 31-Jan-13 20:24:54

I have friends who do things I don't approve of. They smoke weed every day, vote for the Tories, cheat on their nice partners...
They have other aspects to their characters too. Those things don't define them and damn them to me.

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 31-Jan-13 20:26:22

Of course I'm no expert, but I dont think she has any mental health issues. She wasnt at all ashamed, her justification when we discussed it was that it wasnt fair that she couldnt afford the things she wants, she seemed to think she was entitled to have them and that "the shops can afford it, they make enough money out of us anyway"

In one way I dont want to end the friendship, and maybe in time I will feel differently, but at the moment my feelings are that she is a thief and that makes her (in my eyes) dishonest and tbh I dont trust her anymore. I cant see how I can genuinely be friends with someone I basically dont trust. I dont want to go shopping with her or anywhere where I am worried what she will be doing, how can I have her in my house if everytime I cant find something I will wonder... For me, a friend is someone you can relax with and at the moment I cant imagine being able to do that with her again.

Boomerwang Thu 31-Jan-13 20:31:15

She doesn't have mental health problems ffs. Thieves do it because they can get away with it. Why does everything have to boil down to someone being impaired in some way??

OP I would be just as shocked and hurt as you were. When I was a teen I went into a supermarket with my boyfriend and his mate. When we came out his friend lifted out a frozen ready meal that he'd stolen. I was aghast. In my family, crime just does NOT happen, no matter how small. They tried to make me see that he could either steal or starve and for the sake of not falling out with my boyfriend I let it drop, but I made him promise never, ever to do that when I'm with him again. Under my breath I also told him if he got a fucking job he wouldn't have to steal.

The hurt would come about because your view of someone had become marred, and you feel foolish, deceived and also confused because if she hadn't been a thief you'd still think she was a good person and you're not sure if she ever was after all. I would feel this if a friend of mine I'd known for a long time suddenly revealed such a large secret.

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 20:33:00

If you enjoy her company can you just see her but not go shopping with her? Can you say to her that her kleptomaniac habit makes you feel uncomfortable to be with her on shopping trips?

Given that most shops have CCTV I'm surprised that she hasn't been caught before now.

frustratedworkingmum Thu 31-Jan-13 20:33:09

based on your last post wineoclock, id feel the same actually if its just that old "the shops can afford it" chestnut, id be distancing myself too. How old is she?

Bunbaker Thu 31-Jan-13 20:35:22

The shops can't afford it though. Look how many chains have disappeared from our high street recently. Ultimately it is the consumer who pays.

QuickLookBusy Thu 31-Jan-13 20:40:21

Can't believe some poster aren't bothered by shop lifting.

I know, let's all go out tomorrow and pinch something from a shop. Lets see if anyone cares. hmm

sparkle101 Thu 31-Jan-13 20:41:18

Thanks everyone who believes shops deserve it or can just increase prices.

What about the managers and staff who face disciplinaries and constantly being under the spotlight when their shop has high unknown loss due to all the people who think its only a shop/ only one item.

I have to work to pay for what I want in life, why should people take what they want?

HecateWhoopass Thu 31-Jan-13 21:11:00

I think people don't think about them, sparkle. Sorry if you've been on the sharp end of it.

Salmotrutta Thu 31-Jan-13 21:13:51

I'm amazed that Mechanical sees shoplifting as merely a legal issue. Not a moral one apparently. hmm

shesariver Thu 31-Jan-13 21:16:48

What do you mean if your friend is a netmum?? Never mind the wrong section, I think youve got the wrong site!

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 31-Jan-13 21:24:27

Whoops shesariver, maybe its a sign of how traumatised I am blush

wineoclocktimeyet Thu 31-Jan-13 21:25:21

meant to add an wink too

PurpleStorm Thu 31-Jan-13 21:35:04


I'd find this very shocking too and would be distancing myself from this person. And I don't agree with "the shops can afford it, they make enough money out of us anyway" line of argument, or justifications about it being a "victimless" crime either.

Even if I wanted to try and maintain the friendship, I'd be making sure to never go shopping with her ever again, just in case she got caught red fingered while I was there with her.

TandB Thu 31-Jan-13 21:48:09

I'm a bit taken aback at how many people not only think shoplifting is ok, but are having a go at the OP for having strong feelings against it.

I am a criminal lawyer. Shoplifting is one of the most common offences I deal with. The vast majority of shoplifters have a drug or alcohol habit to support. A large number are doing it for financial gain or just because they can. A very small proportion are doing it because of mental health problems.

Prosecuting shoplifters is just as expensive as prosecuting any other offence - that money comes out of the ever-dwindling criminal justice system budget. It's not just the cost to the business - it's the cost to the public purse as well.

Society functions on the basis that the vast majority of people obey certain basic moral and legal rules. If everyone decided to act like the OP's friend and just take what they wanted when they wanted, things would get pretty messy pretty quickly! The thing about a lot of low-level crime is that it's easy enough to go "meh, who cares" about one person, but when you take a step back and look at just how many people are committing that crime on a daily basis, it starts looking a bit less meh.

OP, I wouldn't be seen anywhere with this woman. If she gets caught and you have been with her while she is shoplifting there is a very high probability of you being arrested - shoplifters, particularly women, often operate in pairs, with one shielding the other from CCTV cameras, or causing a distraction. You could even end up being charged and having to go to trial. I would be running a mile from her.

I work in a shop, and some of the attitudes on this thread disappoint me. This 'victim-less' crime costs retailers £12 MILLION per day this is 2010 imagine what it is now. This cost is put onto you the consumer.

Also when people piss and moan about staff being replaced by self service tills! You do the maths.

Personally I have been threatened with being punched, sticked with a needle, and numerous other nasties when confronting a shop lifter.

Victimless crime my fat arse.

ZillionChocolate Thu 31-Jan-13 23:17:21

What kungfupanda said.

I could afford to be burgled. I don't own anything terribly expensive and I earn a reasonable amount and have insurance. In fact, DH's company was burgled this weekend and they'll cope. Doesn't make it ok though.

I remember when I was a teenager my boyfriend's BiL casually bragging about how he'd borrowed the receipt for a mate's Rolex to inflate his home insurance claim after a burglary. It made me think he was an arsehole. Worst thing was he was a police officer.

If I was the OP I would ditch the friend and tell her why.

fuzzypicklehead Fri 01-Feb-13 09:53:31

I've seen a couple of people caught shoplifting in or around supermarkets and big stores. Everyone stared, people were muttering and shouting about how pathetic it was. I just can't see how shoplifters put themselves at risk of that kind of humiliation over an eyeshadow.

Tiggles Fri 01-Feb-13 10:54:19

DH was sent to shoplift to order by his stepdad by the time he was 10, as by that time his SD was too lazy to want to do it himself hmm.
Fortunately DH hasn't since he left home a long time ago.

MrsReiver Fri 01-Feb-13 11:31:19

I was in a similar situation to you, met a mum at toddle group, became good friends then learned she was a shoplifter. I naively stayed friends with her and a few months later money started going missing from my wallet, other friends' houses and eventually a huge sum went missing from a local toddle group when she was on "kitchen duty."

I'd start distancing yourself from her now.

WilsonFrickett Fri 01-Feb-13 11:42:10

It would be a deal breaker for me, the only thing I could think of that would make me think differently would be if it was linked to PND but if she's been doing it for years... nah. That would be the end of the friendship for me. I don't steal.

shewhowines Fri 01-Feb-13 12:25:59

I would feel exactly the same as you. She is not the person you thought she was. I could not get over this one.

MerlotAndMe Fri 01-Feb-13 12:28:45

Id just be concerned she'd get caught and fuck up her life. I wouldn't be feeling worried that she'd babysat my children. geez!

Yanbu - but Thingummy's response to you is....

You would definitely be implicated as an accomplice if she was caught shoplifting whilst out with you.

With any luck, you would both be arrested and end up on the local police station, and your mums/partners called to bail you out... (At least if you were teenagers. wink )

terrierist Fri 01-Feb-13 12:33:09

I own a small shop. I buy stuff then sell it for more money than I paid. With the extra money I pay things like business rates, electricity, the wages of the people who work with me etc. Whatever is left over is my wages and I pay income tax on it.

Shoplifters are not stealing from my shop - a shop is just a building with stuff in - they are stealing from me as much as if they took the money directly from my purse.

diddl Fri 01-Feb-13 12:49:32

She thinks it´s OK because she wants the stuff but can´t afford it??

Blimey-that´s taking entitled to the nth degree!!

I wouldn´t see her again.

DontmindifIdo Fri 01-Feb-13 13:24:41

yes, so if she thinks it's ok to steal from the shops because they can afford it, does that mean if she wants to take from anyone else who has more money than her because they can afford it will be ok? I could cope with having £20 taken out of my purse, would that mean if she was at the same toddler group as me it would be ok for her to take money out of my purse?

She might say she wouldn't do that, but I bet if she was asked by shop security if she'd steal from their shop she'd act all indignent about it and say she'd not take from them. You know she's a thief, don't take the risk that it's only from shops that she'll take stuff.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 01-Feb-13 13:32:27

I'd be pissed off with her and while I might not end the friendship over it I wouldnt be meeting her in a shopping centre again!

Worked in retail a long time and I hate shoplifters! I hate their excuses as to why its "ok" to steal from the bigger companies (it still costs the company money when someone steals!) etc etc. I know someone (not through choice) who shoplifts fairly regularly and its accpetable to steal from somewhere like Boots because they can "afford to lose a few bits here and there" hmm

I am however puzzled at how personally you've taken this. It doesnt sound like she's ever stolen from you personally. I would be very annoyed if I found out a present she's given my child or me had been nicked tho.

Bunbaker Fri 01-Feb-13 16:37:59

I have worked in retail and caught out a couple of shoplifters. In both cases they had hidden another item inside something they were paying for. I always made a point of removing lids from things to check and I found a knife in saucepan and something in a breadbin. In both cases the customer looked embarrassed and paid for the extra items. I alerted the section manager and they were followed out of the store.

BumBiscuits Sat 02-Feb-13 09:54:11

bunbaker, many people steal magazines inside newspapers. I had a Saturday job in a newsagent when I was at school and I always checked the papers. At the time the Sunday Sport was on the go and a local celeb had tucked one inside his Sunday Times, I think it wasn't that he didn't want to pay for it, more he was embarrased buying it!

A pal's DH openly admits to doing the mag inside a paper thing, saying the magazines he likes are far too expensive to pay for.

BumBiscuits Sat 02-Feb-13 09:54:58

Saturday & Sunday job = weekend job....too early in the day for me to me mumsnetting!

BumBiscuits Sat 02-Feb-13 10:07:34

Another thought. Years ago in a shopping centre, 2 men approached me and attempted to rob my handbag. They told me they were store detectives and wanted to search me. I was shocked and said there's no way I've been shoplifting and held out my bag which they then tried to grab. That was when I realised it was a scam and fucking pulled my bag back with all my strength. I was a gym bunny at the time and had more oomph than they realised. I started screaming at the same time and they eventually let go and ran off.

I'll get to my point. The shopping centre staff took me into their control room to look at images of suspected shoplifters/pickpockets/scumbags in general to see if I recognised them (I had to also go later to the police station to look at their photo albums).

I saw a few people that I knew vaguely and a lot of the pics were people who definitely didn't look shady (to me).

If you are out shopping with a shoplifter, even if you are completely in the dark and innocent, you will be featuring in one of those photo albums!

DontmindifIdo Sat 02-Feb-13 14:05:56

Was thinking about this again, OP, do you think part of the strength of your hurt by her actions is also hurt at yourself for being a bad judge of character? I've known shoplifters in the past, and they were people I felt before hand weren't quite trustworthy, so it wasn't a shock (although very disappointing) to find out they steal. It could be you really felt she was 'like you' and it's shocked you more because of that.

CuriousMama Sat 02-Feb-13 14:21:43

hmm at the blase attitude to shop lifting. Have any of you noticed how many big companies are closing? How many decent employees are being made redundant? Surely shoplifting won't be helping? Would you mind if your own dcs grow up and have this charming habit?

I'd dump her asap. And be telling her why.

Am curious, does she have many friends? Strange to become BFF in such a short time imo?

Lifeisontheup Sat 02-Feb-13 14:28:56

I very glad that my parents taught me ' a person is judged by the company they keep'.
I also agree with the poster who said if you're happy with shoplifting then don't bother reporting burglary or your purse being nicked or your children's mobile phone being stolen or indeed prices going up in the shops. It's stealing plain and simple.

wineoclocktimeyet Sat 02-Feb-13 20:14:22

dontmind you're so right, part of my anger (and hurt) is at myself for getting her so wrong and at her for somehow 'tricking' me - she should know me well enough to know I wouldnt find stealing acceptable.

CuriousMama title is a bit misleading, she wasnt my BFF but we were close and I really felt in time it could have developed into something really good.

To everyone who thinks it wasnt personal to me, I disagree, ignoring the fact she deceived me, she also put me and my family in 'danger' - if I had been with her when she was caught and was implicated I could/would lose my job and we could not survive without my income.

merlotandme its not that I feel my children weren't safe with her, its the fact that someone I now dont trust was alone (iyswim) in my house.

I have had 3 texts from her since wednesday, the first 2 with no apology, just as if everything hadnt happened. When I didnt reply (I made it clear on wed how I felt) she sent 1 saying she thinks I'm overreacting and its no big deal shock.

I've texted back that actually I think it is a huge deal and as we obviously are poles apart on this, perhaps we shouldnt be in contact just now.

I appreciate everyone's comments, thank you.

CuriousMama Sat 02-Feb-13 20:42:36

No big deal shock

No I don't think you think she's your BFF but she sounds like she's a limpet? I guess she isn't inundated with friends looking for shopping trips?

BoomerFREEHULLYwang Sat 02-Feb-13 20:46:23

Good on you.

BumBiscuits Sun 03-Feb-13 01:36:25

Thing is, you've told her how you feel, you're not seething with resentment etc.

If it means that much to you, don't see her again. She'll know exactly why and maybe will just shoplift when she's out and about alone from now on

Your conscience is clear...unless you want to report her to Boots that is.

mathanxiety Sun 03-Feb-13 06:06:57

Glad you sent that text and I wouldn't go near her with a bargepole ever again.

Everything she has said that you have reported here says she is a person who uses others, with a sense of entitlement to what she wants and no scruples. I suspect if she had ever been caught she would have thrown you under the bus, told store security you had put her up to it, etc. That 'no big deal' bit in her text could only come from someone who sincerely doesn't care about how you feel or about your welfare. Not friend material therefore.

themaltesecat Sun 03-Feb-13 08:01:41

You did the right thing.

Can't abide dishonest people.

Bunbaker Sun 03-Feb-13 08:26:18

That 'no big deal' bit in her text could only come from someone who sincerely doesn't care about how you feel or about your welfare. Not friend material therefore.

I totally agree.

Sallyingforth Sun 03-Feb-13 09:45:17

Yes. math puts it very well.
I'm sure you are not so hard up for friends that you need to risk your future by associating with her.
You are very fortunate that you found out about her before she got you into trouble.

Borntobeamum Sun 03-Feb-13 10:42:42

I would feel just as you do.
I had a good friend and she stole from me.
She stole my purse while I was at her house.
I realised it was gone and asked if it had fallen our of my bag. She said no.
A few days later she rang and asked if she could borrow my boots card to buy some baby milk. (This was over 20 yrs ago when boots did a sort of credit card)
I replied I didn't have it as it had been in my purse.
'No it wasn't!' She replied.
I asked how she knew and she got all flustered and hung up.

I cut off all ties with her.

You really don't need friends like this.

mirry2 Sun 03-Feb-13 12:44:28

OP You're better off without her as a friend and sadly she will probably bring up her own dc to see shoplifting aka stealing, as no big deal. So maybe your own dc will be better off as well.

CuriousMama Sun 03-Feb-13 13:52:25

Borntobeamum that's terrible. I wonder what she'd stolen before and you hadn't noticed?

SugarMouse1 Thu 28-Feb-13 20:03:12

Sorry, know this is an old thread, but didn't see it before!

Anyway, I understand how you feel OP.

A schoolfriend (who was thoroughly spoilt by her parents and got £60 a week pocket money) used to steal from the school canteen and pressured me to do it (I didn't).

I hate this attitude that stealing is okay. Its greedy and selfish, not to mention incredibly stupid to risk a criminal record (LASTING FOR LIFE!!!) for a few bits and pieces from Boots.

And the fact that this woman did that in front of her young son, that is unforgiveable, she must be SCUM!!!!!

Out of interest, is this friend well-off or struggling with money? Is she just materialistic? Or do you think she is addiccted to the thrill, like a kleptomaniac?

Don't go shopping with her, don't have her around your DC's and explain that you think what she has done is wrong

All the Best, OP

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