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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

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.

NorthernLurker Thu 31-Jan-13 18:45:38

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.

SquinkiesRule Thu 31-Jan-13 19:17:18

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.

NorthernLurker Thu 31-Jan-13 19:24:46

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.

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