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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

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.

notsofrownieface Thu 31-Jan-13 21:54:00

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!

PureQuintessence Fri 01-Feb-13 12:30:07

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.

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