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Would I be unreasonable to steer clear of my friend?

(62 Posts)
TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:05:45

An old school friend of mine (who is absolutely lovely as a person, to me anyway), has got herself into a bit of a pickle with steeling and fraud.

For example, she goes into Debenhams and searches for things (small) without security tags, picks up one of their catalogues, and walks around the store looking deeply interested in things on show before leaving. She also has a 'can't not have something if I bought something' attitude, meaning she'll pick pocket anything, I mean anything, as a little token of thanks (to herself, from the store), for actually buying something.

I was with her last Saturday and I went for lunch together (A13 so no shops around there to take anything).. I asked where she managed to buy all of these genuine goods and sell them on EBay/Facebook selling pages, and this is when she admitted what she does (quite detailed too), in a very proud manner. I was shocked, and somewhat disappointed too because I never saw that one coming, she's a very innocent/bubbly type. She'd do anything for anyone in need, IME.

Furthermore, she says she complains to multiple companies around Christmas time, claiming she was spoken badly of by members of staff in that store and when they conclude that there's no evidence but her word etc, they send her vouchers as a 'good will gesture' of which she then has a '^spend up^, as she put it, in the January sales!

AIBU to be deeply concerned and distance myself from her? She claims she does it as a release from the pressures surrounding her divorce, but to me it's much more than that and that doesn't excuse her actions.

I just don't know what to do, Mumsnet. She's a lovely woman to people but appears very (successfully) deceptive. And claims she's never been caught which I think isn't teaching her a lesson.

AIBU to distance myself? Or, should I leave the situation well alone and keep my nose out. I really don't know.

TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:07:36


iamanintrovert Thu 03-Dec-15 20:09:13


BondJayneBond Thu 03-Dec-15 20:09:17

It would put me off someone. I'd certainly avoid going to shops etc with her, in case she gets caught stealing and you get dragged into it.

Mamagin Thu 03-Dec-15 20:09:58

Distance yourself at a fast trot. And I'd tell her why.

knickernicker Thu 03-Dec-15 20:10:35

She is immoral therefore you can't like her.

TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:10:43

Bond I agree, I certainly wouldn't be shopping with her. I know that may come across as rather arrogant and precious to some, but I really don't want to get mixed up in her wrong doings sad

catfordbetty Thu 03-Dec-15 20:11:41

She is not a "lovely woman". She is a thief and a fraudster. Get a new friend.

Slowjog Thu 03-Dec-15 20:11:50

Id hate this! I'd be completely honest with her and say you're disappointed.

Baconyum Thu 03-Dec-15 20:12:08

I'd bin off and tell her why too!

Slowjog Thu 03-Dec-15 20:13:17

Also it makes her general level honesty questionable - is she honest with you? Can you really trust her as a parson?

GwynethPaltrowIamNot Thu 03-Dec-15 20:15:59

She will get caught
She is not a good person , she steals
Some innocent person will get a bollocking for her actions
Nice .......

CainInThePunting Thu 03-Dec-15 20:16:28

She may have cleptomania (sp?) ?

99percentchocolate Thu 03-Dec-15 20:17:47

I work in retail - if somebody made an allegation about me it would go on my record regardless of if it was true or not. For that alone she doesn't deserve any respect. I personally couldn't be friends with somebody who would play with somebody's else's life and ability to put food on the table for some flipping shopping vouchers.
What a wanker. (Her, not you)

Zucker Thu 03-Dec-15 20:21:12

Distance yourself OP, I bet she's on some security guard's or shop staff's radar somewhere. It won't be long before someone cottons on to her.

TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:25:33

It's not even the big companies losing out on a few quid that bothers me, it's the sheer immorality, the fact that some innocent person, who could be as nice as pie, is at risk of losing their job/being penalised over a false accusation sad

TheDowagerCuntess Thu 03-Dec-15 20:26:18

There will be retail staff being needlessly bollocked, disciplined, cautioned and possibly having to undergo extra training, because of her.

Bubbly and innocent she may be, but she's not exactly a force for good in the world, is she?

Dreamiesrcatopium Thu 03-Dec-15 20:26:37

I don't understand what she does in Debenhams? Gets a catalogue and pickpockets somebody?

TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:28:16

No, she's not TheDawge, you're right there.

As for personally trust, I feel very weary of her now but she's never lied to me etc and everyone who knows her seems to think she's fab. Perhaps our circle will question why I'm distancing myself from her? sad

Hiddlesnake Thu 03-Dec-15 20:33:40

Every honest customer has to pay for these actions of a dishonest person.

TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:33:49

Dream no she picks up small items and hides them behind the catalogues.

AskBasil Thu 03-Dec-15 20:45:20

I'd be honest with her

I'd tell her that I feel really bad about her stealing and that I don't want to go shopping with her anymore because I don't want to risk being caught with her.

And I'd ask her to consider what people on this thread have pointed out - that when she does stuff like this, she puts a perfectly blameless shop assistant under immense stress and that is not fair and not decent behaviour.

But I'd also wonder if there is any underlying reason why she does this tbh - it's v. risky behaviour and it's not something someone psychologically healthy would do. It's not as if she's stealing food from Morrisons because she can't afford to buy it - that's an explicable thing to do. Stealing for kicks, is not always, but often a sign of someone who needs help. But you probably can't give that, that's a counsellor's job.

Just tell her that you don't feel you can be as close friends with her anymore because of what she's told you. Be honest with her, it might give her the kick up the arse she needs to sort herself out. And if not, as least she's not left wondering why she's lost a friend.

clam Thu 03-Dec-15 20:47:49

I just don't see how you can separate the two issues: her being a thief, and yet also, you say, a lovely person. They're intertwined. There's no way I could respect someone who did this and so I would have nothing to do with her at all.

MermaidVsSailor Thu 03-Dec-15 20:48:08

I had a friend like this. I ignored her behaviour and (stupidly) went out shopping with her, she ended up stealing a necklace and getting caught. On our way out, two security guards stopped us and made us go into the back offices. Ended up getting banned from that store for life. It was HUMILIATING - they wouldn't believe I wasn't in on it and to be walked around the store to the back, in front of other customers... it was awful.
I would definitely distance yourself.

TudorTrace Thu 03-Dec-15 20:48:55

AskBasil that's very good advice, I really appreciate it.

I've explained to her (whilst having lunch), that I'd be too anxious to shop with her anymore and her reaction was a very unbothered '^aww I don't blame you, I prefer being left to my own devices anyway hun^' sad

I haven't, however, explained that I will be distancing myself a little bit because I feel she's doing something indescribable to me. I'm also concerned about what our circle of friends will think if I'm clearly distancing myself from her.

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