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To have said something re. shoplifter...

(214 Posts)
escapedfrommordor Wed 03-Feb-16 16:43:52

This has been playing on my mind since this morning.
I was doing the food shop and I saw a lady in the baby aisle. You know when you radar sort of goes off? Her behaviour just seemed "off" and I saw her pick up a bunch of baby food pouches and walk off to the next aisle. Straight after that I saw her walk between two tills and out of the exit. She didn't have any bags or anything and there were no other tills open.
I said to the lady on the till "Sorry I think that lady has just left with a load of baby food and not paid..." and she just kinda shrugged it off! She said "Oh I'll remember her face for next time."
I went back to my shopping and then paid at the till the member of staff was on and we chatted about it. She seemed to be of the opinion she must be desperate if she's stealing baby food and that it was sad.
Would you have said something or assume she was in dire need and ignored it? Wondering if I'm just a bit heartless..

formerbabe Wed 03-Feb-16 16:50:35

I'd ignore... because I'm not a security guard and I don't give a dam quite frankly.

jopickles Wed 03-Feb-16 16:55:20

I don't think you are heartless, she may have been desperate and that of course is an awful situation but if people can just walk out of shops with whatever they like the shops have to make up the loss somehow, which in turn makes price increases for people who do pay for their shopping. I would have said something to the staff but I suppose there isn't much you can do if they don't take it further, chances are the staff are too afraid to confront people

MuttonDressedAsMutton Wed 03-Feb-16 16:56:37

I'd assume it was not my business. I'd assume the store had the good sense to employ and pay security staff. I'd remind myself that you never know another person's circumstances. I'd know that she'll get caught eventually and will find herself in a world of trouble. There was no point you telling the till operator - she's not paid to go chasing after people and possibly getting hurt and anyway - what would happen to her till if she upped and legged it?

Did you actually SEE this woman conceal the items?

cansu Wed 03-Feb-16 16:59:51

No I wouldn't have said anything. She is not exactly legging it out of the shop with goods to sell on. I would imagine she is desperate. Anyway it is none of my business and I would not be poking my nose in.

FedoraTheExplora Wed 03-Feb-16 17:02:11

Definitely wouldn't say anything. She's hardly going to be nicking a couple of baby pouches to fund an extravagant lifestyle is she? If it was me, I would have gone and given her a fiver and told her to go in and buy a few more. Poor woman and poor baby

MuttonDressedAsMutton Wed 03-Feb-16 17:07:11

Well said Fedora

wannaBe Wed 03-Feb-16 17:14:57

I probably would have said something if I'd noticed, not out of expectation that they should do something but out of shock at the brazen cheek she had walked out of the shop.

In another town I used to live in a man picked up two bottles of wine and then walked out of the shop and stopped to untie his dog he'd left outside. shock

And "we don't know her circumstances," is bollocks. She's a shoplifter. Whether she's stealing to sell on the goods or stealing because she can't be arsed to pay or won't pay or couldn't afford to because she has to pay for her cigarettes or wine or drugs or whether she is just having a hard time, there aren't degrees of stealing. Stealing is stealing. If she gets caught she is still guilty.

WorraLiberty Wed 03-Feb-16 17:15:32

I would have assumed that like tons of other people, she realised she didn't want it, so bunged it on another shelf because she couldn't be bothered to put it back where she got it from.

Whenever I walk around the supermarket there are random items shoved on various shelves.

Hastagwhatever Wed 03-Feb-16 17:18:29

I'd have said nothing. Needs must and all that.

ghostspirit Wed 03-Feb-16 17:22:54

if she did take them without paying then i feel really sorry for her and baby sad i would never report something like that. but then thats me.

FedoraTheExplora Wed 03-Feb-16 17:23:29

*And "we don't know her circumstances," is bollocks. She's a shoplifter. Whether she's stealing to sell on the goods or stealing because she can't be arsed to pay or won't pay or couldn't afford to because she has to pay for her cigarettes or wine or drugs or whether she is just having a hard time, there aren't degrees of stealing. Stealing is stealing. If she gets caught she is still guilty.*
hmm] if somebody got caught stealing food for their child, and somebody else got caught stealing TVs and selling them on to fund their 6 holidays a year, they would be looked upon very differently by a judge. And thank goodness for that! I hope you never have to see your kids go hungry, though I wonder if you would see the world in quite such black and white terms if you had.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 03-Feb-16 17:26:17

Bloody hell wannabe your post is just chock full of frankly horrible sterotyping bollocks!

Roussette Wed 03-Feb-16 17:26:37

I would probably not have said anything given it was baby food. Not sure.

However, in my little corner shop I saw a young boy (maybe 8 or so) and he literally was filling his pockets with chocolate and sweets.

He then left without paying and I queued to pay for my stuff. As I drove along, I saw him. He was nonchalantly walking up the road with a curly wurly sticking out his gob happy as larry. I stopped the car, wound down the window and said "Oi, I saw you. Next time I'm dobbing you in. Don't do it again".

His face was a picture - I'd like to think I've saved him from a life of crimegrin

SaucyJack Wed 03-Feb-16 17:27:30

"because she has to pay for her cigarettes or wine or drugs or whether she is just having a hard time,"

Even if she is stealing because she's spent her child benefit on Special Brew, then at least the poor baby will get some dinner.

Nobody goes out robbing baby food because they're living the dream.

HelsBels3000 Wed 03-Feb-16 17:27:40

wow there's some kind-hearted comments on here today hmm

OurBlanche Wed 03-Feb-16 17:28:19

I walked behind a well dressed lady with an enormous handbag, hanging open, off her elbow. We were in M+S (I was passing through for a chocolate treat for DH, not the Ugly Clothes, and I had a voucher, promise smile)

She swept along an aisle and casually brushed against every item of clothing.

I turned to see if I could see a security guard and 2 members of staff 'shushed' me and smiled. You could hear her swearing and shouting as she was apprehended at the door. I was also 'restrained', OK, asked to give a statement. I hate to think how much clobber she has swished into that bag!

Sometimes you have to wonder at the cheek. Other times, maybe that cashier was right!

catsinthecraddle Wed 03-Feb-16 17:29:45

I am not sure what I would do, but I can't find much sympathy for a thief.

It's easy to spend money on non-essential, and then claiming sympathy for the essentials ones, oldest trick in the book. There are enough food bank, and helping structures in this country to ensure no one has to starve, especially with a young baby!

Anyway, I think WorraLiberty has the best explanation.

ghostspirit Wed 03-Feb-16 17:33:29

im not sure how easy food banks are to use. i have heard things like they are only open so many days/hours... or can only be used 3 times a year. i know there is help out there but im not sure how easy it is to get that help when desperate.

yankeecandle4 Wed 03-Feb-16 17:35:34

I would be shocked but probably wouldn't have said anything. I hope (if she did in fact steal, rather than as another poster said left it on another aisle) it was for her baby rather than shoplifting to sell on. Don't assume she is a desperate mother; a family member works in a large supermarket and the stories they tell about persistent shoplifters are truly shocking. One of them is bringing a baby in a large silver cross type pram (the baby usually isn't theirs) and stuffing frozen turkeys into it, which they then sell on much cheaper. There is a market for everything.

BitOutOfPractice Wed 03-Feb-16 17:36:27

Yeah yeah, the poor are living on easy street aren't they? Wander into a food bank off the street and stock up on caviar any time they like. For pity's sake

MuttonDressedAsMutton Wed 03-Feb-16 17:38:14

I don't think there's much resale value in nicked baby food pouches tbh. But anyway - OP still hasn't been back to confirm whether or not the alleged shoplifter was actually seen concealing the items before leaving the store.

OurBlanche Wed 03-Feb-16 17:40:01

But we do supply food for anyone in need via a number of different agencies. We may only open a few days a week, but our food boxes are available 24/7 via referring agencies, from CAB to GPs, Sure Start to your local vicar.

PanMama Wed 03-Feb-16 17:41:55

I wouldn't have because it was baby food.

Alcohol, electrical goods, perfumes them yes but there's something very sad and desperate about somebody stealing baby food. It's not a sell on item. She obviously needed it.

OutWithTheDogs Wed 03-Feb-16 17:44:46

Ohh, a classic MN conundrum. I'd have said something but not worried about it IYSWIM

Stealing is never ok.

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