I was in the men's department at Target today, and while thumbing through the clearance rack, I saw a nice looking, 20-something year old guy at the next rack. He was dressed in typical Little 5 Points attire- faded jeans, vintage T-shirt, etc. But there was something strange about him. Although he was thumbing through the clothes, he didn't appear to be looking at them, but off into the distance somewhere. Then I saw him bring his hand to his mouth and talk into it. I figured it out- he was store security and he was watching a lady in the shoe department. I was intrigued, so I watched the lady for a minute myself. She had two little girls with her, about 5 or 6 years old, and they were both wearing backpacks. I watched as the Mom handed a pair of shoes to one of the girls, who immediately put them in the other girl's backpack and zipped it back up. The security guy and I followed this woman throughout the store and witnessed her and her kids as they filled the backpacks up with as much loot as they would hold. They had the bags full of clothes, shoes, videos, CD's, games, toys, candy and Halloween costumes. I don't know how these little girls were able to walk with the weight of their stolen goods on their backs, but they seemed to be fine as they skipped out the door. However, just outside the doorway was the cutie-pie security officer and a policeman. Cutie whipped out his badge and told the woman they needed to talk to her. They took the backpacks off of the children and escorted the three of them into a private room. I was sorry that I wasn't able to go into the private room with them, since I felt that I was part of the "sting", but I'm sure they were capable of handling the situation without me.
This woman is obviously the worst example of a parent that I can imagine. Did she think for a second of the lesson that she's teaching these young girls? I guess the lesson is, if you see something you want and you can't afford it you can just take it. It's free! Today she taught her kids to steal. A few years from now, these girls will be breaking into houses, robbing banks and committing all kinds of crimes. They will grow up thinking that the police are the enemy. They will have no respect for laws, because Mom taught them at an early age that laws don't apply to them. I hope they threw the book at that scumbag!
I shoplifted once in my life. I was about 5 years old and Mom and I had stopped at the "Stop 'n Go" for something. When no one was looking, I slipped a pack of baseball cards in my pocket. On the way home in the car, I pulled out the pack and opened it to get the stick of gum out. Mom noticed it and turned the car around. We went back to the "Stop 'n Go" and I had to go inside and tell the store owner what I had done, return the cards and apologize. It was very embarssing and very humbling. I learned a lesson that day and never did it again. Imagine the lesson I would've learned if I had gotten away with it that day?
Judge Judy wrote a book a few years ago entitled "Don't Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It's Raining". In it she tells of the time that one of her children shoplifted something minor, like a pack of baseball cards. She took the kid back into the store and told the owner "If you ever see this kid in your store again, have him arrested!". A little over the top, but she got her point across!