When I was in 9th grade, I had two best friends, K and M (I’m sure I’ve mentioned them both before). I’ve also mentioned this girl, S, in my Physical Altercations post… after we were done hating each other– we became friends. You know how friendships in High School and Junior High were.
K and M were in Competition Cheerleading, our High School’s cheerleaders were actually pretty good and were able to compete in FL plenty of times. When K and M were in it, they had a competition at the biggest mall in America.
S and I went to watch them compete. We had to be there before the mall even opened to the public. We just sat around and watched the cheerleaders get ready.
When the competition finally started, S and I didn’t actually watch it.
There was this dance coming up. The theme was Fire & Ice. S told me she could teach me how to shoplift while they competed. She asked K and M if they wanted a fire or ice dress for the dance. She also told them her plan and they didn’t believe she could steal us all a dress for the dance… I didn’t believe it either but, I was going to see it all happen with my own eyes.
S and I went shopping around for their dresses first. We got K’s dress, M’s dress, and mine from the same store. S taught me how to remove the tags and which tags needed to be removed. All tags are removable except the ink ones and the beeping ones, not all even need to be removed.
On our way to the store, she bought a 50 cent mall tote so she could put her chosen items into it. She went into the dressing room and stuffed all three of our dresses into this bag and when she walked out of the store, the alarms went off. They stopped her and checked her purse only; she claimed that her debit/credit card kept making the alarms in every store go off, that had to be why the alarms went off. The employee let her go without checking her tote. I had already walked out of the store and I was watching her from afar.
Then, we had to run to the bathroom because she knew she had missed a tag. She found the one she missed and popped it off in front of me. Now, I knew how to remove them on my own.
We went to find heels, jewelry, and some makeup. S let me pick out anything I wanted and she stole it all for me. We didn’t manage to find K and M any heels. S was mad about getting caught and said that if they wanted shoes they had to be there to shop with her.
When their competition was over, we told them we got their dresses and they were absolutely amazed and so was I.
On a different date, we went to everyone’s favorite superstore to get K’s heels. S did all of the stealing here, too. She grabbed a big purse from the purse section and went around and put everything she wanted in that bag. She then grabbed the shoes K wanted and walked out with the new bag (and a bunch of shit inside of it, too) on her shoulder and the heels in her hands, in plain sight. (M ended up having her mom buy her shoes for her on her own time.)
After these two lessons from S, I became a straight up kleptomaniac.
Throughout most of High School, I would steal all kinds of makeup, jewelry, clothes– anything I wanted! Not just small things, either. After every trip to the mall or super drug stores– I would have gotten myself at least 3 new outfits, jewelry for each outfit including earrings, bracelets, rings… makeup from everyone’s favorite makeup store… I’d not only get one color of fancy single pods of eyeshadows or lipsticks, I’d steal it in every color. Whenever the employees would ask me if I needed help; I’d be like “oh my gosh!! YES! I can NOT decide what color to choose. They’re all so amazing!” They’d laugh and leave me alone. Oh. Don’t forget the shoes. I would get a pair to match each new outfit, too!
One time I had on this brand new track suit from everyone’s favorite lingerie store and my dad was finally like… “how do you keep getting all of these new clothes?” I told him I borrowed them from my friends. I taught M and K and my sister how to steal. K and I would go all of the time together and we’d both get a bunch of shit each time. My sister and M were more nervous about it and would make me steal things for them but, I’d often force them to take them their own things once in awhile, too.
One day, I stole a measly book from a popular gimmick store and I got caught. I (read: my dad) had to pay them $50 and that was that. My mom was extremely pissed, she picked me up from the mall and dragged me out by my hair… and my dad was like, “I knew it!”
I continued to steal after this because I didn’t care about the consequences. After all, I didn’t have to pay it. My dad did.
Then, one night… my sister, my dad, and I went to MN’s main grocery store. My sister lent me her purse so I could steal us some new makeup. As we were walking out a big security man stopped us at the door and brought me upstairs. He emptied my purse and took back everything I stole. My dad had to pay $100 to the store and then another $100 for a theft class that him and I both had to attend… together.
I still stole after that. The class only taught me more things to look out for when I stole. I made my biggest steal of a $200 Obey jacket from that one skater store, even after I got caught. Then, when K got caught at a different location at the same grocery store I got caught at… only it was a couple years later… I finally quit and so did she. I knew that she was going to get caught and I ran to the car and waited for an hour in there while she had to talk to the police. It reminded me of the first time when S almost got caught but K didn’t get off scot-free the way S did… her mom had to pay a large fee to the store.
The consequences are much more severe for adults who shoplift but as a teen… the consequences are more put upon your parents. It didn’t matter to me back then. I would never, ever do such a thing now (I promise!!). Even if I somehow got away with something for free; I’d go back and pay for it, nowadays.
Please, do not try stealing at your local mall (or any other stores). I was a very bad, rebellious child… but those were the days, man. Shopping and dressing up for school used to be so fun.
Have you ever shoplifted? What did you take? Did you get caught?
Featured Image by Micheile Henderson