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Why People With Shoplift

Why People With Money Shoplift

When Caroline Giuliani, daughter of former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, walked out of Sephora yesterday, she had a little over $100 worth of makeup in her purse and $320 in her wallet.

We didn't need to know she had the money on her to know she could pay for it, but having enough cash to cover loot is a common narrative in the history of shoplifters. About half are financially secure and educated, and they rarely commit any other crimes.

Shoplifters Anonymous says
it's rarely about poverty, greed, or even need. It's the thrill of getting something for nothing, and that can be additive. One out of every three shoplifters does take it up as a hobby. But what's so thrilling about slipping mineral blush into your pocket? Find out below.

  • Substitute for loss: This is probably overintellectualizing, but shoplifting can fill the void if a person feels she's been unfairly deprived (divorce, death, illness, job).
  • Feeling of being in control: This should be no surprise. Getting away with something can make you feel in control, because you are — unless you get caught.
  • Revenge: Often a would-be shoplifter won't go into a store with the intention of stealing, but will do it after a slight from a store owner or employee.
  • Self-nourishment: Retail therapy is a time-tested means to treat yourself, and it's pretty much the same impulse that drives shoplifters to steal. In fact, they're most likely to strike around their birthdays or the holidays.
  • Relief: Anxiety, frustration, and boredom can all be temporarily relieved by shoplifting, but depression is the main emotion. One-third of shoplifters are estimated to suffer from it, and it's the most common physiological problem among them.

Ultimately, it's a maladaptive way of dealing, or not dealing, with life's problems. It's like comforting yourself with food or alcohol or excessive exercise — except it's illegal.

Image Source: WireImage
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Join The Conversation
betty-kraker betty-kraker 5 years
never a shoplifter always a spender i always enjoyed the paying in cash or the swipe of the card i love shopping good thing its school time and i get to go spend lots of money and get some good deals
runningesq runningesq 5 years
Anon -- I prosecute people like you. Enjoy explaining to a future employer why you have a theft on your record.
skigurl skigurl 5 years
Having the money to pay for something and then actually wanting to pay for it versus spending that money on other stuff are two completely different things. I have $100 for makeup 10 times over, but I know that $100 on makeup isn't really the best way to spend my money - I need clothes or stuff for the house or a trip away this weekend a lot more. I feel guilty when I spend too much on stuff I don't need, even though I have a good disposable income to do so. So just because she had $320 doesn't mean that's just $320 laying around begging to be spent on bronzer. Not that she should be allowed to steal the makeup either - she has a problem obviously, if she did that just for sh*ts and giggles, but I'm just saying that the money in her wallet may have been earmarked for something else.
stephley stephley 5 years
I feel kind of sorry for her - her parents blew the family up very publicly.
runningesq runningesq 5 years
And it sucks for the rest of us, who have to pay for what shoplifters steal.
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