Do You Tattle On Shoplifters?

in dsound •  last month


The question is....when you see someone commit a small crime like for example, shoplifting, do you stop them? Do you talk to an employee? Do you call the cops? Or do you do what most people do an just ignore it so as not to inconvenience yourself or involve yourself? It's an interesting moral topic because you can't steal THAT much by shoplifting but do you stand by your principal no matter what the value is or does it only kick in when it's something of more worth, like say a car?
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Interesting question.

On the one hand, there's not reporting them - so zero personal safety issues (if you're seen reporting shoplifters, you could always be susceptible to a revenge attack).

On the other hand, 'shrinkage' (stock that gets stolen) will no doubt add to the prices other shoppers have to pay for items. Why should you pay more to cover others acquiring goods for nothing?

Then, ultimately, you have to consider kleptomania as a mental illness or, worse still, that the person shoplifting does so to cover for more serious issues - eg. drug addiction. Therefore, reporting shoplifters might just see you helping a person in the long run.

Edit: Of course, you could apply all / most of the above to just about any situation where someone isn't paying what they're supposed to for something (eg. taxes, royalties etc.) and lots of other types of crime for personal gain.

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Damn you really broke it down!!

Having worked in retail and customer service for shops, I can say that when things go missing, the employees are also suspects and it's no fun. Especially when it IS an employee until they are caught out. If there was a shoplifter, we would get warned and scolded for not being vigilant enough, because our boss is also going to get warned and scolded. I think I would report the shoplifter to the person working at the store. Even if they can't do anything about it, because I would do so discretely so that the shoplifter would not know that I was reporting them, they would know and their manager would know. I would do it for the clerk's sake, more than to report someone, so that the innocent person doesn't get accused of either stealing or not doing their job properly.

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Damn I didn't know it was so ruthless! That's some very interesting insight!

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Yeah. It's in the contracts we sign, to respect the store's property and to be vigilent is part of the job. I mean, if something small got stolen, that's one thing. Bigger things are more serious. If it happens too often while certain people are on shift, then those people are switched around and watched by the supervisors and suspected. The thing is, some shoplifters, if they get away with it while one person's on shift, then they'll always come back during that person's shifts to shoplift, knowing they won't get caught out. This doesn't happen all the time, but it has happened at least a few times in the years I worked in retail.

And then it's a question of going up the food chain. If something major was stolen or shoplifting happens often enough, employees are warned and checked by the store manager, because the store is losing money from this, and the manager is being warned and such by the district manager. The district manager in turn is being warned by their superior. And then the president of the store chain, if one locale loses money from shoplifters, accumulated over time, or if something huge got stolen and was not noticed, they demand that it be remedied: that employees are fired, managers are switched to see if the manager is responsible, sometimes a manager gets fired or a assistant manager, or at the extreme cases, the locale gets closed.

Alerting an employee of a shoplifter lets them take note that something was taken, take stock and inventory, take note of the shoplifter's description, so then everyone working there is informed and that person isn't allowed to shop there and can be apprehended.