Have you ever shoplifted? I bet you have. Over 80% of the population in the US have shoplifted at least once in their lives. Some may think, “I take so little, so it doesn’t matter.” Wrong. Everything shoplifted makes a difference in most people’s lives. You may not realize it, so I’ll help you. Shoplifting is NOT a victimless crime. It affects everyone, even the shoplifter. Over a third of stores in the US are forced to close because of this issue. Therefore, every person who shoplifted there is responsible for putting everyone who worked there out of work. So they can’t feed themselves or their families. When someone shoplifts from a store, that store is forced to raise the prices of their goods in order to account for the unpaid merchandise. Because of this, studies show that people pay $440 a year more for things they need than if nobody ever shoplifted from that store. This is very bad for single parents trying to scrape up enough money to feed their families. You may think that the shoplifter doesn’t pay, but he/she does. If caught, their family and friends could lose trust in them, and deep down, they always know what they’re doing is wrong. The guilt builds up in them so much that they could lose their own self respect. But studies show that, like drugs and nicotine, shoplifting is addictive. The more one shoplifts the more it becomes less and less real. It becomes so much like a game they don’t care whether it’s right or wrong. Peer pressure is also a big issue on this topic. Friends might encourage each other to shoplift the newest/coolest thing on the market. Add if that friend is reluctant, they might shame him/her for being “goody-two-shoes.” This doesn’t have to happen. Stopping shoplifting starts with you. Otherwise, you might be left with up to a $10,000 fine.
By Roger Malsch