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Would you intervene if you saw someone shoplifting?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 29, 2005

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Photo of Stefanie Schaffer

“Yes, because it’s wrong. I’d probably go tell someone that works there and let them handle it.”

Photo of Angelo Covert

“I think I would. I’ve been stolen from, and it’s a bad feeling.”

Photo of Gabriel Rich

“It depends where I saw them shoplifting. If it was at Wal-Mart or something, I probably wouldn’t. If it was at a local store, I definitely would.”

Photo of Jessica Johnson

“I would have to say that I hope that I would intervene, but I would have to be in that situation to know for sure.”

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enochville 12 years, 4 months ago

Yes. I'd tell the store clerk or manager.

What is up with Gabriel Rich's answer? I always find it disturbing when people justify morally corrupt behavior due to some superiority complex. I am sure many posters will cite lots of other examples of this phenomenon. :)

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 4 months ago

I've been in retail since I was 16 . . . Even_Money is right, the most responsible thing you can do is tell someone working there. If you confront a person with enough nerve to shoplift in the first place, there's no telling how they will react. It could be potentially dangerous, as shoplifters come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. [Sorry, little bit of retail humor there. Nyuk nyuk.]

Seriously, if you must "say" something, follow them around and give them knowing and disappointed glances.

GreenEyedBlues 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh yeah and if you do shoplift, you're an @sshole.

italianprincess 12 years, 4 months ago

I got caught shop lifting at the age of eight and it scared the cr@p out of me. I stole a comb, blue eye shadow, and something else that I can't remember. The store manager scared me so much that I never did it again. You figure this was back in 1973/74 when things weren't to bad.

If one of kids were to steal now and I found out I would take them right back to the store. I would have them ask for the manager themselves and tell that person that he stole from his store. This gives him a bit of a scare and would hopefully make him think. I could take it a but farther and involve the police if it happened again. Remember the show " Scared Straight " ........I do believe it works to show them where they would end up if they were to keep stealing.

As far as the question of the day goes..........I would go and tell someone who works there ( a manager most likely ) and let them handle it. You never know people these days and how they would handle you trying to be a hero.

Bundle up everyone , drive carefully and have a great day.

neopolss 12 years, 4 months ago

What do you mean blue73harley? We pick and choose morality all the time. Look how many people choose to follow the Bible's message supposedly against homosexuality, but do not follow the same teachings that oppose women wearing a man's clothing (pants), eating pig's meat, or being in the same room as a woman menstruating.

But yes, I have a bone to pick with this topic. While I feel strongly that stealing from an individual is malicious and wrong, don't think for a second that some of us haven't abused a store policy on a return, or received a discount we probably shouldn't have. I hate to say it, but there's plenty here who would take the moral high road, but know in the back of their head that it is only a camera and a security guard that keeps us in check. We're not morally upright people. We're fearful of repurcussions.

Anyway, since were talking stealing, continue to support the downloading of mp3 and wmv movie files. The MPAA and RIAA are nothing short of legalised mobs. Their tired business tactics and price fixing needs to end. The corporate greed structure built around copyright needs to end. Free exchange between fans is not wrong, or immoral - it's data, nothing more. It's not theft by customer, it's theft by corporation.

trinity 12 years, 4 months ago

would i intervene? you bet, and it depends on the shoplifter what the method of intervention would be.

let's flesh out this question a bit shall we? i'm in a debating mood, heh. what if you saw an unkempt hungry looking child ripping off a loaf of bread? or an elderly person who you'd just seen at the pharmacy spending nearly their last dime on their medicine?

i remember this type of dilemma being presented in some college classes...always brought about a lively discussion.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 4 months ago

...but do not follow the same teachings that oppose women wearing a man's clothing (pants), eating pig's meat, or being in the same room as a woman menstruating.

Actually a lot of people DO follow these teachings. Orthodox Jews do. Christians aren't required to adhere to such Mosaic Law though. That went out the window when Jesus arrived.

Sigmund 12 years, 4 months ago

If someone will steal stuff from Walmart, what makes you think they won't steal your stuff? If someone can justify stealing stuff from Walmart, what makes you think that can't justify stealing your stuff?

At one time Lawrence merchants had a system where if one merchant suspected someone had stolen stuff from them they would call two other merchnats to be on the look out for the suspect(s). Those two merchants would call two others and so on (yes, Walmart was on the call list). Those who were caught and convicted, or pled guilty, or entered diversion, were forbidden from shopping in that store for a year, and the other merchants would watch those folks quite closely.

If I remember correctly this practice was challenged as illegal because it violated privacy rights, but since it did not involve governmental action it did not violate the law.

galfromku 12 years, 4 months ago

It would depend on the situation. If it was some kid stealing a CD or a person stealing something they really did not need..... probably. If it was an elderly or homeless person taking food..... I wouldn't. In fact, I'd probably just take a food item just like it with me to the checkout, and pay for it myself, then let the store keep it and tell them I saw a poor person take one just like it. It's that pay it forward thing..... just 'cause its the right thing to do.. MERRY CHRISTMAS !

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

Yes, unless they were stealing porn. Then I'd just assume they couldn't afford the taxes.

Aiko 12 years, 4 months ago

I was in a Dillards in Texas sevreral years ago and witnessed a young guy attempted to take a stack of jeans and a handful of watches and as a 55+ year old lady attempted to stop him at the door he puched her square in the face and she dropped. He continued to run but several other employees and customers chased him into the parking lot and he was busted. So with that being said, be careful when confronting these no working, stealing #@$%$#.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

I prefer the middle two-thirds of even money's fourth paragraph from nine days ago.

raven 12 years, 4 months ago

Trinity: If I saw someone I thought was needy stealing from a store I would tell them I would be happy to purchase that item for them and a few other things (depending on price and if I can afford it) that they need as well. I would not tell on them I would just try my best to help them. Certainly if they refused my help and still wanted to just take the item, I wouldn't know what to do. I would have to cross that bridge if I get there.

justathought 12 years, 4 months ago

What about the I love dillons guy?? anyone remember that dude...he stole from dillons constantly and they just let him because it wasn't worth the trouble.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

oops e_m, I guess it was the eighth paragraph, seven days ago. But only the middle part.

Actually, my last post would have been really funny if it had appeared immediately after TOB's last post.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

My true life story: I too got caught stealing as a kid. 3rd grade, two bags of peanut M&Ms, one in each front pocket, caught trying to sneak out of the 7-11 looking like a squirrel carrying nuts up a tree the way my little pockets bulged. The owner was an old, tall drink of water with a permanent crick in his neck that tilted his head to the left. Scary SOB (to a 3rd grader that is -- I'm sure he was a nice guy to adults). He called my parents, they were disappointed in me, I cried. Never stole anything again.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

I worked enough retail (all the way through college, and a couple of pickup holiday seasons for extra cash) to know that a lot of them have their hands tied on shoplifters. At my longest-running retail gig (almost two years at a toy store), no one but a manager could confront a shoplifter, and the manager had to have seen the person hide or take something, and maintained a clear line of sight until they left the store, then catch them after they crossed the lease line but before they vanished into the crowd. It made it nigh-impossible to catch shoplifters, so instead if he was pretty sure but store policy forbid him from challenging them, my boss would call a few of the other stores in the mall, and security, and let them know he had a suspected shoplifter, with the description. Usually the person got caught in another store, and we got our merchandise back.

Because I know the employees at a lot of small stores are essentially powerless because they don't have video cameras, if I see someone taking something, I cheerfully (and fairly loudly) say, "Why, I never thought of carrying my stuff in my pockets! What a handy idea, especially since they don't have those little baskets here, like at the grocery store! I'd just be double sure I took it out at the register. Sure wouldn't want to accidentally shoplift!" Then I smile like a nice, friendly, helpful person.

Some people will put down what they're carrying and leave the store, some will go pay for it. If they try to brazen it out, there's not much you can do, but most people don't have that sort of guts, because they know that store personnel probably heard you and they're afraid of getting stopped at the door.

If I saw someone who looked hungry or poor stealing food, however, I'd probably say quietly, "Hey, the store has cameras, and if you walk out the door with that you'll get caught. I know it's hard to accept help, but come up to the front with me and I'll buy you one of those giftcards for this store so you can get some groceries." Then, depending on the state of my disposable income budget, I'd buy them a 25 or 50 dollar giftcard so that they could get a little food to get them by for a few days.

bankboy119 12 years, 4 months ago

Badger you're right about workers being powerless to stop people now. It is pretty ridiculous. My brother worked for a grocery store when he was in high school and on more than one occasion saw some one stealing but the managers wouldn't do anything about it. At another grocer in Lawrence, they got in trouble because the thief didn't have the merchandise on them when they caught him. He was stuffing meat into his coat and when he was confronted he started running and by the time the personnel got to him he had thrown everything out. The laws today make it pretty easy for people to steal.

sunflower_sue 12 years, 4 months ago

OMB, great state motto yesterday! Me likey!

Neopolss, What Blueharley was saying was that you wouldn't say it was OK for Fred to be gay...but not Steve. You wouldn't want Jane to bleed next to you, but you'd let Kathy. Get it?

e_m, How's that vacation going?;)

True story: My sister was working and saw a shoplifter get away from their "security guy." She ran after the shoplifting @ss and sacked him like an overzealous lineman. She proceeded to lay on top of him, rough him up a little, and holler for backup (while her co-workers looked on, stunned into nonaction). Needless to say, the guy was caught. Moral of the story (for Gabriel Rich): Pick and choose your morality all you want, but if you come across a premenstral woman with an edge...kiss your shoplifting butt goodbye!!!

(The store caught all of this on tape and I'd pay good money to see it as my sister does not look like the type to tackle a grown man for any reason. You just never know!) Way to go, sis!

neopolss 12 years, 4 months ago

e_m, there's several reasons that the business model of the RIAA has gone awry.

1) I see a very poor business model that has fought the digital download age tooth and nail, impeding the overall progress of their own industry.

2) It's poor business to sue your own customers constantly.

3) The consumer has been lead into a belief that they need to repurchase a movie or song everytime a new format comes out. They've already bought the song once, the continued milking needs to end.

4) Musicians make almost nothing from the RIAA. 2 - 3 cents from a 99 cent download goes to the artist. Most artists make their money not from CD sales, but from concerts, memorabilia, and royalties from movie licensing and commercials. The rest goes to the RIAA.

5) Did you know that every CDR, DVDR, and burner sold has a taxed amount that goes to the RIAA? This was supposed to offset the amount lost to piracy. The RIAA would prefer you not know that.

6) Despite the claim of millions of revenue lost by the RIAA, the data collected from sales shows quite the opposite. In Napster's heyday, sales actually increased for the music industry.

7) If you own a CD or movie, why is it illegal for you to share it with anyone you want? You bought it. By that logic, it should be illegal to let anyone else come over to watch a movie without a purchase.

8) The strongarm tactics need to end. The RIAA sends out hundreds of lawsuits, threatening to press charges or settle for $3,000 - $5,000. Even those who are innocent (and there are plenty), most cannot risk a courtroom fight or afford it. Congrats. The RIAA has found a way to make blackmail legal.

9) Don't support an industry who seeks to attack privacy laws for the sake of its own interests. The RIAA wants ISPS to provide any information on a customer if it asks. Currently the courts have upheld that the ISPS are not required to divulge information about its customers.

The idea of public domain has been shredded by the sheer greed of companies. It really is funny. Our government had to rewrite laws on copyright because they couldn't believe that people online weren't SELLING the material, but were giving it away to each other FREE. I find it hilarious really. The internet ushered in a great era where movies, music, ideas, images, and books were all exchanged freely with each other - it felt almost utopian. And now our capitalist democracy, the icon of freedom, slowly is putting each under lock and key again, for fear that someone might lose a few dollars from the free exchange of ideas.

I know I'm on a rant today, so I apologize to blue73harley. I wasn't trying to sound all that serious, but it was more a curiousity of our human nature that I was stating. I think you got the gist of it though.

neopolss 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh yes, and while on a rant, as far as shoplifting, a lot of places do have their hands tied. Fear of lawsuits really. For one, some people assume shoplifting is pocketing an item. Not necessarily. It is an attempt to leave the store without paying. This can be tricky, because one can legitimately place an item in their coat and purchase it later. I actually do this quite often at Best Buy. I will place a DVD I want in my jacket pocket so that I can continue to browse unimpeded.

OK, I'm done. I'm cranky because my Dalton-Gang-Flint-Hill-Eight-Toed Sloth has prairie squid flu.

Sigmund 12 years, 4 months ago

It's funny the convoluted reasoning people will go through to justify their theft from someone else!

  1. I steal music because they won't let me download it for free, which is not how I would run the business if it was mine.

  2. People who steal music are "customers" (my favorite personal favorite!)

  3. If I bought the book I can steal the movie. If I bought it on vinyl I should get the CD for free.

  4. I'm not stealing from the musicians, therefore it's ok.

  5. I already paid a fee to help offset piracy, therefore I can steal all I want.

  6. Stealing music is actually good for the industry, I'm helping by stealing.

  7. I should be able "share" my copy with people I never met if they share their copies with me.

  8. The fascist actually sue and win cases from people who stole from them. This discourages others from stealing and giving me stuff, unforgiveable.

  9. ISP's don't have to help to catch theives, therefore it's ok if I steal.

Companies that make money by creating, publishing and then charging for music, movies, ideas, images and books are just greedy materialistic capitalists (and probably Republican), and have plenty of money already. I have higher values and morales because I am not materialistic!

dotteboy 12 years, 4 months ago

Is it stealing when people sit in Border's and read books and periodicals while drinking coffee? Even if the coffee they are drinking was purchased at Border's? But not the literature. They haven't paid for it, but they're still reading the material as if they did, pay for it. Isn't that the same as stealing the book because I bought the movie?

Believe it or not, but I once worked at a 7-11. It was company policy not to confront shoplifters. They also advised against chasing them outside and being ambushed by their buddies around the corner of the building. So, what could I do when the pregnant lady walked out of the store with a case of beer?

harrierist 12 years, 4 months ago

Most Stores today have Cameras covering the store. Some Stores pay an internet security firm to monitor all that is seen in their Store. At Wal Mart for example, those black plasitc globes you see attached to a pipe from the ceiling are cameras. Have you every been to a suddenly busy Wal Mart, standing in a long line, with only one or two check-outs. No one else is a round, you don't see the current checkers call for assistance, but suddenly two new checkers appear and start working. All those cameras around, store personel spy all over the store, they see the problem and solve it imediately. Also most stores now days have very low beam microwave monitors that will read a piece of clothing or merchandise and catch shopplifters this way. New malls and shopping centers now build sensors right into the door frame consealed. As another writer said I'd probably tell the store door monitor that someone picked up something and stuff it in thier pocket etc.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

Neopolss -

I hear an infusion of wheatgrass and echinacea can help with the prairie squid flu.

I'm pretty not-happy with the RIAA, m'self. When I was a younger badger, it was common among my friends to take your music collection, pick out your favorite songs, and make mix tapes for road trips. The tapes were swapped, and swapped, and switched back and forth so that sometimes you'd end up with a tape from some person in another state, a friend of a friend of a friend with completely different musical tastes and some really cool songs. Technically, according to the RIAA, that was illegal piracy the moment we handed that tape to another person whether we were trading or not. The thing is, I bought more music from musicians that I heard on those mix tapes than I ever gave away.

I have some copied music that a friend burned for me of a group whose albums are partially available by free download from their website, but mostly available hand-to-hand and fan-to-fan in the US (The Cat Empire) as copies of their last release. If I ever get the chance to buy the music, I'll do so (because I'm a liner note junkie), but it was just flat not even an option.

Try getting original Uncle Tupelo releases. It took me eight years of searching to put together all the songs after my tapes were 'borrowed' out of existence; I ended up with a lot of them as scratchy live versions and copies of copies of copies, and a quick search on one of the engines showed me the same songs available in under an hour with a fast connection. One of the former members has absolutely railed on music file sharing, not because he lost money, but because out of spite against his former partner, he was refusing to allow those songs (he has ownership rights to them) to be performed or recorded by anyone else, rereleased, or anything. He said he just wanted all memory of the band to die, whether people still wanted to hear the music or not (in his words, "The only thing that loser ever did right was team up with me, and I won't let him and his new loser band profit from the association with me"). The irony is that when he realized how many people were downloading it, he repackaged a release and sold it as a ridiculously overpriced double-CD set (remastered so his voice is a lot more prominent and clear than I seem to remember it being in the live shows...) to cash in on the popularity of a band he says he wished never happened. The other irony is that his former partner's 'loser band' Wilco is doing a lot better than his own.

It burns me that under the guise of 'protecting artists' the RIAA supports and defends that kind of dog-in-the-manger garbage and petty infighting. If he'd been losing money on record sales, or if the downloads had hurt him, I could see it, but lambasting the people who exchange the music he created (because they loved it, and it was good music!) because he wants to use intellectual property law as some sort of manhood contest is just arrogant.

staff04 12 years, 4 months ago

About a year ago, I saw someone who appeared to be homeless shoplift a bar of soap from a convenience store. I didn't say anything. I felt guilty for it. They probably would have given him soap if he had just asked for it at the shelter...

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 12 years, 4 months ago

I worked at Dillons when Simon used to come in the store. He would ask for a pen and a pad of paper, walk around the store writing things down, then return the pen and paper. He was asked to leave when he and another man got into a fight. They were both asked to leave.

lunacydetector 12 years, 4 months ago

if you do see someone shoplift you shouldn't let the shoplifter out of your sights, not even for a second. contact store personnel and tell them while still keeping the shoplifter in sight.

shoplifters are known to ditch their stolen booty around a corner or store fixture if they know they've been caught in the act.

a store employee cannot stop the shoplifter until they've passed the store registers or have exited the premises. why would this be? because shoplifters can say they put the item in their coat to carry it to the register. if a shoplifter is nabbed and they haven't passed the registers or left the premises, they can sue the cr*p out of you and the store. chances are, if you see a shoplifter and you tell a store employee - they won't do anything but keep an eye on the culprit - because of liability. if you see someone shoplift and they happen to ditch the item and then they get stopped and don't have anything on their person - they can still sue you or the store -chances are it would be the store because the store employee shouldn't rely on a customer making an accusation.

hottruckinmama 12 years, 4 months ago

personally i'd just go on my way and mind my own business. if he store isn't smart enough to catch them thats their problem.

Aiko 12 years, 4 months ago

We would then have the issue of a bunch of store employees acting like Barny Fife. Could be problematic?????

neopolss 12 years, 4 months ago

Posted by Sigmund

  1. I steal music because they won't let me download it for free, which is not how I would run the business if it was mine.

======================================== If you paid for and own the CD, why is it illegal for you to download a track? You can allow your friends to listen to your CD, so why can you not send them a track over the internet to listen to? ========================================

  1. People who steal music are "customers" (my favorite personal favorite!)

======================================== Believe it or not, many are. You download the track, listen to it, like it, then buy it. Or go to the concert, or buy a shirt, or keychain, etc. Why is downloading it any different than listening to it on the radio?

  1. If I bought the book I can steal the movie. If I bought it on vinyl I should get the CD for free.

======================================== Correct. If you have it on vinyl, by all legitamate purposes, you can return the vinyl to the company and request that they provide you a CD format. Good luck getting the company to honor that law. ========================================

  1. I'm not stealing from the musicians, therefore it's ok.

======================================== Many musicians HAVE given their permission to download their music, yet the RIAA does not have the interest of musicians in mind, and will still prosecute even WITH the musician's permission.

BTW, how does one steal a song? It's not property. If so, everytime you sing a lullaby you'd be paying royalties.

  1. I already paid a fee to help offset piracy, therefore I can steal all I want.

======================================= You'd have to prove that downloading is stealing first. Let's not forget their are legitimate owners who also cannot download. =======================================

  1. Stealing music is actually good for the industry, I'm helping by stealing.

======================================= See above. Prove it. =======================================

  1. I should be able "share" my copy with people I never met if they share their copies with me.

======================================= Isn't that what fans do? Share songs, and interest in their favorite bands? We're not just talking CD tracks, we're talking live recordings, remixes, and unreleased tracks. =======================================

neopolss 12 years, 4 months ago

  1. The fascist actually sue and win cases from people who stole from them. This discourages others from stealing and giving me stuff, unforgiveable.

======================================== Not everyone has downloaded. Ever heard of XDCC? Backdoor MIRC accounts? Many computers are being used to distribute music, etc. without the owners knowledge. Good luck proving it, and good luck mounting enough cash to defend it. You'd pay whether you were guilty or not. ========================================

  1. ISP's don't have to help to catch theives, therefore it's ok if I steal.

======================================== Prove that it is stealing. That's the main crux of the argument. I suppose you prefer companies to simply hand over any pertinant information about you to any company that asks. Why bother protecting your social security if you don't mind giving it to anyone who asks? ========================================

Companies that make money by creating, publishing and then charging for music, movies, ideas, images and books are just greedy materialistic capitalists (and probably Republican), and have plenty of money already. I have higher values and morales because I am not materialistic!

======================================== The sarcasm here is dripping, and yet you never really adressed a reason or argument to support your opinion. You've simply mocked every argument and expected this to hold water. Copyright was NEVER, NEVER, NEVER intended to be 75 years past death before being public domain, nor was it intended to be sold like stocks and bonds. Many of the founders in this country saw the peril in copyright, and argued in favor of the general public. Seeing works as a means to profit for a brief period, and then expiring so that the masses could be enlightened as well.

Copyright has been severly perverted to serve the interests of a corporation. Do you really believe that the MPAA cares about its actors, or the RIAA cares about its artists? No and no.

You as a consumer have been led to believe that it is okay to have to buy the same movie or disc EVERYTIME a new format is introduced. You as a consumer are now not even buying a track, you are simply buying the right to listen to it on a computer. What nonsense is DRM technology? It is nothing more than a system that allows you to listen to a track on your computer, but you cannot burn it, share it, or even hold it for that matter.

To put it a better way, if you bought the CD, then why can't you share it with whoever you want? It's your right? You paid for it. Are you saying that this is wrong to give away something you have purchased? Or is this simply a mouthful of BS served to you by a corporation that wants to bilk a few more dollars from your wallet? I would love to know your reasoning for its immorality.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago

Italianprincess, your shoplifting story made me remember something that happened about a week after I started working at the toy store.

A woman drags a kid, about six years old, into the store. The kid has obviously been crying a great deal. She plants the child in front of me and says sternly and icily, "Now, you tell what you did." He is incoherent. He starts sobbing, and finally holds out a little bouncy ball, the kind you can get from a gum machine for a quarter, or from the 'impulse' counter of your average toy store for about forty cents. He wails, "ItookitI'msosorrypleasedon'tsendmetojail!" She has obviously been very clear with him about shoplifting being a crime, and criminals going to jail.

I take the ball from him, look at the mother, and down at the boy. Mostly, I wanted to tell him it was OK, just not to do it again. Instead, I took an equally stern tone of voice and said, "You know I could call the police and have them come arrest you, right? You know you broke the law?" He sniffles and nods. I say, "Well, I think that this time, if your mom agrees, I won't call the police on you. But until she tells me that you're allowed, you can't come in the store without her, and if you ever steal anything from my store again, I will call the police and have them come take you away."

His mom agreed, and they started to leave. He (coherent now) very politely thanked me for giving him another chance and said again that he was sorry. As they walked out, I heard her say, "And when we get home, you'll help me in the kitchen, and when your father comes home from work, you will tell him what you did. He's going to be very disappointed in you." He hung his head even lower, and from the look on his face you would have thought it was a firing squad waiting for him. I somehow doubt he even thought about shoplifting again for a good long while. I think that sometimes a good dose of "fessing up and dealing with disappointed Dad" is as effective as any grounding, spanking, or lecture could be.

Ember 12 years, 4 months ago

I am not on this planet to police other people's actions.

Most retail stores have surveillance, store walkers and magnetic anti-theft devices. If they are incapable of acting, then they deserve to lose the item or items.

And by the by, most stores are actually capable of filing insurance claims on the stolen property, as well as writing off some losses on their income tax statements, so they are not nearly as put out by the issue as you might think.

Don't believe me, go ask some retailers.

Aiko 12 years, 4 months ago

Agreed OMB, Sid Viscious was far from a great my opinion. He was one hell of a heroin junky though so I will give him props on that.

Aiko 12 years, 4 months ago


The store owners always lose on theft. Trust me, I know. There are no offsets on insurance companies as some may assume. Do you know exactly what I "write off" is and how it works? I am just asking because some people think it is that simple.. I feel the best you can do is keep surveilance and keep an eye out. That is all you can do...

dotteboy 12 years, 4 months ago

OMB, they were hardly good musicians when they ended.

If Dusty Springfield (although I've heard of her) and some of the other groups I haven't heard of, even during my three years as a deliveryman with only AM tuned to the oldies station are in, why not the Sex Pistols?

But then again, why? And before R.E.M? KISS? Van Halen?

neopolss 12 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, I won't be taking a homicide rap defending Walmart's goods. Steal away.

italianprincess 12 years, 4 months ago


What the mom did was right on the mark. I may have not gone that far as to have bashed my child in public on the way out the door. What she did when having him confront you though was a good lesson for him to learn.

As far as kitchen duty......well I believe grounding him from something he really enjoys would have been good. Informing dad before he confronts the child would be a good idea as well. That way dad can figure out how to handle it and not blow up.

Good for you though and how your handled this child. I hope he never tries to steal again.

italianprincess 12 years, 4 months ago

Anyone know whats up with the young lady at Free State? She took an unloaded gun to school yesterday ( something to do with an ex-boyfriend the news said this morning ) but the paper hasn't mentioned anything yet.

I'm sure she will get into big trouble and most likely be suspended or even kicked out, but I was wondering if anyone had heard anything.

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

The Sex Pistols, along with their American counterparts the Ramones, define an important movement and marked shift in music. They absolutely deserve to be in the R&R Hall of Fame, in no small part due to the distinctive vocals of Jonny Lydon (aka, Johnny Rotten). Their music is loud, raw, political, spiteful, serious and stupid, all at the same time, and quite a bit of fun. To think that they were doing what they were doing at the same time that bands like Yes and Boston were filling stadiums. I still listen to the Pistols, but can't remember the last time I heard Boston and cared. REM, KISS, Van Halen, are all good bands (okay, except KISS), but did any of them change our conception of popular music? Without the Pistols, would we have had Nirvana? The influence of bands like Van Halen, on the other hand, can be heard in the music of Loverboy. Not exactly a permanent mark.

REM -- someday they will be in the Hall -- a fine alternative band, saw them the first time right after Murmer came out. KISS -- and you say the Pistols were poor musicians? Van Halen -- why? One great album - their first, followed by a bunch of mid-level stuff that leaves no real permanence. These are all bands that will likely be more or less forgotten in another 50 years, but historians will still be writing about the Sex Pistols.

hawkrew 12 years, 4 months ago

I remember my days working at Kmart in college (back when it existed) and we had cameras set up throughout the store but no one to watch them. For the last year and a half of the store's existance there was one security person whom I believe was fired for stealing. I know about how these stores' hands are tied, there is really nothing they can do unfortunately. There has to be a lot of factors before they can confront someone. But we always remember who the shoplifters were and whenever they would come in we would watch them try to be sneaky when it was painfully obvious what they were doing and yet they had no idea that there was no one watching that could do anything about it.

badger 12 years, 4 months ago


She didn't so much bash him in public as I overheard a facet of their conversation as they were walking out. It was directed to him directly. I am sorry; I didn't mean that she meant to browbeat him or anything. I had parents do that, too, and it made me so mad!

As to the 'kitchen' helping, my own mom subscribed to the notion that if a kid did something 'wrong' then that was a good reason to spend some more time with that kid, reinforcing the things you were trying to teach. So, in addition to groundings or other punishments, there was usually some form of 'punitive' together-time with a parent, which I dreaded at the time because the parent would usually talk to me about what I'd done in the 'serious' voice while we were doing it, but which I appreciate now because I usually walked away from that time not only knowing that I shouldn't do X, but also why I shouldn't do X, and what I should do if the opportunity to do X presented itself again. Looking back, I'm also impressed by my parents' commitment to me and my sister, in that their response to our failure to live up to expectations was to give us more of their time and attention to figure out why, and to help us be better next time.

I agree that it would be a good idea to give the father some foreknowledge, and she may very well already have called him to tell him, but been placing importance on the act of 'confessing' the crime honestly. I know a lot of parents who, when discussing something a child has done wrong, will require as part of the conversation that the child state clearly what he or she did, and why it was wrong.

As to why the Sex Pistols are eligible for the Hall of Fame before REM? That would be because they released their first record before REM. The Hall of Fame dates your eligibility to a certain amount of elapsed time after your initial release. I think REM will be nominated, and KISS as well -- REM for talent and the effect it had on the notion of the 'college alternative' music scene as a driving force for developing powerhouse artists, and KISS because they are obviously a noted cultural and social icon.

enochville 12 years, 4 months ago


Perhaps you are right that you don't have a legal obligation to tell. I am not sure of the ins and outs of "aiding and abetting a criminal" are. But, I think it is pretty sad that you feel that way. If a lot of people felt that way, our society would be worse for it. But, don't worry. If I see someone steal your car, I'll still report what I saw. Too bad, I know that you would not do the same for me if I owned a business.

mom_of_three 12 years, 4 months ago

Ember I sure wish YOU knew what you were talking about!

There are no write-offs and insurance doesn't cover it for stolen property. It comes right off the bottom line. And no matter how hard some stores try, there will theft because of stupid people who do it.
No one deserves to be stolen from. And ultimately, it is the law abiding consumer who suffers with increased prices.

Aiko 12 years, 4 months ago

If you saw someone smoking in a bar/restaurant in Lawrence would you say or do anything?

Linda Endicott 12 years, 4 months ago

I would never confront a person who I thought was this day and age, you never know who has a for telling store employees, it depends on what they're Medicine?

I grew up in a small town, and it wasn't uncommon for my mother to stand there chatting with the clerk while she paid for her stuff...and sometimes we had walked two blocks away when she realized there was something she had forgotten to pay for...she would go back right then and pay for the wouldn't want to do that now, especially at'd never get them to believe that it was an honest mistake...

And speaking of badgering, I was with my aunt in Wal-Mart one day when she tried to write a check, and the clerk claimed she was someone who had passed a bad check a few days before...the employees, including the manager, berated the woman publicly, in front of all the other customers, for a half hour, before discovering that they had her mixed up with someone else with a similar name...did they apologize? give her free merchandise for their behavior...nope...nothing...they just walked away and left her standing there with people staring at her...she never went to Wal-Mart again...

And how many of us have paid for every blessed thing in that cart at Wal-Mart, only to go out the door and hear, "we're sorry...Wal-Mart's inventory control..."...and you have to stand there and show your receipt to the greeter in minute detail, just because some ditz at the checkout forgot to deactivate your CD or DVD? I've never actually seen them catch anyone with this method...but by God, it doesn't stop them from trying...

Harry_Manback 12 years, 4 months ago

The Wal-Mart one is funny cause they really try to find people shoplifting. My friend got caught shop lifting there when she was 13. She stole a $0.99 lip gloss. She was on diversion for a year, and her mom ended up spending $1,000 in court fees. It still comes up during job interviews 8 years later, and she's never been in trouble since. Doesn't make much sense to me...

Harry_Manback 12 years, 4 months ago

The original,

It's only erased if you pay for it to be erased. Even if you're never convicted or you successfully complete something, it's still on file somewhere and can be accessed. My boyfriend was arrested but never charged with something when he was 16. Last summer, 5 years later, he got pulled over for a broken light and illegally searched because it was still on his record. (he's consulted a lawyer, but decided not to pursue it) Oh and this happened in JoCo too, so that may be why. Things never trully go away...

beatrice 12 years, 4 months ago

omb, in case you are still reading tonight -- The Clash is possibly my favorite band! "Know Your Rights," "London's Burning," "Lost in the Supermarket," "Bored with the USA"... I really could just keep going on and on. That was one amazing band, and I probably listen to London Calling about once a month.

I have respected you in the past. Now, just crank that respect up a notch or two!!

Grundoon Luna 12 years, 4 months ago

Oh. don't you believe people don't do anything about shoplifting! People are prosecuted - you see the petit larceny cases on the crime page all the time. And that's just the ones that are getting prosecuted. While some store may have a lax attitude about it, there are others that go to great expense to deter theft. I could have just punched my kid in the face when I had to pick him up for stealing at Kohl's. I was greatful that they caught him before he walked out with the goods. If they would have waited until he was out of the store he could have been charged. They didn't have to do that. I did get to see the awesome surviellanec equipment they use. They have cameras that can zoom in to the eye of a shoe.

Grundoon Luna 12 years, 4 months ago

. . . and Iggy's Lust for Life selling everything from cars to cruises . . . wasupwdat? Everytime I see one of those I feel like shouting at the screen "beatin' my bray-nes, with liquer and drugs . . . got a torture film and a GTO. . ." If the whitebread folks heard THOSE lyrics their mouths would drop to the floor! YEE HAW! Now, I'm gonna download Anarchy in the UK! just kidding for you FEDs that monitor this site - wink "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you" Ozzy Osbourn

stbaker 12 years, 4 months ago

My 3 y.o. took a package of Rolo candies while we were in the checkout at HyVee a few months back. She proceeded to open and begin devouring them while seated in her "car" that they so wonderfully provide for those of us who must grocery shop with our kids. Anyway, it wasn't until I noticed how quiet she had become as they were ringing up my order, when I noticed the candy. I sternly told her that this was wrong to do, and when I asked the cashier to comment that we needed to pay for everything that we get at the store, she looked at me as if I was the most abusive, psychotic parent in town.

DGL 12 years, 4 months ago

stbaker: you weren't shopping at Dillon's, were you? That's where you usually find the rude employees who like to mind everyone else's business but their own, and will give you the stink eye for acting like a civilized human being.

Grundoon Luna 12 years, 4 months ago

"That's my Dillons!" That's what the front of Simon's shirt said. Wonderful of him to use their own slogan against them and so appropriate now, eh DGL. Oh, and the back of it said, "Management Sanctioned Harrassment of the Handicaped."

DGL 12 years, 4 months ago

That Dillon's (on Mass) is the only one in town which has a full-time security guard now, by the way.

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