Would you shoplift?

Have you ever shoplifted? Do you get the urge to shoplift? If your answer to the latter is yes, what kind of items are you tempted to steal?

I wouldn’t say I grapple with this. Not that there haven’t been times I’ve seen certain items I can’t afford and wished there was a way I could get them without paying but that’s as far as I go. It’s just a fleeting thought and I quickly move on to the aisles with products I know I can pay for.

The other reason I don’t attempt to shoplift is pretty obvious. The monitors and hidden cameras in nearly every shopping centre. Someone is bound to be watching and I just couldn’t handle the embarrassment if I got caught.

You draw suspicion from some assistants and attendants by just looking at certain items longer than they think you should so I wouldn’t even attempt to sneak anything past the checkout counter. I think it also helps that most stores conduct searches and retain bags before letting you proceed to their display sections because it’s a lot easier to stuff items in handbags and backpacks.

Overall though, the idea of stealing anything from a supermarket or shopping mall is a no no for most people I know. I’d say the closest to shoplifting I’ve done is at a restaurant or hotel. You know how you take an extra fork here or toothpicks there, or in the case of hotels, those shampoo and body wash samples they leave in the bathrooms.

That’s not illegal, is it? Some of the frequently shoplifted items include cigarettes, condoms, makeup and jewelry and luckily, I’m not obsessed with any of those and so I guess that helps too. I don’t know why some people succumb to the temptation, especially if they are famous or well-off and so can afford to pay for the goods.

I would understand if a homeless person or someone who hadn’t had a decent meal in days stole a snack or drink. People do certain things out of desperation. Surprisingly though, it’s usually people who’re far from broke or those out to cause trouble who shoplift.

I’ve also heard about social experiments and pranks that involve shoplifting but again, it’s not something I would gladly participate in because where I live, perception is everything and it would be hard to convince anyone that it was all just a joke.

You could even get arrested and I’m not sure I would be willing to take risk that. Speaking of which, I don’t know what the young NBA prospects were thinking attempting not just to shoplift but to do it in a foreign country.

Sometimes you just need to look out for yourself and stay out of trouble. Think of the challenges you would face including language barrier, legal wrangles and costs.

It’s unfortunate that those young men had more than enough to pay for the sunglasses they tried to steal and yet here they are facing suspension and who knows, their careers may take a hit! It’s not worth it.