I do not have a criminal record, which is good. I may need No Prior History as my trial defense someday.
I shoplift. I noticed this was becoming a habit about 10 years ago. I was on vacation with my daughters and 11-year-old granddaughter. Dee. We were having a fun day at the outlet mall. After lots of shopping, Jan suggested we go to Chico’s because that’s where Meme can look at her kind of things (old lady clothes). We’re having a fine time, laughing with sales clerks, and trying on jewelry and clothes. I buy a sweater and we head out. About 20 minutes later, Dee looks horrified.
“Meme, why did you steal that necklace?”
“The one you’re wearing!”
“Oh, my gosh,” I say as I feel the necklace around my neck. “I didn’t steal it, I accidentally took it. Big difference. I’ll take it back when we pass Chico’s on the way out.”
“No! Do it now before we get arrested.”
I try to reason with Dee, “Shoplifters are arrested as soon as they leave the store. It’s okay. I’ll return it later”.
“No, we need to do it now!”
I see the fear and panic on Dee’s face, and tell the girls we are going back to Chico’s because I took a necklace.
When I return the necklace to the salesclerk she says, “We would have prosecuted you.”
“Hold on. I wore this necklace right in front of you while buying a sweater. You could have asked about the necklace. This is a little bit your fault, too.”
“That defense wouldn’t work. Almost all of our shoplifters are women your age.”
“That’s because only women my age shop here,” I snap back.
I did not appreciate that lady’s tone one bit, and wished I had kept the necklace, which could have happened had Dee not noticed it.
A few weeks later, I borrow a sweater while shopping at Walmart because they do not properly heat their stores. As I’m loading groceries into the car I notice an XL strip on the front of the sweater. Oh no, Again?
I hurriedly return the sweater to a baffled Walmart pharmacy tech, then head to the gas station, fill my tank, and wonder why I keep shoplifting. I drive away with the pump still attached. (I’m not worried about the pump. I’ve done it before; there are precautions in place, and I’ve got bigger problems. )
My shoplifting might become a habit. I think this is how it happens; be old, misplace your credit card, engaged the salesperson in rambling conversation. Never try to hide the merchandise. and always appear happy and confident.
Now, when I shop I concentrate. No frivolous chatting. I don’t want to go to jail!