Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Why I'm Angry

I hurt myself--it was an accident. I've been getting hurt accidentally alot lately. So, I went shopping. Again, I had the intention of returning one item and not doing anything but that. I just felt like shopping. I've been trying to find a pair of jeans that fits and I finally did.

I bought:
$19.97 Jeans Originally ($69.00)
$22.97 Bra ($52.00)
$ 9.97 Undies ($25.00)
$ 3.97 Undies ($10.00)
$19.97 Robe ($78.00)
$56.88 from ($165.00) That's about 60% off.

My sticky fingers also found:
$19.97 Shirt ($78.00)
$14.97 Nightie ($58.00)
$24.97 Sweater ($48.00)
$17.97 Bra ($46.00)
$19.97 Bra ($84.00)
$ 6.97 Undies ($18.00)
$ 9.97 Undies ($28.00)
$ 9.97 Undies ($26.00)
$124.71 from ($786.00) About 85% off if I had actually bought those things.

The items were all quite small and fit neatly in purse, pocket and shopping bag.
If I had taken those things at original prices and been caught, that would have catapulted me into grand theft over petty theft. The truth is that once something is out of season, it loses value extremely quickly. They send things to last chance stores for next to nothing when they don't sell at the discount stores.

I think I should just swear off shopping, start giving some of this stuff back by leaving bags of stuff in the store or just give it away to some charity to somehow redeem my bad habit. If I ever got caught both my friends and relatives would either disown me or tear their hair out and cry WHY, WHY, WHY when you have so much money in the bank?

I don't really know.
I don't even really want this stuff and my closet is packed.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Something New to Feel Bad About

I really don't know why I took anything from the store at all this last time. Everything was very reasonably priced. What is the point of lifting a silk shirt that only costs $10?? I have to ask myself this.

This weekend's take included:
$ 14.97 Silk tank Originally ($58.00)
$ 24.97 DKNY jeans t shirt ($49.00)
$ 64.97 Eileen Fisher dress ($248.00)
$ 14.97 Ralph Lauren shirt ($59.50)
$119.90 Sale price, originally ($414.50)
in other words, if I had paid for everything, it would have still been a real steal. 70% off!

I bought stuff, too.
Velvet silk shirt
Rain jacket
AGB silk shirt that I plan to return because it was too small.

I returned something. I didn't return the jeans I bought, I decided I like them. I left a pair of shoes that I had lifted and never worn, so I'm not all bad.
But I had to make some room in my bag.
So maybe I really AM all bad.

I'm trying to stop and I'm trying to figure out why I'm trying to self destruct somehow. It's not the only dumb thing I have done lately. If I got caught it would ruin my career.

Monday, April 21, 2008

I Slipped

Old habits die hard. I went shopping today--not really. I was just supposed to pay my bill. But then I saw so many pretty things to try on. Something I swiped was a size too small and I finally saw the right size. It didn't have a tag.

I pulled my usual thing of gathering up lots of items to try on and slipping into the dressing room. I did find something I would have to buy. And then I slipped the shirt into my rather small purse.

I was upset about something. It was nagging me terribly that I have to look for another job, I'm sick and I really don't want to go to work anymore. I'm taking another day off. Maybe an extra day will settle me.

At least I only took ONE thing.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

No Lifting

I have had two noteable shopping experiences this week where I actually didn't shoplift. I'm proud of myself.

I went to the bookstore last Sunday and actually bought books. How cool! I felt GOOD. I felt light and airy. I didn't have to worry or pretend like I wasn't worried about anything.

Then I went shopping with a friend and bought some jeans and some undies. I probably shouldn't have because I was shopping with a guy friend of mine. It was kind of embarrassing, but not really.
Petty: How do you like these Betsy Johnson's?
Friend: Wow. You're going to be wearing those?
Petty: Maybe. You can wonder about it the next time we hang out.
Friend: Yeah, just because we're friends doesn't mean you aren't hot.
Petty: I bought some French lingerie, too.
Friend: How about we have crazy monkey sex?
Petty: How about let's not and say we didn't.

I forgot that shopping with a friend can be fun. Usually I go shopping alone so I can do secret things. I thought about slipping something into my bag or a pair of undies, but just didn't want to have that on my conscience at the time.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Winona Caught Shoplifting in 2008???

Old habits die hard for Winona Ryder, who has been accused of shoplifting for the second time.

According to reports from the National Enquirer, Winona got caught stealing makeup at a Hollywood CVS drug store.

An employee told the magazine, "Winona had a bag of stuff, but she set off the theft alarm when she left the store.

"When a security guard stopped her, he found make-up she had not paid for." When asked about the products, Ryder responded: "I don't know how that happened."

CVS decided not to press charges and let her leave after she returned the items. Naturally Ryder's publicist is denying the claims, but said she would "talk with her client" after she found out an employee had confirmed the story.

Winona not shoplifting is like Lindsay not partying, some things just go hand and hand.

Petty Thief sez:
It's not like someone who works at a CVS gets paid more than minimum wage in case you are wondering what their motivation would be to talk to a tabloid. Also, someone who works at a store would never LIE, would they?
read the original at
Winona Caught Shoplifting

Shoplifting hurts people

''Last year alone, we lost over $7 million to shoplifters,'' Kenneth Metzner, a Saks lawyer, said at today's hearing, adding that the money could have gone toward pension benefits, opening new stores or creating jobs. ''Instead, it went to criminals,'' he said, looking directly at Ms. Ryder.

I'm going to remember this little snippet from the Winona trial. Shoplifting hurts people.

from Actress Sentenced to Probation for Shoplifting

Justice, Hollywood Style

Published: November 10, 2002
As a legal proceeding, the Winona Ryder shoplifting trial was a waste of time. But as a window on the folkways of Hollywood, it set a new standard.

Anywhere else, this petty crime by a first-time offender would have quickly ended with a plea bargain. The prosecutors, of course, made high-minded statements about the need to prove no one is above the law. But the truth is that in the great Hollywood tradition, this clunky script was green-lighted simply because a big star's name was attached. Ms. Ryder gamely stoked the publicity machine, dressing for trial in chic outfits and posing for a fashion magazine's cover in a ''Free Winona'' T-shirt.

Hollywood's famed clubbiness was confirmed when several jurors turned out to work in the industry, including Peter Guber, a onetime studio chief for Columbia Pictures who released three of the defendant's movies. The prosecutors presented their case in the best let's-put-on-a-show style, screening surveillance tapes of Ms. Ryder as she walked through the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills with unpaid-for items.

Ms. Ryder's legal team offered a uniquely Hollywood defense: that she was too fashionable to be guilty. Her lawyer, Mark Geragos, mocked the prosecution's claim that she had stolen clothing by cutting off the security tags with scissors. ''This woman is known for her fashion sense,'' Mr. Geragos scoffed. ''Was she going to start a new line of 'Winona Wear' with holes in it?''

In the end, the prosecutors got their conviction and their names in the paper. Saks got free publicity. (The coverage helpfully included a list of all the designer goods Ms. Ryder considered worth stealing). Ms. Ryder, who is not expected to do jail time, could benefit most of all. Although some producers may steer clear of a convicted felon, the trial could well revive a slumping career. ''The town is behind her,'' one casting agent told USA Today after the verdict came in. ''She's even more sought-after now.'' Which gives Ms. Ryder's tale the most essential Hollywood quality of all: a happy ending.

From the New York Times Online
Justice, Hollywood Style

Winona, I Understand!

Winona is starting over again at 35. 35!! Incredible. She doesn't look 35.

I think she's probably most like her character in Girl Interrupted, which is a really good movie. I mean, shoplifting--Come ON, Winona!! I understand, but I don't understand. I'm worried that they might make a public expample of ME someday for all my theft. I've never taken quite as much as she did though. $5,000 worth of stuff is definitely not petty theft. The places where you shop, petty theft is hardly POSSIBLE.

Winona on her shoplifting arrest:
“The attention was what was embarrassing. It was the December after Sept. 11. … So much attention was being paid to me, when we had just been attacked, and there was all this really important news going on.”

Would you feel guilty if you shoplifted from corporate America? In Winona Ryder’s first interview on that fateful day in 2001 at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, she says that she really didn’t.

"I didn’t have this tremendous sense of guilt, because I hadn’t hurt anyone. Had I physically harmed someone or caused harm to a human being, I think it would have been an entirely different experience.”

Well, she didn’t kill someone, but stealing technically does cause harm someone who’s trying to run a business.

But the million-dollar question after all of these years is why a famous, wealthy woman would actually steal. She blames it on painkillers that she got from a “quack” doctor.

"Two months prior to that, I broke my arm in two places, and the doctor, a sort of quack doctor, was giving me a lot of stuff and I was taking it at first to get through the pain. And then there was this weird point when you don’t know if you are in pain but you’re taking it.Have you ever taken painkillers? It isn’t a reckless (state), like you’re out of your head. It’s just confusion.”

The painkillers left her in a state of “confusion” But the arrest was a blessing in disguise because she never touched those pills again. She moved to San Francisco to be close to her parents and kept a low profile until now. She’s apparently gearing up for her three movie releases this year: Ten, Sex and Death 101, and The Last Word.

Well, I welcome back Winona. She’s done the classy thing and stayed on the down-low for years. Imagine that in the young Hollywood world we live in. You’ve got to admire that.

Hmmm... yet at the same time, speaking from personal experience, this is something that you shift to when you are VERY angry inside. Because it's something that alot of people have done before, it's hard to believe it's an isolated incident of sloppy shoplifting. I think it was only sloppy because of the meds.

It's not an isolated incident with me. I stopped for a really looooong time. It was a moral thing and I didn't have anything really bad happen for years. Then suddenly, BAM, now it's hard to stop.

If anything, Winona has taught us that we are risking our careers. But somehow I think that Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie got off much easier than Winona.

Winona Talks Shoplifting

and other sources.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Shoplifting Prevention Website

At first I thought this website was going to be cool, but then I discovered that they want you to BUY a PROGRAM with CDs to help you stop. Crap. I'm not going to do that. Someone might find it. It's bad enough that they have questions about all the CLOTHES in my closet and how I can afford them. Sales, I say.

Well, I suppose if I got caught and had a charge pending with the court system, then I would do it. The website says its a way of showing the court you are serious about stopping. That might help your case.

US Department of Justice--Shoplifting Report

Outlines all research on shoplifting and possible deterrents to shoplifting. Basically it's telling the public that nothing really works. There isn't exactly a cure-all. Great. And I was hoping my recommendations for stopping shoplifting would really help. I want to quit and obviously there isn't an outside source that is going to make me stop. I have to look within.

Visit the report. PDF File.

Stop Shoplifting--Real Solutions, Real Confessions

Well, at least you could stop my kind of shoplifting. The main thing I do is that I actually buy stuff and that covers it all up. It explains why I have a large bag and why it's full. I go to the dressing room and mostly do my business there. If it doesn't have a security tag, and it fits me, it's going in my bag. If they don't see anything suspicious, they won't stop me. That could be harassment. Every store knows if you harass your customers, they won't return. The best way to prevent shoplifting is to be proactive.

Keeping a person posted at the dressing room to count items in and out would really help. Then I wouldn't be able to cover it up in there. If I see someone posted at the dressing room, I usually go to another dressing room in a more lenient department.

Put a security tag through all parts of a dress. If it has two layers and I can leave the slip behind, I'm taking the dress. I can always buy a slip somewhere else.

Make sure employees put security tags back on items when they are returned. If it doesn't have a tag, it's going in my bag.

Make sure your employees greet people and are very helpful. Bloomingdales has this down to a science.

Stores should know that if someone is really determined, they are going to be able to pull it off. One time I cut a security tag out of a dress with a pocket knife because it was in an underneath slip. I dropped the security tag randomly on the floor by a rack. Some employee will pick it up and wonder how that happened. It could be from anything, right?

Security cameras can be lied to. It's easy to make it look like you put merchandise back. The racks are so mulled over by so many people that it's impossible to tell who may have done the deed. You can also pretend to drop things and slip some of the things into your bag. People drop things in stores all the time. Things go flying off hangers, hangers go flying all over the place on the way to a dressing room.

You may select merchandise and leave a mess in a dressing room, to include empty hangers but they can't prove which room you were in if they weren't being attentive. It could be that you decided to buy the merchandise but don't need the hanger, so you left it. Besides, who's to say that a shirt disappearing after you walked out of a dressing room wasn't due to employee pilfering?

Have employees check tags on merchandise carefully when it is being returned. Switching tags is very common and alot of people don't realize it is a crime. One store inspected my tags and did a search for a description of the item. That stopped me in my tracks. Of COURSE I blamed it on someone else. It's certainly POSSIBLE that there is someone else out there switching tags. Either way, they wouldn't take the items back even if it WAS someone else. I went to another register within the store and she took it back without doing that search. This kind of checking would be especially helpful when going from one department store to another. There are some department stores in wealthier areas that may have designer items not available at smaller stores in less affluent areas. It's easy to return items from one store to another. They aren't going to be as careful about returns in a less affluent area.

Having more people on the floor and paying them better would save a store at least as much as I have stolen on days I go "shopping". A happy, well-paid employee is a faithful employee. It just seems alot less likely to shoplift successfully at a small designer shop where they know the value of their merchandise ($6000 dress) and they are really trying to help. They approach you so fast you don't know what hit you. Compare that to medium level and lower end department stores where they have a constant flow of new employees. The stakes are low, the interest is low. They are trying so hard to learn how to use the register that they can't possibly pay that much attention.

If a store did all of these things on a consistent basis, many shoplifters would have to go somewhere else. I know I would.

Juvenile Petty Theft

Teenage and Juvenile Shoplifting
(Juvenile Petty Theft)

When a Juvenile is accused of Shoplifting (teen shoplifting), the criminal process is different than in adult court. The juvenile crime is called an act of delinquency. The rules applied in Juvenile court are different than in adult court.

Penalties and Punishments for Juvenile Shoplifting include:

-Detention (placement or camp)
-Juvenile record
-Community Service

A good criminal defense attorney may be your only defense against a juvenile spending time in jail, being sent away to camp or placement.

Proving Shoplifting

The Shoplifting Defense

If you have been caught Shoplifting, the charges will most likely be proven by the following means:

1. Store video camera
2. Security staff
3. Loss prevention staff
4. Witness testimony
5. Statements made by the accused

In order for the Prosecutor to establish a solid case for Shoplifting, the following must be proved:

1. The Shoplifter must have been seen approaching the merchandise;
2. The Shoplifter must have selected the merchandise;
3. The Shoplifter must have concealed, carried away, or converted the merchandise;
4. The Shoplifter must have been in continuous observation by the merchant or witness;
5. The Shoplifter must have failed to pay for the merchandise;
6. The Shoplifter must have been approached by the merchant outside the store;

With Shoplifting, the specific intent of the person who committed the crime does not need to be proved. Mental illness, alcohol or drug-related issues, and medication cannot be used as a defense to a Shoplifting charge.

In some cases, with the assistance of an experienced attorney, a Shoplifting charge could be reduced to a Trespass charge or Disturbing the Peace charge if the evidence is weak, there are no witnesses, or video available.

Prosecutors analyze each Shoplifting case individually. The penalties will vary according to the defendant’s prior criminal record, value of goods stolen, and other factors.

Petty Theft vs. Grand Theft

Sample law:

Petty Theft – Usually charged as a misdemeanor for first time offenses, Petty Theft is the act of stealing goods valued at less than $400. The punishments for Petty Theft can range from fines of up to $400 and/or imprisonment in County jail for up to 6 months. Two or more offenses of Petty Theft may be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, depending on the value of the goods stolen and the time that has lapsed since the previous Petty Theft charge. Convictions for repeated Petty Theft offenders may include state prison sentences of up to 16 months. Petty Theft that involves stolen goods valued at under $50 may, in some cases, be reduced to an infraction and a criminal record avoided.

· Grand Theft – Charged as either a felony or misdemeanor, Grand Theft occurs when the value of the merchandise stolen is greater than $400. Grand Theft includes automobiles and other large-ticket items. Grand Theft is usually punishable by up to one year in County jail or a maximum sentence of 16 months in state prison.

Shoplifting is Stealing

I stole this information from a website.

The crime of Shoplifting is the unlawful taking of merchandise from a store. Also known as Petty Theft or Grand Theft, Shoplifting is charged as a felony or misdemeanor, depending upon the value of stolen merchandise and the defendant’s criminal record.

Shoplifting is a common offense. It can have embarrassing consequences. Shoplifting can blemish your record and can affect your ability to secure a good job. Most employers are reluctant to hire new employees with a Shoplifting charge on their record.

Shoplifting is not just walking out of a store without paying for goods. Shoplifting includes any form of deception where the defendant did not pay the asking price of the merchandise.

Shoplifting Examples:
Switching price tags
Modifying merchandise labels
Consuming food and concealing the wrappers
Wearing articles of clothing and concealing the tags
Walking out of a store, without paying for goods.
Leaving without paying the bill

Shoplifting is the number one property crime in America
Over 10% of the public shoplifts
Teen or juveniles make up 25% of all shoplifters
Retailers lose over $20 billion worth of stolen goods each year
Some cities have stiff penalties for shoplifters

Sample Shoplifting Penalties
If you have been caught Shoplifting or convicted of a Petty or Grand Theft crime, you could be facing a variety of Theft Penalties, including:

Criminal Record


First Offense
Small fine
1 to 3 years informal probation
Community service
Misdemeanor charge

Second, Third, or Fourth Offense
State prison sentence of 16 months to 3 years
- or -

One year in County jail
Felony charge

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I was just going to return a few things today. It didn't turn out that way, but that was my intention. I did that at one of the stores. Mostly anyway. I didn't end up walking out of the store with anything at least, but I did stuff some undies in my bag. I also saw some other things I wanted to try on, and then decided to leave the undies and just returned the two bras I had bought without swapping them for bras they had there that were the same size. This store doesn't do return stickers so it would have worked out. But my bag was already full from the other store...

My closet is getting really full. One of the other things I do is switching tags. I might buy something I don't really want so I can switch tags on something I bought and want. Sometimes I will switch tags with something that is a the same brand, but I will switch tags and return the sale item with the full price tags. That's what I was doing.

But while I was there, I decided to try a few things on. I really am looking for a new evening gown. Other things caught my eye as well. And then I realized some of those things didn't have tags. Well, you KNOW the rest. I couldn't resist some of those things.

3 shirts (full price $166.00)
2 undies (sale price $3.99 ea)
1 skirt (sale price 22.95 from the original $129.00. It's 1 size too large, but I can deal with it.)

Total value: $213.67 including tax

Wow. I seriously have to stop doing this. I was good yesterday, but that's only because I didn't go to a store!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A Real Steal

I wore some shiny gold and crystal Stuart Weitzmans at a wedding. Someone complimented me about my shoes. I didn't know what to say, so I found myself telling the truth.
Lady: Those are fabulous shoes.
Petty: Thanks. They were a real steal!
Lady: Wow! What's your secret? I have such a hard time finding a bargain at a department store.
Petty: Well, lets just say, I know how to shop...

I have three pairs of Stuart Weitzman shoes, all of them totally hot. Smokin hot. Stolen hot. One was an accident--really! I was going to buy a pair of black strappy low heeled sandals. They had a security tag on them. I watched the guy take the tag off. I thought I saw him scan them. I reviewed my receipt later and realized that he had forgetten. OOPS! His bad! Do you think I went back and told them? No way!

I slipped another pair into my shopping bag another time. They were matte gold. Very cute. Irresistable. Only $79.00 after all the discounts at a department store clearance center. But I didn't pay that, of course. I carried clothes around over my shopping bag and underneath the clothes slipped the shoes into my shopping bag.

My last ones are the piece du resistance. They were full price, $295. They were practically calling my name as they sat on the shelf at the department store. They were so beautiful. Shiny gold strappy heels with little crystals or rhinestones or whatever. I fell in LOVE! I thought about buying them...but why would I do that? How did I do it?

Well, I always know where the security cameras are. I kept the salesgirl VERY BUSY looking for pairs of shoes for me. I developed a pile around my feet. Then I got the Stuart Weitzman's off the shelf and tried them on. They were an actual PAIR, not two right shoes! They went into the pile. Then I adjusted the pile and dropped the shoes into my shopping bag with alot of adjusting to hide what I was doing. I used the mirror to make sure it looked like I was just shuffling around my stuff, to include the Betsy Johnsons I was thinking of returning. If the security camera caught anything they wouldn't be able to prove anything. Besides, at department stores, they are mostly worried about what the employees are doing. That always works in my favor. I was a bundle of NERVES as I walked out of the store with those. Each moment I dreaded was my last free breath before I was hauled off by security. By the time I got to my car, I figured I was safe. Nothing showed up on the news. That was now months ago.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Store Liquidation

I went shopping today!! Department store liquidation sales are a great place. I bought some really great items. I'm actually a real bargain hunter when I am shopping. I ended up replacing all I returned yesterday. I thought I could be good in terms of spending money until I hit this sale.

1 Laurie B sweater jacket
1 dress ($ale price $12)
1 Jones New York sweater (it's still cold damnit.)
1 pair of capris
2 panties
1 bra

See, I buy things!
Total items purchased: 7
Dollar amout spent: $200

I thought I could be good about not shoplifting until I hit this sale too!
I lifted:------------------------------------------------------
2 panties
1 nightie
2 Calvin Klien shirts
1 Anne Klein evening dress (1 size too small)
1 other evening dress (2 sizes too small)
1 Pure DKNY silk tank (I have 3 others like it)
1 Nanette Lepore shirt (I'm not sure I even like it)

Total items shoplifted: 9
Dollar value amount: $490

It shouldn't be so easy. I had to be let out by one of the people that work there because I stayed so late. I went to the dressing room to double check that I didn't have any tags on anything, then purchased some lingerie. As I was walking down the stairs, I grabbed another pair of undies while smiling at a girl who was closing her register. She probably figured I would pay for it downstairs. They are going to remodel the store. Good idea. They ought to put in security cameras everywhere because I stuffed those undies in my bag as I bounded nonchalantly down the stairs. I was so friendly to the guy who unlatched the door for me that he didn't suspect a thing.

Petty: So, do you get the door for me?
Clerk: Yes, I've seen you shopping here before.
Petty: Yes. I love this store. You look a little like my brother.
Clerk: Really? He must be a very good looking guy.
Petty: He is. But kind of ugly too. I mean, he's my brother, right?

We laughed, smiled and waved. On the inside I was a little shakey, but nothing went off as I walked through. I figured I could make a run for it if I had too, though that might be kind of dumb.

I really have to stop doing this. I could have been jailed if I had been caught.

I Have Never

We've all played that juvenile game. It's either I Have Never or Never Have I Ever, or some variation of that. We decided to make the rules be that you say you haven't done things that you have done and then people who haven't don't those things have to drink.

There are the usual things that people have done or not done, but when my turn came I ventured toward my little sin:

When I was a I teenager, I never shoplifted at Disneyland.

Everyone else drank but one other person. We looked at each other and started laughing hysterically.

I'm with you on that one!!!

He gave me a high five. Of course, I would never admit to all the other stuff I've lifted. Just goes to show you never know who would do such awful things!! But then I also thought I left it behind when I grew up.