Most people can agree that “stealing is wrong.” From a young age, everyone is taught that it’s immoral, unfair, and often actively harmful to take things that don’t belong to them.
That being said, that’s never stopped anyone from doing it anyway! While people stealing isn’t exactly surprising, the existence of online forums where people brag about their thievery is!
Specifically, there’s an entire subreddit just for shoplifters! When you see what goes on there, you’ll be stunned…
Reddit allows people to have all sorts of discussions about whatever they care about, from politics to popular culture to their very own lives. Even so, it’s still surprising that there is a subreddit dedicated to shoplifting!
On r/shoplifting, there is a community of over 36,000 Redditors who use the forum to share shoplifting tips and brag about their hauls, which are often complete with photographic evidence! It might be shocking to us, but to these people, it’s just a regular forum conversation.
The majority of these posts show off relatively minor thievery of small items, such as trading cards or stationary supplies. Others, however, find success stealing larger, more expensive items such as designer fashions or electronics. It gets crazier from there.
These shoplifters often like to provide reasons for their particular conquests, such as needing more hygienic supplies, acquiring a birthday gift, or simply because it was a Friday night! The stories from commenters run the gamut.
Some of the shoplifters also admit to making a profit off of the items they steal. “In the last 30 days I’ve sold over $2,500 of merchandise on eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook (fake account). And people still ask why we shoplift… that’s why I lift.”
Some “lifters” who are new to the illegal practice come to the thread to seek tips from more experienced thieves. For example, how to get away with it without setting off an alarm, or where to lift the “best” electronics.
Since Reddit allows for a certain amount of anonymity anyway, some Redditors use their regular accounts, but others use “throwaway” accounts that they quickly delete once they’ve served their purpose.
Those in charge of the forum are well aware of the fact that what they do is illegal, and that many disapprove. “Welcome to Shoplifting!” the description reads. “If you’re here to preach morals, enjoy your very brief stay.”
“If you’re here to learn and share, please help contribute to our wonderful community of allegedly corrupt and soulless individuals,” the page’s brief introduction continues, making clear that judgment is not tolerated.
They also answer a few common questions on the front page. “What motivates shoplifters?” they write. “For the affluent, it can be kleptomania or thrill-seeking. For the poor, a means of feeding a family or addiction, or simply boredom.”
Obviously, we can’t support this kind of activity that’s not only illegal, but also actively harms store owners and employees. However, this is certainly a fascinating look at a criminal underground that most folks never would have guessed existed!
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