In Focus

‘One for me, one for you’: Inside the mindset of a brazen shoplifter – and how they are getting away with it

As new figures show shoplifting offences have risen to the highest level since records began , Zoe Beaty looks at how stealing from supermarkets has become such a big problem and is a crime that is being committed by the middle classes too...

Thursday 25 April 2024 10:22 BST
A would-be shoplifter conceals an item under his jacket
A would-be shoplifter conceals an item under his jacket (Getty Images)

The thing is, do they really need my money?” asks Sophie*, who is not using her real name for obvious reasons. She’s a 39-year-old professional working in London, from a reasonably wealthy family – who taught her all she knows about shoplifting.

“My mum is a brazen thief,” laughs Sophie. “I know loads of people who do it. A friend told me the other day that she carries an old receipt in her pocket while she’s shopping, just any old receipt. Then, just before she’s about to walk out of the supermarket – in a confident stroll, of course – she pops the receipt in her mouth, juggling food in her arms, to make it look like she’s just bought everything.

“They never suspect a thing.”

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