Middle Class Shoplifting To Keep Up Appearances

Shoplifting is up 20% in the UK as choice cuts of meat, fresh fish and fancy cheeses are increasingly getting stolen, mostly by middle-class women from boutique food emporiums and convenience stores

“I suppose people want to carry on with their lifestyle but cannot afford the expensive cheeses, fresh cuts of meat or nice fish that they used to be able to afford and now they just take it. This is the first year we have seen a huge rise in theft of these items and we are being told it is for their own consumption rather than to sell on,” Neil Matthews, vice-president of Checkpoint Systems told The Times.

Stealing a loaf of bread to feed your family is one thing, but stuffing some artisinal bread, a block of five-year aged gouda and a filet mignon down your trousers? Bollocks.

How the middle class are shoplifting to keep up appearances [Times Online] (Photo: LDRBRS)


Edit Your Comment

  1. dohtem says:

    It’s just like divorce. They want to keep living in the manner to which they have become accustomed.

  2. jdmba says:

    … yet I get no dinner invite :(

  3. Taed says:

    We’re probably safe blaming the consumer on this one.

    I’ve spoken to the occassional shoplifter, and they always blame the store for charging too much or for not having enough security to stop them from shoplifting.

    • crowbaby says:

      @Taed: Well sure, it has to be someone else’s fault. Otherwise we would all be responsible for our own actions and that can’t be allowed. pfffffttttt What on earth were you thinking to even question such sound reasoning?

  4. fjordtjie says:

    when i used to work at a grocery store, there was a wall of polaroids of people, with the items the people had shoplifted written on the border. some were weird, a lot of them were liquor, but some of them were sad, like the little very old lady who stole a $2 bottle of generic cough syrup.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      @fjordtjie: fairvilla megastore [adult store] in orlando has polaroids of people holding the items they stole on the end caps of the aisles.
      much more embarassing i think. a little old lady stealing cough syrup makes more sense than the guy who tried to steal a 3 foot long double ended dildo. hint: one of these is something you might actually need

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @fjordtjie: Old people steal a lot! It’s just that they usually go through the produce section and try a grape off each bunch as they consider whether to get it.

  5. teknowaffle says:

    I live in a slightly economically depressed area.

    The big thing here is to find nice cuts of meat, and then a cheap cut of meat that weigh the same, scan the less expensive one at self checkout, and then leave that one in the cart and throw the nice cut on the scale.

    It costs the store even more, as they can’t put that cheap meat back.

  6. Razor512 says:

    solution: lower prices

    prices for goods in stores go up for no reason, it doesn’t match with the rest of the economy, the only thing that people notice from the price increases is the reported earnings of the companies responsible for the price increase goes up significantly.

  7. ponycyndi says:

    Just do what us poor folks have always done – buy ground beef and a 40.

  8. colorisnteverything says:

    Well, it’s no surprise with self checkouts never well manned in any place but the local TESCO back in the UK (that’s because the chavs hung out there). I almost bet you could get a lot of stuff out of Marks&Spencer if you tried.

    • ipaidipod says:

      @colorisnteverything: Ha..all the Tesco’s and Marks & Spencer’s here in Prague have cashiers and two or three security guards/manager type people who hang around by the registers to make sure there’s nothing amiss. No self check out here!

      • Blueskylaw says:


        The Tescos I have been to in Europe have foreign exchange booths near the entrances so they usually had guards near the front but I don’t know if they were there to protect the exchange, the store or both.

  9. Rylar says:

    If your going to commit a crime to feed yourself what idiot would steal cheap food?

    • agb2000 says:

      @Rylar: An ethical person forced into stealing would steal the least expensive item, so they hurt the person they steal from the least.

      Also: “you’re” not “your.”

  10. Taed says:

    @Outrun1986: Not around here (San Francisco Bay Area); I’ve been seeing even more as time goes on. Personally, I like the idea of them, but unless I only have less than 5 or so items, it’s been better to go to a checkout person due to various problems with coupons, not recognizing an item placed in a bag, and so on.

  11. Mike8813 says:

    @RandomHookup: In my younger (single) days I would seek out a female cashier to purchase my magnum condoms.

    It’s the exact OPPOSITE feeling from the one I get nowadays : When I’m purchasing hemmorhoid suppositories from a female cashier.

  12. Copper says:

    @mamalicious: If you are only getting enough stuff to put in one bag, a whole shopping cart is overkill. Excuse me for not wanting to maneuver a barely-working cart through wandering people to pick up 6 things.

  13. Cantras says:

    @thisistobehelpful: But would you want to leave your arm in there very long? A rubber band can stretch to fit around my whole hand, but that doesn’t mean it won’t leave an uncomfortable mark around just my wrist.

    I think that point is advertised in health class to try to prevent boys who don’t need them from getting condoms that will slide right off — but it’s really a disservice to the guys who *do,* because it might just not occur to them/turn them off of condoms. It’s not that condoms are totally sucky and uncomfortable, it’s that your boybits are turning blue! Blue is not an acceptable colour!

  14. INsano says:

    @golddog: Weird. I’m not much for Whole Paycheck’s hipster employee psuedo-green overly priced schlock. They do sell “whole foods” branded reusable bags near the checkout though here in Portland. It’s fun to take a reusable bag to an “unhip” store, like Slaveway, and use a reusable bag there. It’s so confusing for your fellow shoppers and the employees.

  15. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @Taed: I hate self-checkout when I have produce particularly.

    Once at a Home Depot, I had picked up something that either didn’t have a barcode (like a piece of cabinet hardware), or it simply didn’t scan. I stood around for ten minutes, unable to get anyone’s attention, because they’d used the self-checkouts as a method of firing all the actual workers. >.<

  16. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    @Spider Jerusalem: Bloom in my area had these stations in the produce section so you could weigh your produce and print off a label, or if it was priced by item and not by weight, you could type in the four digit code and the number of that item you have, and it would print off a label with a bar code. It was so helpful. All I had to do was bag my produce, enter in the number, and scan it when I got to self checkout.

  17. temporaryerror says:

    The Mellow Mushroom sounds like a head shop. Is it?

  18. Charmander says:

    @Copper: One word: basket.

  19. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @jfwlucy: I said “a large portion,” not “every shoplifter in the world.” Besides, men are a lot more likely than women to break into stores or to hold up a register.

  20. YardanCabaret says:

    @Cantras: Blue is a perfectly acceptable color. Just not for the “boybits”.

    On a sidenote Boybits is hilarious. Though if a girl ever called my manhood boybits it would certainly be a mood killer.