Help, I Accidentally Shoplifted A Glass Pickle

Steve absent-mindedly stuffed a pickle in his pocket while shopping. A glass pickle. No one noticed him take it…including Steve. He’d be happy to go back to the store and pay for it, but the ornament is now broken.

So my wife and I were shopping for some last-minute gifts, and I come
across a Christmas ornament that I like. It’s a glass pickle, which is a
traditional Christmas ornament. Well my arms get full, so I put the pickle
in my pocket so I don’t drop it. Then of course I forgot about it, and
walked out without paying. So I thought to myself that it would be easy
enough to sneak it back in, then pay for it without anyone being the
wiser. But then I broke the ornament, meaning no cashier in their right
mind would let me buy it then. Do I have any recourse, or do I just have
to accept the fact that I am a thief?

This is similar to the Target DVD story from yesterday, with the added twist that the item in question has been smashed into bits.

Since we are way too classy a publication to make a joke about how Steve is “in a pickle,” let’s just move on to the poll.

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Comments

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  1. LabanDenter says:

    So being a crazy person is now worse the being a crook?

    • Real Cheese Flavor says:

      In the Consumerist hivemind, yes. Especially when it comes to any company with more than two employees.

    • dangermike says:

      Ha. That reminds me of the old Seinfeld bit about public speaking being higher on the list of common fear than death (with the punchline “More Americans would rather be IN the coffin than reading the eulogy”). Eh, priorities.

  2. RandomHookup says:

    The pickle is a traditional Xmas ornament? Please enlighten me.

    • pop top says:

      It’s supposedly a German tradition to “hide the pickle” on the tree for the kids to find, but it’s not from Germany at all (http://german.about.com/library/blgermyth11.htm). But it’s become a tradition among many families, not just German-American. My friends do it every year. It’s kind of cute actually.

    • skrolnik says:

      The Christmas Pickle is a tradition of unknown origin (some claim it originated in Germany, but Germans are unfamiliar with it). A glass pickle ornament is hung on the tree late christmas eve after the children have gone to bed. The first child to find the pickle on the tree Christmas morn earns an extra present.

      • caradrake says:

        We always had a hollow pickle ornament, and there would be money ($1 bill) or candy inside it. That, along with our stocking, was the only thing we were allowed to touch before our mom woke.

        I was looking for a Christmas pickle ornament, to carry on that tradition with my own kids, but everyone looks at me like I am crazy when I ask, including my husband!

        • Beef Supreme says:

          Pier 1 has them.

        • RandomHookup says:

          I find asking random strangers for a pickle ornament does not yield expected results.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            it does explain a part of the movie ‘bad santa’ that i never quite got before though.

        • bmamad says:

          @caradrake I found a super cool glass, glittery pickle ornament at Kohl’s of all places. If you have one in your area, then maybe it’s not too late!

        • imasqre says:

          I found a glass one at Target this year. Had no idea about the tradition though, I just love me a crisp Kosher Dill lol
          I hope you can find one! That must be really fun on Christmas Day!

      • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

        My boyfriend’s grandmother who is from a small town outside of Aachen, Germany grew up with the tradition (as did both of our families). It’s probably a regional tradition.

    • Murph1908 says:

      I was introduced to this custom the first Christmas with my inlaws. It was completely foreign to me as well, but the below commenters are correct.

      When we got to the house, and my mother-in-law told us to find the pickle, I was baffled to her meaning and intent.

      • nonsane says:

        i hide my own pickles at home…

        Solution: go in, buy another one, sneak it back in and leave on display. leave with nothing. no craziness, no store B.s.

      • Chaosium says:

        “When we got to the house, and my mother-in-law told us to find the pickle, I was baffled to her meaning and intent.”

        No MIL, it’s HIDE the pickle. HIDE.

    • RandomHookup says:

      Thanks everyone. I feel quite enlightened now.

    • Intheknow says:

      Yeah, that and the peppermint pig that gets smashed after dinner with everyone partaking of pig shards. Weird, but okay.

  3. JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

    Not sure what charity would want a pickle ornament, but I’d just call this one a gimme. I’m sure these things get broken all the time in the store, so the inventory probably has a contingency plan.

  4. adamstew says:

    Simple: Go back to the store with the broken ornament, explain what happened and pay for the broken ornament. The manager won’t care and will appreciate you took the time and effort to own up to your mistake.

    • Tamar Weinberg says:

      +1

      Yeah, seriously. Surprised that this is not an option in the poll.

      • thewildboo says:

        It is. It’s the “be treated like a crazy person” option. Not saying he shouldn’t do it, but that’s what was meant – they will think you’re nuts if you go back in and try to pay for something you accidentally stole.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          I’m not so sure they will. I’ve accidently walked out of stores without paying for something twice – once was a purse that I put on my shoulder in addtion to my purse which was already there. Both times I went back inside and explained, apologized, and paid. Both times I was thanked and not treated like I was crazy.

    • TBGBoodler says:

      Exactly. This is the way to go.

    • qwickone says:

      +1 I’m guessing they won’t make you pay for it, but I would still take this route, even if they do make you pay.

    • Jurph says:

      If I were the manager, I’d appreciate the gesture and happily accept payment.

    • Griking says:

      Agreed. The fact that he broke the ornament after he stole it is irrelevant.

    • hoi-polloi says:

      I’d bring in the tag if possible, or just grab another ornament from the shelf. That will save them the trouble of looking up the product information without me carrying around a bag of shards. It’s a non-issue that the ornament broke.

    • dgm says:

      Never incriminate yourself for any reason. It’s just not worth the risk that someone will decide to be “tough on crime” and “make an example” out of you.

      Go to the store, buy two pickles. Go put one of them back on the shelf. Problem solved. They got paid for the two pickles that left the store, and you have a pickle for the tree.

      • Bagumpity says:

        I like the way you think. At the end of the day, he has his pickle and has paid for the broken one. Plus he’s not on the hook for shoplifting. What’s the opposite of shoplifting anyway? Shopputtingdown? Shoplowering?

        • outis says:

          Shopdropping. Usually used with an altered or location inappropriate item as a form of protest, statement, prank, etc..

          • G00MAN says:

            Ha ha. I am reminded of a time (mid-70′s) walking home from Jr. High a couple of us stopped at a supermarket to grab some chocolate milk. Walking down the aisle with the baby food to get to the dairy, we noticed a gap between brand ‘A’ and brand ‘B’ so we got a cart and went over to the condiment aisle where we grabbed Horseradish, hot mustard and relish and then filled the gap in the baby food aisle. We thought it was very funny, I have no idea if any babies did.

        • bethshanin says:

          Like running into a bank with a bag of money, demanding everyone to stand up, and screaming at the teller to “take the money out of the bag! empty it! You over there, do something funny! Look at me! Look at me!”

      • nodaybuttoday says:

        I second this idea

      • JennQPublic says:

        Really? You think if a man goes into a store and tells the manager “I accidentally pocketed a pickle, but I would like to pay you for it” that the manager is going to get ‘tough on crime’? Paranoid much?!?

  5. MrBeetle says:

    Tell them you accidenlty walked out with it, and you’d just like to pay for it – but it’s at home. They will be grateful that you were honest, and you don’t look like a crazy person.

    • xamarshahx says:

      yeah, i don’t understand why he would look crazy, you would just walk back in and tell them the truth. i have put stuff in my pocket by mistake, but usually remember before i walk out.

  6. nbs2 says:

    I’d suspect the store would treat the broken pickle like they would any other fragile product that the customer broke after purchase – tough cookies, talk to the mfr if you want help.

    I am glad to see these stories, as they remind me that I am not alone. I have an Rx that I need to head over to a non-local Target to pay for. We only caught it when we went to submit it for FSA reimbursement.

  7. Taed says:

    The OP could go back to the store, buy one, and then put it back on the shelf. Moral dillema solved, but no one gets treated like a crazy person.

  8. blueduckconsumerist says:

    Aye.. that you broke it is not relevant. Still pay for it.

  9. Hoss says:

    None of these posts are from anyone with will give anything back. None. Especially this one — he put it in his pocket, why?

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      I was going to say the same thing. I never ever ever put things in my pocket while shopping for this reason exactly.

      Also because my grandmother told me that putting things in your pocket while shopping is the first step toward theft, and theft is bad.

      • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

        I never have because I’m paranoid that someone in some back office is watching me on a camera, and they’ll assume I’m stealing and follow me around and search my bag and detain me in the back room for 12 hours with no bathroom.

        I don’t shop at Walmart, so it’s less likely, but I still have that fear.

        • Difdi says:

          It’s not even an irrational fear either. IN a fairly large number of places, simply pocketing an item you don’t own yet is proof of intent to shoplift. They don’t have to wait for you to attempt to exit the store, they can detain you right then and there and call the cops.

          The cops will arrest you, the charges will stand up in court, and even if you fully intended to pay for the pocketed item, you’ll go to jail for shoplifting it. The law says that pocketing an unpaid-for item is shoplifting, so all the store has to do is show the video, and the conviction is a slam-dunk.

        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          I shop with four smallish children, a big diaper bag and a stroller–I can feel every camera in the store swivelling to watch me when I come in the door.

      • veritybrown says:

        This is why stores (even fancy little boutiques) have shopping baskets. There is NO justifiable reason for an honest person to put an item they haven’t paid for in their pocket. The risks are too great–if you don’t get confronted for shoplifting (which is the logical thing to assume when someone slips unpaid-for merchandise in their pocket), you are all too likely (in the chaos of the checkout line) to forget it’s in there until too late.

        On a number of occasions, I have overlooked a very small item in my shopping cart when I was trying to get everything onto the checkout conveyor belt, and then found it in the cart when I went to unload my bags into my car. I’ve had to go back into the store and go through the checkout line again to pay for it. I have never once considered simply not paying for it because it was too much effort.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      I agree it’s weird that he put it in his pocket – I would never do that because I’d be sure to forget to take it out and pay for it – but I believe him that it was to keep it from breaking while he continued shopping and that he forgot.

      But I don’t think it’s that hard to accidently leave without paying for something. As I mentioned above I’ve accidently walked out of a store with something I didn’t pay for twice in my life. Once was a purse I’d hung on my shoulder, and for the life of me I can’t remember what the second thing was (having a senior moment), but I know that it happened.

    • TooManyHobbies says:

      I’ve put small items in my pocket before. I have something that will fit in my pocket, I need to get something down from a shelf or something that needs both hands, it’s kind of natural to put things in your pockets.

  10. c!tizen says:

    Here we go again…

  11. adamstew says:

    Is that a pickle in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

    • econobiker says:

      “Chuckles Lounge”

      ‘in the Holiday Inn, on Frontage Road, just off the Business Loop Connector Highway-right next to the Insta-Oil Change!’

      called and wanted its joke back…

  12. penuspenuspenus says:

    Call the police and report your crime.

  13. idx says:

    “Hi, I’m Steve. Yesterday I accidentally took this ornament home after forgetting I had put it in my pocket. It’s broken now, but I would like to go ahead and pay for it. Thank you.”

  14. Aurock says:

    Just go into the store, walk up to customer service, explain what happened, and pay for it.

    I once walked out of a local grocery store w/o paying for the 2 ‘to go’ meals from the chinese counter. When I realized it, I just saved the slip and went back in the next day. The customer service desk was happy to fix the error, and pleasantly surprised that I came back.

  15. Straspey says:

    The OP’s reasoning is flawed.

    Why does he need to “sneak” back into the store ? Wouldn’t that raise more suspicion than if he simply walked right up to the first employee he saw (yes – even if it was a security guard) and politely explained the situation ?

    Also – why would the fact that the item is now broken have anything to do with his responsibility to pay for it ? And, in this case, it’s really a matter for the manager to decide, not a cashier.

    Like yesterday’s post about somebody being charged for one CD when they really bought two – I just don’t understand why this becomes such a BFD, frankly.

    You simply make a choice:

    A – “Oh – gee – I inadvertently took an item without paying for it. I have to go back there and rectify this as soon as possible.”

    B – “Oh – gee – The cashier only charged me for one of these Cd’s. Well, I guess that’s their mistake and I got a free CD.”

    Either way, you make your choice and live with it.

  16. Southern says:

    *Sigh*.. Here we go again.

    Go back to the store, speak to the manager, admit that you accidentally walked out with an item without paying for it, and offer to pay for it. They’ll either admire your honesty and tell you not to worry about it, or make you pay for something you should have paid for anyway. Either way, clean conscience.

    • TooManyHobbies says:

      I’ve never “spoken to a manager” – I don’t know why everyone keeps thinking that a manager is necessary. It’s happened to me twice and both times I just went up to a register with the UPC from the item, told them that I accidentally left with this item in my pocket a few days ago, please ring it up, they did, I paid, end of story.

      It’s not like ringing up an item and a customer paying for it is terribly unusual and requires management approval.

  17. zombie70433 says:

    What about the “you broke it, you bought it” rule?

  18. SagarikaLumos says:

    The poll is showing that over half of readers would do the right thing and go back to the store. Disappointingly, it’s only just over half. How do we expect stores to treat us well and not like criminals if we in any way advocate shoplifting, even if it’s small and accidental? Buying another and donating it? The STORE donated it if you never paid for the first! A pocketful of broken glass is not monetary payment for the ornament. Go pay for it.

    • Southern says:

      Yeah, I’m beginning to see why more and more stores are doing receipt checking, if people actually have to question their moral conscience in stories like this one and the Target one from yesterday.

      In fact if Target had a receipt checker, they might have actually prevented yesterdays moral dilemma. :P

      I don’t care if I have to turn around and drive 100 miles just to return a penny of extra change that some cashier accidentally gave me, I’m going to do it. In fact, I’ve done it. (Fortunately it wasn’t 100 miles, more like 10. lol) :)

      • pythonspam says:

        Receipt checkers are not the answer. Unless the pickle had a security tag or the checker asked, “Did you put anything in your pockets, for which you had intended to pay, but did not pay?
        I went to Fry’s yesterday and my cashier reminded me to keep my receipt out so I could show it to the receipt checker. I put my receipt in my wallet and walked past the 6-deep line of sheeple waiting to show their receipt so they could leave the store.
        Stores have replaced true LP personnel with receipt-checkers, off-duty cops, and a reliance on door alarms and they think nothing of giving honest customers unwarranted hassle in the name of “keeping prices low”.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          working in retail for many years, some as a cashier/stocker and some as management, i always found the best loss prevention was hiring employees who gave a damn and treating them well so they’d be loyal to the company.
          crappy employer equals employees underringing their friends at the register and ignoring shoplifters.
          treating employees well equals a well trained employee who cares about the store staying in business so they can keep a job they love. keeping the store in business means greeting the customers with eye contact, approaching them on the floor to offer assistance, etc. if a potential shoplifter has made eye contact with an employee they are much less likely to steal because now they feel someone might recognize them.
          hiring a person whose entire job is to stand at the front of the store with an inflated sense of self importance isn’t going to do anything for loss prevention.

      • zatoism says:

        I just don’t see the point in this. Life goes on . . .

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I don’t know if you’d consider me morally bankrupt, but here’s what I’ve done in the past.

      I always shop at the same grocery store. Several times, the register has rung up an item for 10 or 15 cents more than the shelf tag. Usually, I’m tired, on my way home, in a lot of pain from a medical condition, and I just let it go.

      So once, the store forgot to ring up an item that was about $3.00. I didn’t go back. In my mind, all the times I’ve been overcharged a small amount have added up, and we were square.

    • ShariC says:

      I think one concern among people who essentially say, “forget about it”, is that there will be one of those ridiculous over-reactions and he will get into some trouble for trying to do the right thing. If this had happened in the 70′s or 80′s, I’d say without hesitation that he should go back. But recently, it’s not so strange that no good deed goes unpunished because inflexible policies are implemented for legal reasons and unpredictable things happen, even when someone is acting in the best interests of the store.

      The choices people make do not exist in some sort of morality vacuum where the only issue at stake is their honesty. The possible outcomes temper ones choices. If doing the right thing meant that a wrong was righted, it would be the clear choice (even when it costs someone some money, time, etc.). When attempting to right a wrong may bring about a greater and excessively punitive “wrong”, then the equation is different.

      While working alone on a Saturday at work, I spilled Diet Coke on my keyboard. My first sense was that I should admit it and offer to pay the company for the keyboard I had accidentally damaged, but then I remembered that the company president (it was a small company) regularly created draconian rules that punished everyone for simple mistakes. If I had admitted it, not only would I have to pay, but certainly the president would have prohibited every employee in my section from having drinks at their desk. Since the job involved constant talking on the phone (which requires access to liquids for dry mouths and throats), this would have been a great hardship to inflict on my coworkers (and myself). I decided that I would simply say the keyboard died of old age (it was 10 years old) because I didn’t want to risk everyone suffering for my mistake. In the end, the keyboard dried out and worked fine for the next 5 years until the computer was replaced with a new one, but the point is that the behavior of the president quashed my desire to do what was “right” because it would have brought a bigger wrong down on innocent people.

  19. humphrmi says:

    As others said, go to the store, explain, yadda yadda. But I’m adding a new twist: pay for it with a credit card, then chargeback because they sold you a broken pickle. ;-)

    I think most people voted for the “Go back to the store and be treated like a crazy person” because they want to see the story after you try to go back.

  20. LoadStar says:

    Buy another, then sneak it back into the store and put it back on the shelf. You’ve now paid the store for the one you accidentally took.

  21. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    My logic is since the pickle broke shortly after “purchase” it was clearly an inferior item and I would have returned it for a refund. Since the OP already has the money, it’s a wash.

  22. Bargaineering.com says:

    Go back, explain, and pay for it.

    How is this even debatable?

    • csciguy says:

      And why is this even on Consumerist? This guy can’t make his own moral decision on his own, so he has to get opinions from others on what to do? Are you kidding me?

    • veritybrown says:

      Why is this a debatable issue? Because over half the people who took the poll are either okay with this theft or think that doing a piddling good deed cancels out any other moral responsibility! For some of us (still, thankfully) there’s no question what the “right thing” to do is: to reimburse the store for their loss, regardless of how foolish that makes the culprit feel. But the honest folks seem to be in the minority. Because that’s where our society is now, morally. THAT’S why this is a debatable issue.

    • psm321 says:

      Because he wants to do the right thing in secret because some stores will overreact and have you arrested for shoplifting if you go back and tell them you accidentally took something.

  23. Kingsley says:

    Go pay for it. Nowadays they track repeat shoplifters rather than grabbing them in the act. Keep the receipt. That it broke doesn’t change anything essential.

  24. AmPriS says:
  25. iggy21 says:

    Go straight to the police station and turn yourself in. That’s the only recourse.

  26. Reading_Comprehension says:

    go back in the store, toss the shards on the floor, yell “OOPS!” and walk away slowly

  27. Griking says:

    Vote 4: Go back to the store and pay for the item that you broke.

    You stole the pickle (that sounds so silly). The fact that he later broke it is irrelevant.

  28. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    These babies will be in the stores while he’s still grappling with the pickle matrix. Hoyvin, glavin

  29. D0rk says:

    Write in vote: just donate the value to charity.

  30. Danielle74 says:

    If it’s keeping you up at night, go back and pay for it.

    Next time, you might want to consider a basket or a cart if you are worried about damaging a purchase on the way to the cash register. Putting and unpaid purchase in your pocket just screams shoplifter to me.

  31. hymie! says:

    He’d be happy to go back to the store and pay for it, but the ornament is now broken.

    I’m afraid I don’t see the connection between these two statements.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      I think he’s trying to backpedal an excuse for himself by saying that if he’d broken it in the store before he bought it, the cashier would not expect him to pay for it, so since he hasn’t paid for it yet, he shouldn’t have to.

      True, it has been my experience that if you break an item in a department store (that’s not an expensive one), most stores will tell you not to worry about it, but I think this is a different situation altogether.

  32. raybury says:

    Go back to the store and pay for it, otherwise you are legally a thief. If it is inconvenient to go back, all the better as it will remind you not to shove stuff in your pocket.

    Buy another if you want an unbroken one — you bear most of the responsibility of it breaking since they likely would have wrapped it in tissue and put it in a bag that would have protected it better than shoving it in your pocket. Paying for the first one and then asking to exchange it because it is broken would be beyond tacky at this point.

    Finally, my chief complaint: Don’t shove stuff in your pocket in a store. In stores that employ trained and qualified security folks (as opposed to centenarian receipt-checkers), said security staff may see this as a behavior of shoplifters not shared with other shoppers. Your case does not provide a counterexample, but if you want to argue about your intent, also think about the effects: Security staff end up watching and following you, the unintentional shoplifter, and so miss the intentional shoplifter elsewhere in the store. He is a teen who could have been caught and rehabilitated, but because he is not caught later graduates to even more serious crimes and eventually kills people.

    So pay for your sh*t or people will die!

  33. Buddha says:

    You sure it wasn’t a dildo?

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      They DO make those out of glass now. Or so I’ve heard. Not that I would know.

  34. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Just go pay for it. That’s what you obviously WANT to do, or you wouldn’t have emailed Consumerist. Go to the manager and explain what happened and pay the money. Regardless of his/her reaction, you’ll feel better.

  35. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    If he doesn’t pay for the broken pickle, the terrorists win!

  36. Don't_rip_me_off_bro says:

    I found a dollar bill in the street one time, but it wasn’t mine. What should I do???

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      I found a $20 in a parking lot once as a teenager. happiest day of my life up to that point.

    • Southern says:

      unless someone else is chasing it, or it’s got some form of ID attached to it, enjoy your $1.

      If you found a wallet in the street with $20 and an ID in it, would you make an effort to return it to the rightful owner?

  37. TonyK says:

    Broken or not, the person took it without paying for it and the store is out the $$$. The ONLY right thing to do is to return, explain what happened and pay for the item.

  38. WalterSinister2 says:

    IANAL, but I think that changing your mind afterward isn’t a defense for shoplifting. If you go back and tell them what happened, you are confessing to everything except intent. Most stores aren’t going to be jerks about it, but they could have you arrested.

    I don’t know what the best way to protect yourself in that situation is.

  39. tresser says:

    i shot the clerk?

  40. Ben says:

    He should go back to the store and steal a second pickle.

  41. Krang Krabowski says:

    honestly, no one is gonna care either way but doing the right thing, is doing the right thing, i think in this case it’s more about what makes you feel better.

  42. CaptCynic says:

    Dear consumerist…
    I need your help. See, yesterday I accidentally drank too much alcohol and ended up sleeping with a… let’s call her a professional escort. Now, so far, no harm done. However, in my inebriated state, I accidentally shot her seven times. So, despite my actions being fueled by a mind-altering substance, I feel a twinge of guilt over the situation. So I thought I’d ask your readers… is it ok to take my $200 back from her before I dump the body?

  43. bigd738778 says:

    So the guy is a thief, period. I have never once, while carring too many items, thought “Why don’t I just stick some of them in my pockets”! Really??? The guy thought someone would believe this story?

  44. Red Cat Linux says:

    Go back with the barcode and the broken pickle and pay for it.

    Really. Anything with a barcode will sell. I often do my grocery shopping by going straight to the dairy aisle and grabbing a bottle of chocolate milk and drink it while I shop.

    When I reach the checkout, they ring up the empty bottle without batting an eye. Sometimes they ask if they should throw it away afterward. The rest of the time, they bag it up with the groceries.

    • RadarOReally has got the Post-Vacation Blues says:

      Wow! I’ll bet nobody else ever thought of drinking a drink while shopping then paying for the empty bottle! Thanks for the tip :)

      (Just razzing ya’)

  45. veritybrown says:

    How about following the example of the guy who recently had a change of heart and paid for a hammer he had stolen from a small-town hardware store many years ago? Put the price of the pickle in cash in an envelope with a note explaining what happened and send it to them anonymously. No need for a “crazy person” confrontation. No need to risk being arrested as a shoplifter. The store is repaid, the guy has it off his conscience, and the employees at the store have an amusing and/or heartwarming story to tell. Everyone wins.

  46. TooManyHobbies says:

    It’s happened to me twice. I just go back and pay for the stuff, there’s never been any fuss, they just rang it up and I paid and usually went in and shopped some more.

  47. ElizabethD says:

    Headline win.

  48. kylere1 says:

    Be an adult, go to the store, tell them what happened and pay for it.

    Anything less and you are scummy.

    • Southern says:

      A thief is a thief. I don’t care if it’s stealing a $3 item from a store, or mugging a person in a back alley and taking their wallet & jewlery. DESKTOP

  49. KyBash says:

    No need to seem like a crazy person — just take the bar code to the store and tell the person at the customer service counter that you were shopping there yesterday, found one item hadn’t been scanned, and offer to pay for it.

    It’s not a lie.

  50. outlulz says:

    I don’t trust anyone who puts unpaid merchandise in their pocket for any reason. There is never a valid reason to do so. If you have too much stuff in your hand then go get a basket.

  51. Kibit says:

    Go to the store with the broken pickle, explain what happened and pay for the damn thing!

  52. Kibit says:

    I’d like to vote for “Go back to the store and pay for it”

    Why did they feel the need to add “be treated like a crazy person”???

  53. evnmorlo says:

    Just go in with the shards and say you broke it in the store.

  54. I wumbo. You wumbo. He- she- me... wumbo. Wumbo; Wumboing; We'll have thee wumbo; Wumborama; Wumbology; the study of Wumbo. says:

    LMAO THis has to be a parody! I want pics of the broken pickle!

  55. Froggmann says:

    Relax it’s a common mistake. Heck I’m sure the store has 100s of broken ornaments in the back room. It’s the reason why they make you pay $5 for an item who’s unit cost was likely .80 cents. It’s not like you saw the ornament and said to yourself, “THis is cool. Let’s see if I can get away with it.”.

  56. Chaosium says:

    “But then I broke the ornament, meaning no cashier in their right mind would let me buy it then.”

    So you’re a klepto, AND a rationalizing one at that. Just tell them you don’t think the ornament was scanned properly before, and ask to buy it if it’s weighing that heavily on your conscience. You may well be crazypants, but this is probably not the first time something like this has happened in the store, and it’s no biggie.

    • tky says:

      In a climate where consumers are treated like criminals in the first place, I disagree that he was rationalizing the accidental theft. I’d be wary of returning in his situation to right a wrong as well – truly an unfortunate realization.

      Also, bring the glass shards with you. Heaven forbid the receipt checker at the door cannot match up your receipt with an item, you might not make it home for Christmas at all!

  57. unchainedmuse says:

    Moral of the story is never, EVER put anything in your pocket, purse, etc before you pay for it. That’s where the OP slipped up on this. If he had been caught on camera concealing this in his pocket, he could have been arrested for shoplifting then and there. He was lucky, and needs to make the situation right.

  58. zatoism says:

    I wish this was my biggest problem. Are you kidding me?

  59. ForrestWhitakersLazyEye says:

    Good lord, look at these “lovely” do-gooders. I bet you 9 out of 10 of them wouldn’t end up going back to pay for it, but chide everyone from their armchairs.

  60. MikeVx says:

    Take the remnants back to the store. Get whatever items you need that day. Tell the cashier that you broke the item (true) and that you mean to pay for it (also true). You don’t have to elaborate past that, you have not said anything untrue. If the cashier or any consulted staff says not to worry it, don’t.

    This covers the return of the item and omitting mention of the complete circumstances reduces the likelihood of a nuclear response to the issue.

  61. awer25 says:

    “Do I have any recourse, or do I just have to accept the fact that I am a thief?”

    Wow. Just go back to the store, take one off the shelf (to get the UPC), and explain to customer service what happened.

  62. bhost1 says:

    If Steve is so morally deficient as to need to be told how to proceed, then he’s obviously also too intellectually deficient to understand the difference between right and wrong. Is it a lot of bother to make right this one small, unintentional mistake? Of course it is.

    One might “feel” obliged to give Steve credit for asking advice, but I suspect in reality he’s merely hoping for a similarly-unprincipled idiot to suggest he forget the whole thing, and save him the bother / embarrassment.