When Shoplifting Videos From Target, Please Do Not Set Lingerie On Fire As A Diversion

Quick, you stuffed $195 worth of videos into your jacket and you’re rushing towards the exit when you spot Target’s menacing security force. What do you do? If you answered “set lingerie on fire as a diversion,” then you may be as bright as 19-year-old shoplifter Tabitha Bozman of Elyria, Ohio.

Bozman, of Elyrai, lit the rack of lingerie on fire, but security cameras caught her red-handed, a police report said.


Security cameras caught Bozman fidgeting with the inside of her jacket as she wandered through the shoe department. No one was near her in the lingerie section when the rack went up in flames, the police report said.

Elyria fire Lt. David Street said store employees grabbed fire extinguishers and put out the flames. No one was hurt, but the store was evacuated and closed for more than an hour while the ventilation system cleared away smoke that hung over the aisles.

Bozman’s attempted diversion has earned her several hefty charges, including “aggravated arson, vandalism, inducing panic, theft, criminal tools and criminal damaging.”

Lingerie sizzling — literally [The Plain Dealer]


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    Whats sexier and more comfortable than flannel underwear?

  2. Fry says:

    That underwear is HOT HOT HOT!

  3. SkyeBlue says:

    People have been known to “spontaneously combust”, so why couldn’t underwear also? Aren’t the cheapo ones made out of man-made products derived from highly flammable chemicals? I mean, could they prove it DIDN’T happen?

    I can hear the ghost of Johnnie Cochran now: “If the underwear is on fire, I must call you a liar!”

  4. Mariajl says:

    The real crime here is that the videos were “Grease 2,” “Showgirls,” “Sharkey’s Machine,” and the entire 4th season of Full House.

  5. SexCpotatoes says:

    Um, shouldn’t that be “ELYRIA?”

    Part of Ohio is probably confused by the misspelling, the other part, offended. C’mon, this isn’t Nazi Tshirts, this is flaming women’s sexy undergarments!

  6. Posthaus says:

    @homerjay: “Whats sexier and more comfortable than flannel underwear?”

    Flannel underwear on fire?

  7. Optimistic Prime says:

    It’s a shame none of the lingerie was the wal-mart panties, “Who needs credit cards, shoplift!”

  8. buzzair says:

    That has got to be one of the worst Photoshop jobs I’ve ever seen.

  9. huadpe says:

    By the way, this brings up the universal rule of criminal behaviour: one crime at a time. If you commit multiple crimes at once, it’s nearly impossible to dodge the charges. But one count of one crime is relatively easy to get away with.

  10. Gadgetgirl says:

    Thieves make me sick! Why didn’t she just download the movies like everyone else?

    Oh right…

  11. homerjay says:

    @Posthaus: touché

  12. Trai_Dep says:

    TOLD you the security guards shouldn’t have taunted her denials with, “Liar, liar, underpants on fire!”

  13. bohemian says:

    Shoplifters are not the smartest criminals. One place I worked retail, a woman came in looking urgent and asked to use the bathroom. Someone pointed her in the direction of said bathroom. About the time she got herself locked in the bathroom two store security guards from the Mervin’s across the way came running in. We banged on the door and finally unlocked it just in time to catch her jamming handfuls of stolen underwear down our toilet.

  14. mikull says:

    When I think about it, this was almost a good plan – just executed poorly. For sake of argument, let’s say she tried it this way:

    Browse around, even ask someone for help with a product to dull the suspicion factor. Then find a clever way to start a fire in the privates section so that it blazes a little while after you’ve left to browse the DVD section.

    When the alarms go off and all employees go into WTF mode, you pocket what you can and file out with everyone else for safety.

    I’m not planning an intricate Target heist myself, but I bet that has better odds for success.

  15. Fry says:

    @mikull: Or you can start the fire when there is more than just you in the underwear section.

  16. ExVee says:

    This doesn’t sound half as fun as the time when the Wal-Mart I then worked at was evacuated because a *seven year old* set fire to some UT licensed clothing because one of the managers a day or two earlier had made him leave the store. As I remember the story, he was unattended, and lived in the apartment complex behind the store. Meanwhile, first and second shift got to sit outside for three hours and basically have a block party until the fire department declared the building safe to re-enter. Then we had a pizza party inside.

    They say a column of flame shot straight up to the ceiling. I feel bad for the poor old lady working at the fitting room who has bad knees and can’t exactly run away very fast. See, the fire was set immediately to the right of the fitting room, so she literally had a front row seat for the whole thing. But everybody got out and no one was hurt, so all’s well. As for myself, I was pleased to have worked there just long enough to actually see the place set ablaze. /:)

  17. spinachdip says:

    @huadpe: I guess this is the (literally) poor man’s version of “it’s never the crime, always the coverup”? I figure someone without a criminal record would get off relatively lightly for just shoplifting, but the arson and all the other charges will definitely earn her time.

    @bohemian: I guess if they were smarter, they wouldn’t be shoplifting. It’s high risk, low reward – worst of both worlds (althuogh the barry to entry is much lower than, say, human trafficking or money laundering).

  18. Benny Gesserit says:

    I can’t believe there have been this many comments and not one used the word “firecrotch”?

    I know it’s Sunday (day of rest and all that) but, people, we have a reputation to uphold.

  19. Fry says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): Here’s my attempt, then, though with a lsightly different word:

    That’s gonna cause some cockburn.

  20. TechnoDestructo says:

    I think if I ever own a business with a public restroom, I’m putting cameras in the stalls.

    That way I can identify the people who ruin it for everyone else.

    Shit like that is probably why the entire state of California has approximately ten public restrooms.

  21. vondruska says:

    I never thought I would see the town I live in show up on The Consumerist…

  22. erica.blog says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): eh… is that a word?

  23. spinachdip says:

    @erica.blog: I assume you don’t have many ginger-headed friends.

  24. RandomHookup says:

    So what should I set on fire to create a diversion?

  25. JAYEONE says:

    @mikull: I love that! “WTF mode”!

    I think that will be my new phrase of the week.

  26. banmojo says:

    @Jim (The Canuck One): actually, the ‘day of rest’, according to the 10 Commandments, would be the Sabbath Day. The same one Jeshua observed whilst ‘in the flesh’. Hmmmmm, food for thought.

  27. Comeaja says:

    @buzzair: *MS Paint Jobs.

  28. alhypo says:

    This is disappointing. What are we teaching our young people these days? They can’t even pull off a simple shoplifting.

    Stealing is what made this country great. We have a reputation to uphold people.

  29. alhypo says:

    @banmojo: More like empty calories for thought.

  30. magic8ball says:

    This is funny, because at the Target in my town, no one pays attention when the security alarm goes off anyway. I once went back and forth through the gate thingy about seven times, setting it off each time, and no one seemed to notice.

    And I wasn’t doing it just to be an a$$; I knew I hadn’t shoplifted anything, so I was trying to figure out what it was that was setting it off.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Hmm It’s reasonably certain that Target wouldn’t carry the “girls gone wild” videos – it’d be ironic if that was amongst her attempted haul. But I have to wonder – did she have a buddy that pushed something bigger out the door during the commotion?

    Isn’t clothing supposed to be somewhat flame-retardant?

  32. Underpants Gnome says:

    Phase 1: Steal DVDs
    Phase 2: Light underpants on fire
    Phase 3: Profit!!!

    Something seems backwards here…