Two Men, Two Colostomy Bags, Two Shoplifting Accusations, Three Steaks, One Arrest, One Apology

Two men on different continents who have similar medical problems and have undergone the same surgery, and recent trips to these ended poorly for both of them. They both have colostomies, and store employees mistook both of their bags for stolen merchandise and became suspicious. The difference: one of them men was allegedly trying to leave the store with $75 worth of steak stuffed in his colostomy bag, and the other was innocent.

A colostomy, if you aren’t familiar, is a surgery where the large intestine is re-routed, with the exit to the patient’s digestive system relocated to a surgeon-created hole on the abdomen, which can then either empty into a bag or be covered. Yes, it means that the patient walks around with a bag of their own poo hanging from their waist. The surgery can be done to treat cancer, Crohn’s disease, or other serious large intestine issues.

Where this caused problems for both men in our tale today was when store employees saw the bulge in their clothing and assumed that they were stealing. The man in Wales was accused of wandering off with a pair of pants tucked under his sweater. An employee of clothing store Next insisted on seeing what the bulge was.

“I felt forced to show him that underneath my jumper was my colostomy bag,” he told reporters, “and I told him that he had discriminated against me, he denied this.” The store later offered him £500 (about $780) in compensation.

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, one man is accused of stealing steaks from a Food Lion store, with one using his colostomy bag to conceal canvas bags filled with steak. Police later apprehended the suspects and the steaks, using license plate information and with store surveillance footage to back them up.

What still isn’t clear is whether the steaks were in the colostomy bag, which is disgusting and wrong for multiple reasons, or the steaks were hidden behind the bag. The latter makes more sense, and is closer to the time-honored method of stealing meat by shoving it down one’s pants.

Next gives dad £500 after asking him to show colostomy bag in shoplifting suspicion [ITV]
Man shoplifted steaks in colostomy bag, deputies say [WYFF]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.