Monday, August 29, 2011

What Do You Think?: Shoplifting

Myra was a new student. She wanted to be accepted. She wanted to be popular. One day she was on State Street with some girls from school and they walked into Forever 21. One of the girls, Briana, tried on a bracelet, looked around, then stuck it in Myra's purse and told her that she'd be cool if she walked out of the store with it.

Questions for Discussion:
1) If you were Myra, what would you do?

2) If you were standing next to Myra, watching this happen, what would you do?

3) Why do you think that Briana would make Myra take the bracelet for her?

4) Have you ever been in this situation? What did you do? What would you do differently?

**Petty Theft (stealing or taking $, product, or services with a value less than $400) is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 or 6 months in County Jail, or both.

**Approximately 25 percent of shoplifters are kids, 75 percent are adults. 55 percent of adult shoplifters say they started shoplifting in their teens.

**Shoplifting is often not a premeditated crime. 73 percent of adult and 72 percent of juvenile shoplifters don't plan to steal in advance.

**The excitement generated from "getting away with it" produces a chemical reaction resulting in what shoplifters describe as an incredible "rush" or "high" feeling. Many shoplifters will tell you that this high is their "true reward," rather than the merchandise itself.

What Can Mentors Do to Help Prevent This?
**Since so many youth say that they shoplift because they're bored, ask your mentee what makes them excited. Find out their passions and encourage them to continue on in those areas. If they find a natural high engaging in positive activities, they are far less likely to become involved with things that aren't as beneficial for them. They are also more likely to remember the things they love and can possibly lose if they committed a crime.

**Ask your mentee if they'd like to hear about what you love in life. Share with them what sparks your curiousity, whether that be dogs, surfing, photography, hiking, cultures...anything that you continuously find yourself wanting to know more about.

**Meet their friends. Ask them why they consider them friends. Help them see that friendship is about trust and care for another person.

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