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Help for friend who shoplifts

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Vince S., Jul 23, 2004.

  1. Vince S.

    Vince S. Resident Former Bassist

    Jan 24, 2003
    Hey all

    I've been considering for a couple days whether or not to post this since many members are tired of hearing about teen problems, as well as the sensitive nature of this topic.

    Here goes...

    My best friend (lets call her Jane) recently started shoplifting. It first started with a couple of magazines from a bookstore. I confronted her about that, and she said that she wouldn't take anything of more value than a magazine. I wasn't too happy about this, but I put it out of my mind for a little bit. Then, Jane started telling me about how she stole some clothing for a friend, and this past week when we went to the mall, she snatched several shirts and a hat. I told her I thought what she was is doing is wrong, and tried to talk to her about it. But, whenever I try, she gets very defensive and angry, and gives me excuses like "Well, these stores make millions every year, its not like theyre gonna go out of business" or "If you were truly my friend, then you'd support me in this!" The last statement really bothered me since I do care about her and don't want her to get in trouble, and she tells me Im not being a good friend if I dont condone her shoplifting.

    What should I do? Everytime I try to talk to her she gets very angry and defensive, and I watched this escalate from her taking magazines to now hundreds of dollars worth of clothing. Her other friends know about this, but they all turn the other cheek and think its ok (probably because shes stealing stuff for them too). When I asked her best girl-friend about it, she told me to "quit being such a (female body part), its no big deal." (The no big deal statement is really ironic since that friend always asks Jane to steal for her because shes too afraid to do it herself).

    Anyway, sorry for the long post.

    What should I do? How can I get help for her? I dont want her to get in trouble with the law. And I dont want to stop being friends with her either, because we are very very close, and aside from the shoplifting she is a good person at heart (basically the least person you'd suspect to ever do something like that).

    Thank you

  2. Folmeister

    Folmeister Knowledge is Good - Emile Faber Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    Tomball, Texas
    Well, Your friend has you in quite the pickle. As I see it, there is some issue that is driving you friend's behavior, perhaps the attention that she gets from those who benefit from her "discount shopping." Whether or not you do something about the problem, there will be resolution. She will get caught, and as the price of her acquisitions increases so do the consequences. Is she of age? You can go to a parent or gaurdian or you can recommend professional services. You are taking the right step, but are being shut down by her other enabling "friends." I would council one of two paths:

    1. Her "friends" be damned - get her help right now, even if it means getting her in trouble with the law

    2. Keep your distance and try and salvage the relationship after her fall

    Either way, it's a tough choice
  3. Tho it's tough, distance is the answer if you don't want to be a snitch.

    Do you want to be in a position to go down with her? Sounds like she is doing this in alot of ways, for the thrill of it.

    I wouldn't want to associate with that.
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    I'd say turn her in. Kids like that need to get a dose of reality in my opinion. That would be being the best friend possible.
  5. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    Rent "Born Innocent" and make sure she sees the shower scene. May turn her around.
  6. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK
    great, those stores make millions but that lady making 7$ a hour will get fired, not the CEO...

    If she is under 18, maybe getting cought will help her:/ your records do get sortoff rmed from you when you hit 18:/ atleast my did
  7. +1

    I was recently in one of these binds and I ended up turning him in ( nothing to serious but serious enough ). If she truly is your friend she will forgive you and realize she was wrong for steeling.
  8. the magazines gave her confidence. She thought she could get away with anything. She did and soon enough she will get caught, fined, and people may as well search her house for other stolen items if its that extreme. Talk to her, and don't just suggest stopping, tell her to. Give her a reality check. It will do you and everyone else good.
  9. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Crime is crime, & he attempting to rationalize it, is only going to get YOU into trouble. If you know about it, then you're an accessory.

    Sure, it sucks. But, you need to hit her in the face w/ it, before a policeman does. Tell her, that you think she'd look great in an orange jumpsuit!

    Honestly, if she expects you to just accept it, she's not your friend... A friend would NEVER put someone they care about in such a predicament.
  10. kserg


    Feb 20, 2004
    London, UK

    ...Action wise, i think TOY is right, it will help her as well... I am backing that idea up...
  11. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    Maybe, just maybe you can both benefit from this....Convince her that shoplifting a new bass rig would be the coolest thing. If she gets away with it, steel the rig from her and blackmale her saying you'll turn her in if she doesn't let you have it. If she gets caught steeling the rig she'll get help via department of corrections.

    ??????***????? :scowl:
  12. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    I had friends that were into drugs and yeah, same situation too, in that you know where they are going is a bad place, and you try and get them to understand but there is no changing their mind.

    In the end, I had to let them go their own path.

    What is a "friend" anyway? Is it someone who kills themself for others? I find that a waste and I wouldn't want a REAL friend of mine to waste their life on my life. Friendship is a two-way street and it seems as though you have more respect for your friend than she has for herself or her family and anyone else for that matter.

    As others have said, try to directly tell her the potential consequences of her actions (jail, embarassment, whatever). Doing this completes yourr obligation as a good friend. After that, people, friends, even family, are on their own. At that point, crashing is the only way to realize you are driving a car with no brakes. Yet, these people wanna drive faster. :rollno: Leave the situation and distance yourself from her. Maybe she'll wise up and realize it isn't worth losing a friend like you over stupid stuff. If she doesn't what kind of friends is that?! Anyway, When she gets caught, AND SHE WILL GET CAUGHT, she will know how many friends she really has.

    The second part of your job as a friend will be there for her afterwards DESPITE her UNfriend-ness towards you. THAT is what a real friend is. To me at least.

  13. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Unfortunately, sometimes to be a real friend you have to be uncool in their eyes.

    I would tell her that your going to talk to her parents if she doesn't stop. Make sure your willing to go through with it (before you say it) or she will learn you are just a pushover. I'll assume she won't stop and you speak to her parents. Then, walk away. Sometimes, thats all you can do. Down the road she will see you did her a favor...hopefully.
  14. Muzique Fann

    Muzique Fann Howzit brah

    Dec 8, 2003
    Kauai, HI
    Next time she does it, cut off her pinky.
  15. Steal stuff from her.

    Give her a taste of her own medicine.

    She'd probably be like, "You stole that from ME!!!" and you can respond with great overtones "But you stole it from a STORE!!!"

    Something like that.
  16. Transverz

    Transverz believer of the Low End Theory

    May 3, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA

    If you or anyone steal anything of hers, she has utterly NOTHING to say to defend herself because afterall, she thinks stealing is "okay"!

    But like all hypocrites, I'm sure she will try to come up with an excuse as to how it's "different". Geez.

  17. danshee

    danshee Banned

    May 28, 2004
    Chicago, Illinois
    Honestly, if she expects you to just accept it, she's not your friend... A friend would NEVER put someone they care about in such a predicament.[/QUOTE]

    Yah, no kidding. I wouldn't call her a freind if she put in that situation. Here is what I would do: punch her in the face while calling her names.
  18. You beat me too it :cool:
  19. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I dunno.... I'm torn between telling you to turn her in, and just continuing to try to appeal to her better side. Turning her in is a more immediate solution, but it could also cost you her friendship (not that she's doing much for you right now). Plus, if she gets over it in a few months without getting caught, then she's spared unnecessary legal troubles. I'd keep lobbying with her and trying to remind her of the consequences. If you do decide to turn her in, go to her parents before the police. Try to keep the law out of it until all other options are exhausted.
  20. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I would just simply cut off the friendship. Is that cold? Yes. Is that cynical? Yes. But if her rationale is, "So what, they make millions of dollars", chances are, you aren't going to be able to appeal to her intellectual side.