Teen Shoplifting: Causes and Consequences
Teenager shoplifting is more common than you think. You may have come across your child’s computer and saw a search in Google for how to shoplift and thought my child does not shoplift. Sadly, the number of children who shoplift is increasing.
Shoplifting in the UK is on the increase. 374 thousand shoplifting offences recorded by the police in 2018/19. For 2020/21 that figure is set to rise. Stealing is a big deal. Shoplifting or retail fraud is a major concern for retailers, it costs retailers an annual £4.4bn.
Teenage shoplifting is not just a major and expensive problem for retailers. Children who shoplift also cause serious problems for their parents.
We have got together with child shopliting experts to see why children shoplift and shoplifting sigs.
When Kids Do Bad Things – Shoplifting
Shoplifting is a common issue with kids today, and there are many reasons why this happens. Even though kids, especially teens, are aware that what they’re doing is wrong, they still do it. But children’s reasons often differ from what motivates adults to steal.
The most common reason is that some teens get jealous of the nice things that their friends have. For instance, Jane likes Emily’s brand new phone given to her by her parents. Jane asks her dad to buy her one too. Her dad, however, refused because he can’t afford the phone for now. Since Jane is dying of envy, she decides to take matters into her own hands; and her decision involves stealing a phone for herself.
– Wants to Test Authority
Some kids shoplift just to see if they can get away with it. Even though they can just ask their parents for money, they may choose to steal because they are curious about what the consequences of their actions will be.
– Boredom, Confusion, Depression
There are also teens that resort to stealing because they’re just too bored, confused or depressed. The illegal act gives them an adrenalin rush that stimulates their bodies and their minds.
– Peer Pressure
The need to belong also spurs some adolescents to steal. Maybe shoplifting is a way that will get them accepted to a certain group. Troubled kids are the most vulnerable because their emotions and their thoughts are too confused, and they can be easily convinced by others to commit a crime.
Signs Of Teenage Shoplifting
So, how do you know that your precious child is shoplifting? Here are some revealing signs.
1. Your child has a lot of expensive things.
Is your daughter wearing a pricy bracelet or carrying around a costly bag? Is your son no longer bugging you to buy the smartphone that he wants because, surprisingly, he already has it? If your teen suddenly has a lot of expensive possessions and you know that his allowance is not nearly enough to buy him these items, then something is amiss.
2. There are numerous tags, packaging material or shopping bags in your child’s room.
When you go to your daughter’s room to get the laundry and you notice that her trash bin is filled with price tags, then there might be something wrong especially if you know that she does not have the means to purchase such items. Be alert and talk to your child about where she got the money to buy all those new things.
3. Your child’s friends seem to be very generous.
Your teen is smart and she’ll know that if she leaves clues, you’ll soon find out what she’s up to. So, she creates a scapegoat – a rich and generous friend. It’s normal for your child to share things with her friends, and sometimes, her friends might also give her nice gifts. But usually, presents are for special occasions. If your child’s “rich friend” is overly generous, he or she is probably too good to be true.