Inadvertent Stealing

Sometimes when I go grocery shopping, I come home with things I didn’t pay for. I am not proud of this, and I never intentionally steal, but it still happens. And instead of taking personal responsibility, I choose to blame the shopping cart designer.

I don’t know whose bright idea it was to put a rack underneath the shopping cart, but I am now convinced that metal grate is responsible for a large percentage of losses sustained due to theft.

Not long ago, I inadvertently stole via the shopping cart rack. Twice. In a row. I felt awful. But I was too embarrassed to return to the scene of the crime and fess up. The first time I stole a case of water that was about $4. The second time I stole a mega pack of toilet paper that was about $13. I almost stole water again the next time I went to purchase it, but I remembered to haul it out to be scanned right after my transaction went through. So I just paid for it in cash.

If you ask me, the clerks ought to be more alert to what lies beneath people’s carts. They also ought not be named Shamequa, but that is another post entirely.

After the first episode of inadvertent stealing, I came home and confessed to my husband, “I stole the water today.” He was very encouraging and told me not to worry about, the store owed him. I waited for his explanation. He said, “With as many times as they’ve left some of my groceries on the turn style and let me walk off without them, we deserve a free case of water.”

I couldn’t argue with that. I have come home several times only to discover my paid for merchandise was left at the store.

I let my conscience rest. Until I stole again.

I came home and said, “I stole the toilet paper today.” My husband laughed and told me to take it back if I felt that badly about it. I said, “I can’t, I already opened it,” which was true. Then he told me next time I was in the store to have them ring me up for 2 toilet paper packs but only bring home one. Can you imagine the look on Shamequa’s face if I did that?

Me: “Can you charge me twice for the toilet paper?”
Shamequa: Blank look
Me: “Last time I was in here I accidentally took home toilet paper without paying for it. So can you charge me twice this time?
Shamequa: “You mean you stoled it?”
Me: “Uh, yeah, but it was an accident.”
Shamequa: “I gotsta call da managa.”

I can just imagine being black listed over this. If I fessed up, every time I went back to this store, security would follow me around as I shopped. The cameras in the ceilings would all focus on me, recording my every move, waiting to catch me in the act of rack stealing again. And you know one day it will happen again. It is inevitable. I can imagine my kids watching Mommy be “escorted” out of the store, put in a squad car, and taken to downtown Olive Branch. It would scar them for life.

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6 thoughts on “Inadvertent Stealing

  1. Think about all the times you’ve gotten home and looked at the bill and they charged you twice for something. That happens to me a lot. Never to Heather though, since she actually knows what the prices are of things.I get 10 packages of kool-ade and they charge me for 15. It happens.Don’t hang your head. You’re in the right city for criminals. Just think of yourself as a true Memphian

  2. As long as you are not INTENTIONALLY taking thing without paying (i.e. stealing) – which you are NOT… then no worries. I put the responsibility on the cashiers. They should look at the bottom of the cart OR AT LEAST ask if you have anything on the bottom of the cart – that would at least trigger you to say, “Oh yeah, I do”. 🙂

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