|Understanding the Consequences of Stealing
GMost of us learn as small children that it's not right to steal. Do you remember picking up that candy bar when your parents weren't looking? Do you remember the time you picked up that pack of gum and your parents told you to put it back? What about the time you picked up the lollipop and your mother or father didn't notice it until you were in the car? They may have taken you back into the store and made you hand it back to a store employee. The consequences were different when you were a child. Your parents disciplined you to teach you right from wrong.
What are the consequences of stealing when you're an adult? Well, if you steal your best friend's boyfriend or girlfriend, you may have lost a very good friend for life. Shoplifting, or retail theft, is another type of stealing. The consequences of that vary depending on the value of the items.
In Pennsylvania, you can spend up to seven (7) years behind bars for shoplifting. This penalty is if you take anything valued over $2000, steal a car, or it's a third offense. If you're found guilty of shoplifting, you also pay fines anywhere from $10 to $500. You also get a 30-day suspension of your driver's license for a third offense.
In Pennsylvania, you also can get arrested for changing labels and price tags, or doing anything that leads a retailer to lose money on the full value of an item. As an added consequence, you'll also get a permanent criminal record. This record makes it very hard to get a job, not to mention having to show your prison ID since your license was taken from you.
Law enforcement estimates that 90% of the population in this country will commit some type of retail theft sometime in their life. In a case where a minor steals an item, sometimes a warning is issued to them. A minor's parents are also called. Of all the new businesses that are open, about one-third of them fail because someone decided they needed a certain item and chose to steal it instead of paying for it.
Because shoplifting happens in most, if not all, businesses at one time or another, these businesses are forced to raise their prices to cover their losses from shoplifting. About $16 billion is lost every year because of stolen merchandise. Now that's a lot of zeroes and a lot of stealing.
If you decide that stealing is right for you, consider these "benefits" that you will get: You can get a free trip to jail, lose your money because you have to pay fines, do community service work for many hours, and be banned from the place where the item was stolen. If you're a minor, your parents will also be called.
Now, is that DVD or eye shadow or video game worth getting put into jail? I personally don't think so. So before you hide that piece of jewelry in your pants pocket or stick that notebook down the back of your jeans, ask yourself this question: "Do I REALLY need this shirt or notebook that badly?" I'll be you'll think twice about it when you're aware of the consequences.
Consequences of Shoplifting. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Online Lawyer Source: http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/criminal_law/shoplifting/consequences.html
Pennsylvania Retail Theft/Shoplifting Laws. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Pennsylvania Defense Lawyer: http://www.pennsylvania-defense-lawyer.com/retailtheft.htm
Pennsylvania Shoplifting Laws - PA Retail Theft Defense Lawyer - Defense Attorney. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Pennsylvania Criminal Defense: http://www.pennsylvania-criminal-defense.com/shoplifting-theft.htm
Shoplifting -- Online Lawyer Source. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Online Lawyer Source: http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/criminal_law/shoplifting.html
Stealing - Definitions from Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved May 27, 2008, from Dictionary.com: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/stealing