Shoplifting This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Shoplifting is one of the most common crimes committed by teenagers. When you hear the word shoplifting, what do you think of? And what do you think about a person who shoplifts?

Everyone has their own opinion on whether shoplifting is wrong, depending on the situation, but I do not believe in situations. Shoplifting is a crime. It is illegal for a reason. There are no excuses for stealing. Sometimes life is so hard that the only way to get necessary items is to steal, but if the United States says it’s okay for people who cannot get help to steal, then it is saying that it is okay for everyone to steal.

I am part of Youth Court, which works with teens under 16 who have committed misdemeanors. Almost every session has at least one kid being prosecuted for shoplifting. This is a serious problem. I live in a town where the majority of the population is middle class. Why do people shoplift?

This question will never be answered because no one really knows what drives people to commit crimes. There are theories, but no facts. Some of us use the excuse that kids steal because of peer pressure, but I believe that is bogus. You make your own choices, and don’t get pressured into doing anything. People are smart enough to know what is right and what is wrong.

When teenagers get caught doing something they are not supposed to be doing, their general response is “It was peer pressure!” That is just an excuse. Teenagers believe that if they say this is the reason for their bad decisions, they will be in less trouble. This may be true when it comes to parents, but not when it comes to the judicial system. If you are caught, making excuses won’t help. You will get the same punishment, with or without the excuses.

I think store-owners need to be more cognizant of their merchandise, especially in malls. I have seen teenagers stealing items from mall kiosks, which are easy targets because there is little security. Something needs to be done to ensure that teenagers stop stealing and learn discipline.

The price of shoplifting is not free. Why risk getting caught and going to court? It is better to obey the law than to break it. Teenagers need to stick together and stop our peers from getting in trouble with the law. We need to take a stand!

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 8:22 pm
i love this so much!
DifferentTeen said...
Nov. 21, 2013 at 5:52 pm
Sure, stealing is morally wrong. Everyone knows that. But is it really so bad that I took some lipgloss and a feather pen from the dollar store when I was about 10 because my mom was buying a baby doll for my niece and I was jealous?   Why don't you believe in situations? Situations make all the difference! Personally you sound very close-minded and stubborn. There's no way that I support theft, but when it's petty I don't think there should be such a big deal. Like s... (more »)
mistychristy99 said...
Nov. 20, 2013 at 9:38 am
You seem to think that peer pressure is alright, because everything a person does is completely their own decision and they did it themselves. But what you and other people need to realise is that peer pressure often does play a key role in crime and wrongdoings. The person would not have even had the idea if their friends had not suggested it, and it's still alright to punish only the perpetrator? The peers would have to be charged with conspiracy and learn how their actions affected someone el... (more »)
mistychristy99 replied...
Nov. 20, 2013 at 10:05 am
Another thing to add-on you say that people don't get pressured to do anything. So what you're saying is that torture victims who give away information should be punished because it was completely their fault, their decision, their wrongdoing? Yes, they know the difference between right and wrong but still do wrong to end the suffering. I believe this is the case with shoplifters driven to do it by peer pressure. Peer pressure can take many forms, but it is usually unpleasant and can be consider... (more »)
AMP1 said...
Feb. 4, 2011 at 8:18 pm
What's the big deal walmart's not really gonna miss that pack of gum or cards or whatever you steal. You need to stop trying to be controling and just except some people make differant dicisions from you.
Lovedorkydee replied...
Feb. 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm
I'm only 17. I got caught with a just "little stuff" and it isnt fun i have community service and essays and classed i have to take
richelleheart replied...
Mar. 26, 2013 at 9:27 am
The consequences aren't actually all that bad and I think you're just making a big deal out of nothing. Community service is horrible? Wait till you get a job, kid. Anyway, All I had to do was pay back what I owed and do jury duty. It was pretty simple.
max4tee said...
Jan. 16, 2011 at 10:01 am
stealing isn’t that bad after all because a shop can always spare small amount of cash for a cause, and the money will not go to waste because the money stolen will save some lives, could take away some peoples hunger, if the stolen item goes in good use then the person who its stolen from will get blessings
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