Consequences of Shoplifting: A quick question, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear of stealing or a thief? A horrible person, prison term, a dishonest person and so much more, right? That’s even just what you think! What about if we had to take an opinion poll of people’s opinions about stealing? It would surprise you.
Stealing in its most basic form means taking and claiming for yourself a property, thing or even person which is not yours without consulting with and getting the approval of the person, persons or organization which owns the property you too for yourself.
Stealing is in different ways and is legally penalized in varying degrees of punishments for the mildest to the worst. Stealing comes in different forms like pilfering, pick pocketing, burglary, armed robbery and so much more.
The society as a whole frowns on stealing in any form and a treated and regarded in the worst kind of way as some of the persons who have committed the worst crimes in the society.
From losing credibility, to being punished and a possible prison term, there are so many consequences of stealing and none is good. Below we would be addressing the top 10 major consequences of stealing and treat each consequence with as much importance as we can.
As stated above, the under-listed are the major consequences of stealing.
1. Prison term
This is one of the major consequences of shoplifting. In every country in the world, there is a jail term for stealing of any kind except for underaged persons. Some countries even have the option of jail term and fine. Stealing which involves violence of any kind, damage to property and/or carrying of weapons like burglary and armed robbery carry even longer prison sentences.
2. You suffer stigmatization
Once you have been tagged a thief in any form, the society would stigmatize you. People would always view you from a particular perspective and are unwilling to form close associations with you. You get little or no invitations to events, nobody wants to be seen with you and people are even unwilling to accept anything from you because it is frowned upon to accept things from gifts. You wouldn’t even get to be introduced to friends and family of your acquaintances as most if not all would desert you.
3. Criminal record
This comes with serving a jail term. Your criminal record of stealing would always be there to be reviewed by anyone and would always be an embarrassing topic even when you have changed and do not steal any longer. So what’s the point facing such embarrassments which would be reoccurring when you can avoid them by not involving yourself in stealing of any kind? Even in the “court of public opinion” your criminal record of stealing in the past would always be brought especially when the aim is to embarrass you.
4. You lose trust and credibility
Like they say, your reputation is your worth. Once you have a record of stealing that is made known, everyone distrusts you and you lose credibility. Even when you have changed and no longer steal, people still doubt that you have changed. People get very uncomfortable with you being around their valuable and moveable items.
5. It renders you unemployable
If you have a criminal record of stealing, no employer would want you in their workforce. Employers would typical want employees with a level of credibility and stealing erases that shred of credibility.
Even if you were not convicted by a competent court or let off with a fine, if it is discovered that you stole at some point and can be proven you are considered unemployable. What’s worse, if you were fired by a previous employer for stealing.
6. It disqualifies you from running for political office
In most countries of the world, persons with who have been convicted by a competed court for a crime are automatically disqualified from seeking for and being elected for political office. Already, that has limit your options and dashed your dreams even if you truthfully want to make positive impacts as an elected public official.
7. It affects your friends and family
Your friend and family would definitely be stigmatized for many reasons. They bear the burden of being assumed guilty by association and this affects them in many ways than most people realize. Your kids would be worst affected too. How can innocent kids cop with the stigma of their parent being a known thief? How do they handle the taunting, trolling and bullying? You should consider these things.
8. You could lose your acquired wealth over time
If you have acquired wealth over time and you are caught stealing, it opens up opportunities for your source of wealth to be questioned and be barged with court summons and suits. Your credibility before a judge and jury would be reduced.
9. You become the first suspect in subsequent cases of theft
Whenever you are present in a case of theft you are amongst the first suspect because you have a criminal history of stealing. Even when you are obviously innocent, you are still seen as either the perpetrator or an accomplice to the theft.
10. You always have to prove your honesty
At every point, you feel like there is a dark cloud hanging over your head and you always have to go the extra mile to prove you are innocent. You are extra cautious and your reactions and words in such situations are given extra attention even when you are doing the most ordinary thing.
Stealing isn’t an option and even though some person have kleptomania – the compulsion to steal thing even when you don’t need them- with therapy and enough self will, you can stop. Also avoid keeping the wrong company so their deeds do not taint you. Finally, even those with a history of stealing can change so don’t be too presumptuous.
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