Whether you have friends who have told you about their shoplifting exploits or you have seen such activity on television, you’ve wondered if engaging in this type of behavior is really that big of a deal. The short answer is that it is. The long answer involves some of the reasons why shoplifting is a problem.

Depletes Trust

If you shoplift, you might want to tell someone about it. For example, you may brag to your friends that you shoplifted items because you think that doing so is cool. What may happen, however, is that your friends will think of you as a dishonest person. Consider whether or not you would want to invite a known shoplifter over to your home. In the event that your parents find out, you are likely to disappoint them and decrease their trust in you as well.

Legal Issues

Shoplifting is illegal, and a host of legal consequences can follow, depending upon the circumstances of the situation. In other words, what you steal and how you steal it, as well as any other crimes you commit in tandem with the shoplifting, will affect the severity of the consequences. You will likely need to hire a criminal defense lawyer, and you could end up with fines or in jail.

Tarnished Record

Having this crime on your record might affect your future in a seriously negative way. You may find that a criminal background check occurs when you apply for jobs. If potential employers see that you shoplifted, they may very well not want to hire you. It’s also possible that you will encounter difficulties with getting into school or finding a place to live. It can even affect you when you apply for housing and apartments. You will close many doors in your future.


Right now, shoplifting might seem like a way to boost your self-esteem and to make you feel more popular and cool. In the long term, however, you are likely to accomplish exactly the opposite. When facing the consequences, you may wonder why you ever engaged in such a foolish action in the first place. Also, even if no one ever finds out what you did, you will need to live with the guilt for the rest of your life.

Shoplifting is an action that can potentially hurt many people including yourself. In addition to possibly severing bonds with your loved ones, you may also hinder your future. You could end up in jail, without a job, missing out on opportunities to return to school or lacking any friends all because you decided to shoplift.

Author's Bio: 

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber; https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009221637700