The majority of shoplifters attempt to justify their behaviors with reasoning such as “the store makes tons of money anyway,” “no one really gets hurt,” and “if I get caught it’s just shoplifting and I won’t get in much trouble.” Removing these false justifications is the goal of this program as participants are educated on the severe financial and sometimes personal impact of even “petty theft” on stores, how much money major stores have to spend on technology and personnel to stop shoplifting each year, and what the law prescribes for shoplifting offenses in terms of process and punishment.
The major learning concept for the child is the idea of “Risk vs. Reward.” The program challenges a child to consider what they are actually getting from their actions and weighing that against what they are risking in terms of personal freedoms, possible financial penalties, and lifelong harm to their reputation. The goal of this program is to bring about recognition in the child that their actions have hurt others and placed themselves at great personal risk for very little actual gain. Internalization of these concepts is a far greater deterrent to future shoplifting than even the most advanced anti-theft technologies that stores can install. Personal plans to minimize temptation for future theft are developed and shared with the parents so the child can have sustained accountability in stores where they are at high risk to steal again.