Mom of two Mischievous Monkeys: Is it ever okay to steal???

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is it ever okay to steal???

As I take public transit everyday back and forth to work I meet lots of people. While waiting at the bus stop there are some regular people I see and we quite typically strike up a conversation while waiting.

Recently I had  an interesting conversation with someone while waiting at the bus stop.

Someone he knows works in loss prevention at a department store in our city.  told me about a recent story this person had shared.

A man with a baby in a stroller was stopped as he was heading for the exit of the store and asked to lift up the blanket covering his child. As part of the stores process they had already called the police.

Upon lifting the blanket, the store personnel saw a newborn baby and tucked alongside the baby was a can of formula and a pack of diaper's. Nothing else, just those items which made a difference in how the store personnel reacted.

They explained to the man that they would need to take the items back but were going to let him go without laying charges, however, if he was caught again they would not give him a second chance. 

By the time the police arrived on the scene the items were gone and there of course was no evidence of any crime. The store staff advised that they would not be pursuing charges as it was a mistake.

Knowing that there are support programs out there one would hope that this never be a reality for people. Sure there are food banks, social assistance and various other programs depending where you live to assist but are these services always enough?

Lot's of times there are restrictions to them or difficulty in accessing them, limited amounts of assistance available. Although if they are able to assist, you could always ask friends or family for help. 

As someone who has been in a situation where we needed to use food banks to supplement our limited income at the time I can say that the wilted {sometimes mouldy  fruits and veggies we were given and the long line up daily for bread was all we had at times.

As two single adults we were only allowed one bag of non-perishable groceries every couple months and our photo ID numbers were recorded to ensure we did not come earlier to get more.  

Check out this article about a mom who was arrested for shoplifting groceries suddenly found herself surrounded by people providing food, a lawyer to defend her pro bono and an outpouring of support despite her wrongdoing. Support for her, her disabled husband and their seven children. 

Two parents who only a couple years before had both worked until they were injured on their jobs and her husband was turned down for benefits leaving only her SSI benefits to support them.

So is it ever OKAY excusable to steal?? 


  1. No I don't think so. I have been through difficult times as well but I would never steal.

    I would find ways to earn money to feed mysefl or my family but I would never give them something that is stolen.

  2. stealing is always as they say is wrong and a sin. Even if we are poor, there are many ways to get a chance to earn a living for your family. Too bad there are lots of people that they view this kind of behavior as an easy way to get something.

  3. While I don't think stealing is right, I would imagine any mother would be driven to do the same under certain circumstances (hungry baby, no funds, friends and family who can't help, truly unable to access other assistance in a timely manner). I'm glad this family is getting help, but it makes me sad to think about all those who have fallen through the cracks.

  4. i was going to straight out say "no" as soon as I read the title of the post.. but after reading it, it makes me second guess myself. you never know what you would do in a situation like those parents were in

  5. I was a teen age mom in the late 70's, a very long time before "Food Banks", and although my mom would send me some money..being 18 years old, I thought I knew it all. I was tempted to steal many a times...and managed to talk myself out of it. I decided my baby came first so after formula, diapers and whatever else she needed, I would buy a few groceries..knowing that they would have to last the month. I look back now, on my life and I beleive I was stronger than I thought. My baby has grown up and has babies of her own, so she turned out real good, and I am a proud grandma. :)

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    2. Such a courageous story Karen. It sounds like you did a great job raising your daughter during some difficult times and that it all was worth your struggles.