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What To Do If Your Friend Shoplifts

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What To Do If Your Friend Shoplifts

Well, first things first, be careful. You friend’s shoplifting shoplifting can get YOU in to trouble. If she’s spotted shoplifting, they are likely to hold both of you. You might be called an accessory to the crime—like you’re the look-out person or the distraction. Either of these two things can get you in to your own legal trouble, even though it’s your friend that’s shoplifting . That wouldn’t be fair, but it can still happen.

The good news is that you have choices. There are a range of responses you can make to protect yourself and even keep the friendship if you want to.

  • Avoidance: don’t go anywhere with that friend where there might be shoplifting opportunities with that girl. (In other words, shops of any kind.)
  • If your friend asks why you keep saying no, you can either tell her the truth or just make up some answer. She probably needs to hear that people don’t like her stealing, but if you’re afraid to tell her, you can still protect yourself.
  • Tell her. If you feel up to the conversation, you could tell your friend that you don’t like what she’s doing.
  • Tell an adult. Pick your favorite grownup. Tell them that you’ve got a problem and could use a little help. Let that person help you think of how to respond, and what else the situation might need. Sometimes people who shoplift (and other criminal or unhealthy behaviors) are doing it as a “cry for help.” Your friend might need to have an adult speak with her about what she’s doing—she may have bigger problems somewhere in her life that getting an adult involved with could help.

Either way, be careful and take care to protect yourself. Don’t let your friends’ choices ruin your chances.

Katie Malinski Katie Malinski LCSW is a licensed child and family therapist and parenting coach. In addition to her one-on-one work with families and children, she presents dynamic parenting workshops on a variety of topics, including: Beyond Birds and Bees, Parenting Through Divorce, Typical Parenting Conflicts, and many more. Learn more about Katie at www.KatieMalinski.com.
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