There is a pre-conceived notion that people steal because they want something that they can’t afford. But stealing is not always about self-indulgence, and not always because of a person’s inability to purchase what he needs or wants. Some shoplifters who can easily afford to buy the goods that they want, but they choose to pilfer items. The fact about shoplifting is that it can be due to psychological problems and not just economic issues.
Reasons for Shoplifting
1. Depression and Other Emotional Problems
A large percentage of individuals who become involved in shoplifting activities mainly do so because of depression. When depression is the issue, the shoplifter will probably steal during a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, in hopes of feeling better. There are also those who steal in order to release some pent up anger or frustration, while others could engage in this illegal activity because of insecurities and because they are incapable of coping with the problems that they are facing. Because there can be several reasons why a person shoplifts, it is therefore very important to determine what emotional or mental issues are pushing a person to pilfer items so that proper intervention can be done.
2. To Get an Emotional “High”
Similar to taking drugs, shoplifters can also get “high” when stealing. This is because of the adrenaline rush that they feel after being able to get away with thieving. To some, it becomes increasingly harder for them to resist the impulse to steal something that they really don’t need because of their need to get “high” again. So, in many ways, the activity becomes an addition, and this is why this can lead to shoplifting addiction.
While some people shoplift in order to fill some sort of emotional void, those with kleptomania are urged to steal for no reason. These individuals often take things that they don’t really need. They don’t normally get an emotional high from the activity, but they do get relieved after successfully pilfering items. Kleptomania often occurs with other psychological problems, such as mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive issues, or personality disorders.
4. Peer Pressure
Youngsters can be persuaded by their peers to shoplift. In order to become accepted into a certain group, a child could be pressured to steal. This is why it’s vital for parents to discourage their children from becoming friends with youngsters who are known to engage in shoplifting activities.
5. Poverty or Lack of Funds
Some people shoplift simply because they don’t have the money to buy what they need or want. There are professional shoplifters who steal and then sell the items that they have stolen. Others might need to steal as their way of gaining access to their basic needs. For teens, a significant percentage becomes involved in shoplifting activities because they just want to get things that they want. If parents refuse to buy them stuff or if parents are just financially incapable of purchasing what their youngsters want, their children could be forced to steal.
About the Author: Claire Waltham is a freelancer who has written many articles about personal injury and common criminal charges. Her write-ups have been used by and other legal sites.