Being a successful shoplifter requires the development of an outlaw mentality. When you enter a store you should already have cased the joint so don’t browse around examining all sorts of items, staring over your shoulder and generally appearing like you’re about to snatch something and are afraid of getting caught. Enter, having a good idea of what you want and where it’s located.

Camouflage is important. Be sure you dress the part by looking like an average customer. If you are going to rip-off expensive stores (why settle for less), act like you have a chauffeur driven car double parked around the corner. A good rule is dress in the style and price range of the clothes, etc., you are about to shoplift. The reason we recommend the more expensive stores is that they tend to have less security guards, relying instead on mechanical methods or more usually on just the sales people. Many salespeople are uptight about carrying out a bust if they catch you. A large number are thieves themselves, in fact one good way to steal is simply explain to the salesclerk that you’re broke and ask if you can take something without paying. It’s a great way to radicalize shop personnel by rapping to them about why they shouldn’t give a shit if the boss gets ripped off.

The best time to work out is on a rainy, cold day during a busy shopping season. Christmas holiday is a shoplifter’s paradise. In these periods you can wear heavy overcoats or loose raincoats without attracting suspicion. The crowds of shoppers will keep the nosy “can-I-help-you’s” from fucking up your style.

Since you have already checked out the store before hitting it, you’ll know the store’s “blind-spots” where you can be busy without being observed too easily. Dressing rooms, blind alley aisles and washrooms are some good spots. Know where the cashier’s counter is located, where the exits to the street and storage rooms are to be found, and most important, the type of security system in use.

If you are going to snatch in the dressing room, be sure to carry more than one item in with you. Don’t leave tell-tale empty hangers behind. Take them out and ditch them in the aisles.

An increasingly popular method of security is a small shoplifting plastic detector attached to the price tag. It says “Do Not Remove” and if you do, it electronically triggers an alarm in the store. If you try to make it out the door, it also trips the alarm system. When a customer buys the item, the cashier removes the detector with a special deactivation machine. When you enter the store, notice if the door is rigged with electronic eyes. They are often at the waist level, which means if the item is strapped to your calf or tucked under your hat, you can walk out without a peep from the alarm. If you trigger the alarm either inside the store or at the threshold, just dash off lickety-split. The electronic eyes are often disguised as part of the decor. By checking to see what the cashier does with merchandise bought, you can be sure if the store is rigged. Other methods are undercover pigs that look like shoppers, one-way mirrors and remote control television cameras. Undercover pigs are expensive so stores are usually understaffed. Just watch out (without appearing to watch out) that no one observes you in action. As to mirrors and cameras there are always blind spots in a store created when displays are moved around, counters shifted, and boxes piled in the aisles. Mirrors and cameras are rarely adjusted to fit these changes. Don’t get turned off by this security jazz. The percentage of stores that have sophisticated security systems such as those described is very small. If you work out at lunch time, the security guards and many of the sales personnel will be out of the store. Just before closing is also good, because the clerks are concentrating on going home.

By taking only one or two items, you can prevent a bust if caught by just acting like a dizzy klepto socialite getting kicks or use the “Oh-gee-I-forgot-to-pay” routine. Stores don’t want to hassle going into court to press charges, so they usually let you go after you return the stuff. If you thought ahead, you’ll have some cash ready to pay for the items you’ve pocketed, if caught. Leave your I.D. and phone book at home before going shopping. People rarely go to jail for shoplifting, most if caught never even see a real cop. Just lie like a fucker and the most you’ll get is a lecture on law and order and a warning not to come back to that store or else.

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