The Art of Shoplifting The Art of Shoplifting is not published to encourage any person to commit any illegal act, but for purposes of informing discussion of the issues at hand and more appropriately to educate you with the psychology of shoplifters and the tactics used to succeed in their endeavors. Shoplifting is a topic that is practically relevant to many and it should therefore not become an exclusive craft confined to a small shoplifting elite. On the contrary, shoplifting is an art that deserves the widest possible dissemination. For your convenience we have printed below a step by step guide to shoplifting and how can one shoplift without getting caught. Within capitalism, most of us are either (1) alienated from our labour and hence dependent on the ruling classes for commodities as basic as food and clothing (2) excluded from the division of labour, in which case we are likewise dependant on the State (3) performing unpaid and/or unrecognised labour and hence dependant on patriarchal relations for food, clothing, etcetera. In any case, our access to resources is severely limited by contemporary relations of domination. One partial solution to this problem may be to STEAL. Sadly, however, many people living precariously on low incomes tend to either: (1) avoid shoplifting for anachronistic moral and/or ethical reasons; or (2) remain ignorant of the better methods and techniques of shoplifting, thus failing to maximise their lifting potential. From the onset, the golden rule of theft should be enunciated: NEVER STEAL FROM SOMEBODY WHO COULD CONCEIVABLY BE A COMRADE. Hence kicking into a house on Bell Street with a beaten up old Mazda in the yard is irresponsible and counter-revolutionary! Be careful, too, about taking stuff from small ‘corner store’ type shops — you could be ripping off someone in a situation not dissimilar to your own. On the whole, it is best to play it safe and go straight for the big corporate f***ers. Some people will suggest that shoplifters are a selfish breed, since ‘we all pay for it in the end’ through inflated prices to cover losses and so forth. However, comrades, this and closely analogous arguments are used to just ify lowering wages, breaking unions, lowering corporate taxation and taxation on the rich and corporate sector we may as well sell ourselves into bonded slavery now, or join the Liberal Party. No, the injunction against stealing from capitalism is itself a capitalist ideology and should be spurned as such. Although we have been taught that ‘thou shalt not steal’, an order historically backed by threats of divine retribution, this should not for one minute stop us from taking the redistribution of wealth into our own hands. Believe me, no-one is likely to do it for us. What follows is a list of effective methods and observations that may prove useful. Preparing oneself for the big haul: 1. If possible, you should always have some money on you when intending to shoplift, because if you’ve got none, it’s rather hard to argue that to steal the item was a spontaneous decision. As a result, if you’ve got no money and are caught shoplifting you are more than likely to be charged for burglary as well as theft. 2. Buying something at the same time that you steal stuff doesn’t necessarily ensure success. Approaching staff for items you are absolutely sure they don’t have is just as good. Think of something that you know they don’t have (i.e. a doona cover with a specific pattern on it or something equally obscure) and pretend that you are looking for this, so that you have an excuse for being there. If staff are ever suspicious of you or ask if they can help you, ask them if they’ve got the thing you are sure they don’t have. Never screw this up — if you do you will have to buy the item or they may realise that you are there to steal. 3. It is always a good idea to carry a bag although you should never stash anything in it — if security/sales staff are suss on you the first place that they’ll check is your bag and it may just get you off the hook if they can’t find anything suspicious inside of it. 4. Remember that there is no such thing as a standard store detective — there is no qualifying dress code, age, race, gender or class. Grandma will bust you this week and next week it’ll be a 5 year old kid. 5. Just as there is no typical store detective nor is there a standard shoplifter. Security do not go looking for the poorly dressed people. They may pick on you out of boredom, but remember, only an unsuccessful store detective picks on poorly dressed people. By the same token don’t believe the stale myth that suits + dresses = more successes; security anticipate that professional shoplifters will dress up a bit. Wear whatever you want.