Shoplifting and Addiction

In the past shoplifting addictions were associated with women however more recently shoplifting addictions have been associated with men as well as women. Approximately 1 in 11 Americans has shoplifted merchandise. According to recent statistics suggest that there are more than 25 million shoplifters in the US. Most commonly individuals will steal from retail stores such as department stores, supermarkets, specialty shops, convenience stores and drug stores. Shoplifters will often commit crimes of petit theft while purchasing items at the same time.

According to the National Association For Shoplifting Prevention (NASP), there are two types of shoplifters professional shoplifters and non-professional.

More information on criminal representation for Shoplifting arrests may be obtained by visiting William Moore Criminal Defense.
Professional shoplifters: are people who make an career lifestyle of sealing for resale and profit.

Non-professional shoplifters: are individuals who steal but for the most part of law-abiding citizens. Oftentimes these types of individuals are aware of the consequences of their actions however have formed a habit or addiction to shoplifting. Such addictions are very common among Americans. Oftentimes this addiction substitutes for alcohol additions and drug addictions.  The motivation behind habitual shoplifters varies per personalities.

Defining a Shoplifting Addiction

The shoplifting addictions can quickly develop when an individual experiences the ‘high’ that temporarily relieves the stress of other problems such as feelings of depression. Poverty frustration, anger or boredom or other feelings that the individual may be seeking to alleviate may be the motive feeding a shoplifting addiction. People experiencing these feelings may feel that they deserve the item rewarding themselves with the high that shoplifting facilitates.

Getting Something For Nothing

A persons reason for stealing will differ according to the circumstances however ‘getting someone for nothing’ constantly symbolizes something more to the shoplifter than the actual value of the item.  For some the item substitutes for loss. In situations where an individual experiences personal loss such as a death, divorce and job loss the person may feel they were unfairly deprived therefore seeking to fill that void. For other individuals the act of shoplifting is ‘justifiable payback’ often victimizing another or company. Lastly another person may shoplift as a form of relief of anxiety, depression or mental illness.

Common Causes of Shopping Addiction

Unfortunately there is no easy cure for a shopping addiction. In fact some would describe the act of sealing as an uncontrollable obsession.  Most likely the shoplifter is experiences depression causing them to have significant lows in their day-to-day life. Sadly, in order to feel better they will steal unnecessary items to feel better about themselves.  Similar to other addiction problems shoplifters will continue to steal as a way to feel better.

Another very common cause is due the contribution of the media. Keeping up with the Kardashians is now a way of life. Society displays the message that self-worth is only seen through trendy material items.

Profile of a Shoplifter
Expert researchers who focus on the psychology of shoplifters have found people who steal can be distributed into 7 different groups.

1. Addiction compulsive shoplifters
Described as individuals who feel the need to steal inexpensive items. Often times after the individual steals the item they give away the stolen merchandise. These people may also suffer from gambling addictions and or various mental health disorders.

2. Thrill Seekers

Thrill seekers or compulsive shoplifters don’t steal because they can’t live without the merchandise they often steal for the thrill and risk of being caught.

The feeling individuals get from shoplifting often times is described as a powerful rush producing “incredible feelings of euphoria that surpasses the reward of obtaining the stolen item”

The motivation of thrill seeking is often common among teens. These individuals more often are repeat offenders who have not been caught and will repeating commit the offense until caught.

3. Disadvantaged Shoplifters

         Economic hardship can cause an individual to shoplift for the sole purpose of providing for their family. Items such as food and baby formula are common items stolen. Individuals faced with poverty will participate in stealing simply because a need for survival.

4. Drug Addicts
         People faced with drug addictions illnesses, often times will steal in order to support the cost of maintaining their drug habit.

5. Professional Shoplifters
         Professional shoplifters are those whom make a career of stealing high-valued items. These individuals will often times steal electronics simply to sell on the black market at a lower cost.

6. Impulsive Shoplifters
Individuals whom make the impulsive decision to shoplift are defined as kleptomaniacs,. Many times these kleptomaniacs repeatedly steal random or bizarre items with no rhyme or reason. For example a woman who steals clothing that is not her size or a individual who steals dog toys even though they do not own a dog.

7. Absent-minded Shoplifters
         Absentminded shoplifters simply steal by mistake. These types of people include people on medication and often times are more common among the elderly. This can also be shoppers who are in a hurry and leave the store forgetting to pay for the item.

Help for Shoplifters Facing Chargers

If you or a loved one suffer from shoplifting addiction and now are facing legal charges against you its important to contact an shoplifting attorney. Do not be ashamed petit-theft charges are much more common then people realize.  Through proper legal representation a person may be able to have the charges completely dropped.

It is also recommended that compulsive shoplifters seek treatment from a therapist to deal with the internal issues contributing to the addiction. Our attorneys do not advise ignoring theft charges these charges can have a huge affect on a persons life.

For more information contact our criminal defense team:

William Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys
1 Financial Plaza #2500
Fort Lauderdale FL 33394 

Broward County, Florid

(954) 523-5333


Elderly Shoplifting

Broward county elderly theft defense

Elderly shoplifting is much more common then one would think. In fact according to recently reports this past decade crime among the elderly is on the rise. “Senior citizens committing non-violent crimes offenses like shoplifting is much more of a complex case then adults or children charged with petit-theft”- Shoplifting Attorney William Moore

At first most customers or store owners do not seem to notice our elderly shoplifters, they are more focused on keeping an eye on the youth. However, lately one local Fort Lauderdale 7-11 has experienced more items missing after a bus of elderly stops by. “Its mainly little items that go missing like air fresheners, candy bars and cosmetics, nothing too expensive but still it all adds up” – 7eleven employee.

What is the motivation behind these petit theft crimes?
The motivation behind these crimes could be for multiple reasons, therefore making these crimes much more complex then normal.

More information about legal representation in Broward County Florida can be found by visiting our Shoplifiting Web Page.

Shoplifitng Lawyer Broward County

Mental Illness Not Needed

Often times the most common reason for defending an elderly shoplifting charged is common aging health issues. Unfortunately it’s not unusual for humans to develop memory lapses as they start to age.

Shoplifters are often honest people with no criminal background. In fact recent research has associated shoplifting crimes with depression.

One most common mental illnesses seen in cases where elderly petit-theft crimes is the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and even certain medications.

In some of these cases the individual may have experienced a memory lapse causing them to not even realize they have stolen the item

In 1988 Jane Sutton a featured writer for a Fort Lauderdale new paper wrote an article titled
“Shoplifting by Elderly May Be Done Because of Sense of Loss, Not need”

This article reported three geriatric psychiatrists suggested mental illness, no economic need, may be what prompts some previously law-abiding elderly people to begin shoplifting late in life. The idea of stealing material items may be symbolic and compensate for the loss of a spouse, job, health or independence.

However, this is not to say that all that shoplift are mentally ill, but can be used to explain defend elderly facing shoplifting charges.

Unexpected Stress or Change/ Seizing Control

During the process of aging the changes that aging individuals face can cause a great amount of internal stress emotionally, physically and internally.
The loss of control of their surroundings enables them to seek out ways to substitute their loss of control.

According to Barbara Staib of the National Association For Shoplifting Prevention in the U.S. -Shoplifting is commonly a response to some kind of loss and a need to fill a void.

(click here for NASP website)

Sudden changes in their home environments such as being moved into a nursing home or loss of a spose can cause a great deal of stress internally causing the individual to act out in attempt to express their internal pain or struggle.

“It is often about seizing the opportunity to momentarily exercise control when the perception is on of powerlessness” –Kathryn Westcott

Boredom is ironically another very common reason for elderly to commit petit-theft crimes. Yes it may sound strange but pure boredom in life may influence senior citizens to act out and steal. The excitement of stealing gives the individual a ‘rush’ or ‘high and can be used as temporarily relief. Most of the time the elderly shoplifters are not stealing because they want to item but rather for the thrill of risk-tasking.

Non-violent offense turned violent

Through my experiences in handling elderly shoplifting charges I have found more often it is the elderly men who become violent when faced with on-site arrests for shoplifting.

As our loved ones progress in age it’s hard for the family members to witness and deal with the situation in the appropriate matter. If you are aware that your loved one is participating in shoplifting actions you should not ignore this. These actions could be the first signs of a disorder and a sign of more the come. Also, its important to note that often times senior citizens whom commite petit-theft crimes are repeat offenders.

However, it’s important to know that more often elderly shoplifters are not criminally charged “Most of the time judges are prosecutors will take into consideration the age and metal stability of the elderly committed a crime does not mean they will be prosecuted in the same way a young adult would be.”- Attorney William Moore

Depending on the nature of the problem a judge may order the individual to seek treatment which may include medication, psychotherapy, and admission into a day program or nursing home.

William Moore Criminal Defense has represented thousands of people arrested for theft related crimes. Contact our criminal defense team to learn how we can help you.


William Moore
William Moore Criminal Defense Attorneys
1 Financial Plaza #2500
Fort Lauderdale FL 33394
(954) 523-5333

Strong Arm Robbery in Broward County Florida

Grand Theft Lawyer Fort Lauderdale Florida
Broward Criminal Defense
More information on this case may be obtained by contacting criminal lawyer William Moore.

WSVN reports that Broward County police officers are searching for a group of men who were allegedly caught on a convenience store video camera committing a strong arm robbery.

Criminal attorney William Moore explains that the theft occurred last week and a review of the videotape clearly shows the group of assailants all of whom were wearing red T-shirts at the time.

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Detectives Warn Potential Victims of Stolen Car Scam in Broward County

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Broward County

The Sun-Senteniel reports that Police officers in Davie, Florida fear that there may be multiple victims in what appears to be a stolen car resale scam. The alleged perpetrator apparently used a false ID to sell stolen vehicles to unsuspecting buyers; a felony in Florida.

Broward County Criminal Lawyers

Before apprehending the assailant at least one additional attempt to sell a stolen vehicle had been made. Buyers of the stolen vehicles only become aware that they have been defrauded once trying to register the recently purchased automobile.

More information on the status of this case may be obtained by contacting criminal defense attorney William Moore.

Broward Sheriff’s Office Issues Warning to Burglary Suspect: SmartWater is in Effect

CMI SmartWater in Broward Crime Investigation

The Broward Sheriff’s Office has begun using a high tech liquid to deter and apprehend burglary suspects according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The liquid can be placed or sprayed on valuable items within the home and effectively rubs off on to individuals who come into contact with the items. Criminal defense lawyer William Moore claims that versions of this forensic liquid (known as SmartWater) has been used overseas for some time.

Continue reading “Broward Sheriff’s Office Issues Warning to Burglary Suspect: SmartWater is in Effect”