Why would you steal from Aldi?
Sure enough, as if I’d tempted fate, tea-time on Saturday and I get a radio message to trot along to Aldi, where the security guard had detained a shoplifter. The thief was an unsurprising, compliant, female heroin addict – unsurprising because that is the most usual type of shoplifter, a desperate addict- dressed in sportswear, probably from Primark or TK Max, she had tried to hide frozen meat inside her baggy clothing. The shame of it is that it must have all been so obvious to the weary security guard who watched her from the moment she entered the store. That’s the way it is with addicts, easy to spot: in this case her emaciated shape beneath the clothes gave a clue, together with the hunted, desperate look. Addicts always get caught, they get desperate and then have to take chances.
Had she been successful, she would have probably taken the meat to the nearby pub, where the locals would have taken the piss out of her by offering her far less money than she could have got had she not been desperate.
Once in the nick, the only one of her rights she insisted on was to see a doctor knowing that she’d at least get some Diazepam to stave off the approaching withdrawal symptoms. I also guessed, correctly, that because she wanted to see the doctor she was anticipating not getting out that night, sure enough there was an outstanding warrant for failing to appear at court for a previous offence.
I can’t help but pity addicts, they are responsible for so much of our workload and can be devious, vicious and obnoxious; but you can’t fail to see that they are totally in the grip of a thing not in their control; I’d hate that.
But here’s the question I started with: why steal from Aldi? I could never understand why, if you weren’t going to pay for the goods, you would steal from somewhere so cheap; why wouldn’t you go and get the food from Selfridges Food Hall? I think I’ve already answered my own question though: desperation and familiarity; you steal from where is convenient and from somewhere you know. Besides, if she stood out like a sore thumb in Aldi, she’d sure as hell have stood out in Selfridges.
I’m off for a run, I’ll write more about the weekend tomorrow, I think.