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This is a question Shoplifting

When I was young and impressionable and on holiday in France, I followed some friends into a sweet shop and we each stole something. I was so mortified by this, I returned them.

My lack of French hampered this somewhat - they had no idea why the small English boy wanted to add some chews to the open box, and saw it as an attempt by a nasty foreigner oik to contaminate their stock. Not my best day.

What have you lifted?

(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 11:13)
Pages: Latest, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, ... 1

This question is now closed.

Shoplift... Storeslift.. its all the same Sport.
Worked in engineering stores of a West Sussex based airline, they go belly up owing me a months wages. In a twist of fate/irony I blag a security-guards job and get stationed in my old place of work ,alone ,on nights, to keep the insurance guys happy till the receivers have secured the firms assets.
These stores contained everything needed to run an airline, to the huge stencilled logo’s that go down the side of the aircraft to some really rather expensive looking engine parts.

Anyhoo, at 19, embittered about lost wages I decide to extract the same value owed by lifting an item of stock for my own use.

My parents had a swimming pool with one of those inflatable bubble things over the top, and being a spoilt brat, I was always in the doghouse for wrecking the Lilo’s they used to relax in due to the fact me and my rough-neck mates would trash them. Wait a Mowment, solution!!

I loaded the 25-man inflatable liferaft into the boot of my car, finished my shift, got some sleep then called my mates to start the summer fun. We unpacked it, feelings of trepidation slowly leaking into our enthusiasm as we discovered our haul consisted of “No-messin-about” survival equipment, Rambo knives, a medi-pack that could stock a casualty ward, long-life food and some worryingly meaty distress flares.

We chucked the raft in the shallow end and I pulled the inflate string, my boyish smile steadily fading as this rubber monster awoke hissing angrily as it kept unfolding and unfolding till the edges of it weren’t even in the pool, it also began to stretch and deform the shape of the inflatable dome making it resemble some kind of grossly pregnant blimp. But the thing that really made my bowels loosen, was the urgent flashing strobe on the top of it. “Wow Is that a distress beacon?” my in awe mate enquired.

I had visions of a blip appearing on some Coastguards watchscope, their confusion at a life raft screaming for assistance 28 miles inland. I was so naïve, We promptly made the decision not take the chance, jumping in and using the survival knives to destroy the thing, not easy as its all compartmentalised, took us ages. My dad arrived home in perfect timing to see half a dozen “jumpy” young blokes with knives in his pool and the shredded remains of something big and orange floating forlornly under the surface.

As for what happened to the distress flares, I’ll save that for another QOTW.

Length? Oh yeah, Length AND width of the pool and then some.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 17:20, 5 replies)
I Stole A Tree Once.
Well, twice actually but you don't want to hear the story of me turning up for a date, 5 hours late,drunk and clutching a tree. With blood running down it.

So I'll tell you about the great poplar tree theft.

When I was growing up it was point of pride to have the biggest bonfire in the town on November the 5th. Whoever had the biggest bonny, got the best fireworks as the adults, who had cash to buy the fireworks, would only turn up to the biggest fire. And, of course, the biggest bonny had to have the biggest center-pole. So we decided to steal a tree from the local school.

Our school was surrounded by poplar trees. They marked the boundary of the school grounds and this year we'd decided that we needed one for our center pole. It was a masterly operation. About 20 kids from all over the town snuck out in the dead of night and congregated in an alley near the school. We'd brought ropes, axes and a fuck-off two handed saw. For once some of the bigger lads from my older brothers age-group had joined us - they normally wouldn't have been seen dead with us littler kids - but this wheeze was just too good to miss out on.

When we were all gathered, we headed for the school and a well-oiled operation sprang into life. Two of the bigger lads boosted me up our chosen tree and I scampered up the trunk like monkey trailing two ropes behind me. I tied these around the trunk, about half way up, and then climbed back to the ground.

Two hefty youths took hold of the big saw, one at each end and started to cut. Us smaller lads took up the ends of the ropes and maintained tension on them.

"Why we pulling on these ropes" whispered Danny

"So the fucking tree will fall where we want it to you cunt. If we let it fall by itself, it might end up in someone's house" came the hissed reply.

In the end, it all came together incredibly quickly. From the first cut to "TIMBERRRRRR!!" was about ten minutes. And the tree fell right where we wanted it.

Once down, a swarm of grubby kids with axes and hatchets moved in and started chopping off the branches. In a short while the tree lay there denuded and ready for transport. Lifting the thinner end first kid after kid slotted themselves under the tree with the trunk resting on their shoulders until we had it off the ground. Smaller kids at the thin end, big kids at the back. And off we went, heading for the safety of Robson's Fields where we would stash the tree until bonfire night.

Next day at school, the police were everywhere but mainly standing by the stump and looking at the discarded branches scratching their heads. They didn't have a clue what had happened or why. I mean, who the hell would steal a tree?

"Bet they have to call in Special Branch" I quipped to my mates.

Aye. You had to make your own entertainment back then.

(, Mon 14 Jan 2008, 1:48, 11 replies)
Where Pissheads Dare...
My school and college amigos traditionally get together during the first week in September at a well known rural Beer Festival in Essex to drink warm ale and shoot the breeze. We turn up on a Wednesday, pitch tents at our usual spot and head into the grounds of a charmingly delapidated railway museum where the "pisscatorial" takes place.

We're a quiet bunch these days and usually keep ourselves to ourselves. The gentle pace of the countryside surroundings does not lend itself to Club 18-30 style party antics, so the most controversial we ever get is the occasional lazy game of cricket between slow sips next to our tents.

One Thursday afternoon however, my enjoyment of the obituary section of the Times was ruined when a dozen caravans, towed by the most obnoxious of 4x4 type vehicles turned up in our field and to our intense irritation, roped off a section twenty feet away from us and parked in formation within the boundary.

I harbour a seething hatred of the masses who tow one of Satan's Portakabins along East Anglia's B roads, especially when I need to be somewhere so I was even more convinced of the innate selfishness of the caravan club when they insisted continuing the fun late in the evening after the festival's chucking out time. Not only had they turned up and annexed a sizeable portion of the field - OUR field - but the bastards were still noisily doing whatever they do at 1am, ensuring that the rest of the field was kept awake.

Next morning, we arose bleary eyed and hungover to note that the caravanners had erected a large green marquee, complete with a flagpole and a green flag emblazoned with the "Swift Carvanning Club" logo fluttering proudly in the breeze.

Cunts. Utter, utter cunts...

Something just had to be done. With military precision, we planned a reprisal raid on their marquee.

11pm that evening saw drinkers ambling slowly from the railway museum back to their beds. We were the first to leave the festival as we had a cunning plan. The very symbol of their B road clogging tyranny was our target of choice for the flag had to go. One of our number, Nomis, was a serving member of the TA and his military experience was invaluable.

Silhouetted against the green tents in the moonlight, we crept toward the marquee, crouching to avoid the moonlight. The gentle late summer breeze covered the sound of orders being whispered down our ranks as we maintained the crucial element of surprise.

Nomis himself was first on the scene and tried to lower the hated symbol of our tormentors. However, the flag was secured by a stiff cable, not the nylon twine we had planned for. A small but dangerously sharp penknife was produced which failed to make a scratch. The operation had one trick up it's sleeve.

Mark had a brainwave and with great stealth was sent back to retrieve his calor gas stove. This was sparked into life with the intention of weakening the cable in the flame so we could hack away at it. The dim blue flame of the stove was easily concealed from view (remember, this was an open field) by two of us holding jackets around Mark from a safe distance. Amazingly, several caravanners walked past within twenty feet, unable to see us in the darkness and no doubt unable to locate the source of the muted "hiss" from the stove.

Nathan produced a Leatherman, which snipped through the nylon and wire cable, now weakened from the intense heat. Success!

The flag was lowered and using great stealth, we retreated back to our lines carrying the prize stashed in a jacket as if it were the Fallen Madonna with ze big boobies. You know the famous picture of the Red Army soldier lowering the swastika from the Reichstag in 1945? Well we knew exactly how that bloke must have felt.

Triumphantly, several cans of ale were broken open as we toasted our operation. We then turned in for the night and waited for the fallout the next morning.

Seven hours later, we emerged from our tents as the scale of our sabotage became clear. The green marquee was flaccidly fluttering in the breeze, as the flag cable we'd taken out lowered the pointed roof. A scorch mark was visible on the length of broken cable flapping uselessly as a number of caravanners ambled around as if shellshocked, clearly knowing that they'd been hit but unable to fully comprehend how. A few were half heartedly looking in the surrounding bushes for evidence of their flag.

By five thirty that afternoon, the Swift Caravanning Club had dismantled their cordon and began to depart from the field one by one under a heavy cloud of defeat.

A great moral victory was one that night and our gallant commander Nomis still owns the charred remnants of their flag.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 18:54, 8 replies)
Does bike theft count?
I used to chain my bicycle to the railings outside Brighton station.

One day I got back from work, and someone had chained their bike to my bike. Trying to fathom the reason for this still keeps me awake at night. It was still there a week later, so I made the decision to unchain my bike from the railings and try and wheel the two bikes (my bike and the random bike) home and separate them, thus doubling my bicycle ownership.

The trouble was, as I was huffing and puffing my way home, a police car slowly pulled up beside me. A head stuck out and he said "do you know why we're stopping you, Sir?"

I said "I'll hazard a guess Officer - is it because I am pushing two chained-together bicycles up a hill?"
"Yes!" he replied. "Are they yours?"
"Well one is!" i said, "But I stole the other one".

They made me push the bikes all the way to the station, and everyone joined in the task of separating the siamese bicycles with gusto.

I ended up keeping both bikes, and they were both re-stolen within a fortnight.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 11:56, 6 replies)
It's all in the family
A while ago, I worked at an electrical retailer I won't name (but rest assured, you'd have absolutely NO WORRIES there...). Anyway, my manager at the time showed us the best security video I have ever seen, of when he worked at a prior branch.

The scene was a small, quiet branch of said retailer, during the week, about midday. There two members of staff on the floor, and two kids hanging around the TV section (who looked to be about 12 and 13).

Suddenly, in walks this insanely hot woman: and I mean stunning. Instantly, both staff members were drawn to her, as they both happened to be men, and normal, red blooded men at that. Unbeknownst to them however - while ogling this woman, the kids have managed to unhook a new-fangled LCD television from the display, and are struggling to take it out the door.

Right at the last moment, one of the staff members notices the kids - but is *just* too late to catch them before they get into their Dad's car parked outside, and drive off.

The best bit however, comes from what happened next. While everyone is fretting in the store as to what has just happened, and one of the staff members calls the police, the car circles back round, the hot woman jumps in, and off they go again.

So yes - not only had the little sods stolen a very, very expensive TV - but they were doing it under the direction of their "Criminal mastermind parents". I'd love to see what conversation must be like in their family.

"OK - you boys nick the TV while I distract the staff with my tits.". Lovely.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 14:43, Reply)
How G robbed a bank
Bank robbery is, in its way, similar to shoplifting. My erstwhile flatmate G, when a student, robbed a bank.

By this, I don't mean that he produced a gun and stole the money. He actually stole (a good part of) the bank.

One day, he was walking along the street when he noticed that the Alliance and Leicester was having a refit, part of which meant a new shopfront. Bits of shopfront were piled on the pavement. Later in the day, they were still there - apparently unguarded. I don't know whether they were bits of the old or new front. It really doesn't matter.

What does matter is that G, quite possibly a little worse for wear by this time of the day, had a brainwave. A brainwave that went somewhat along the lines of "I want that". A subsequent - and longer - brainwave went along the lines of "I am in a rugby team; Big George, the prop forward, would have to help me; I know Big George's phone number; and - Behold! - a phone box!"

Big George clearly thought that G's scheme was brilliant.

The result of all this was a living room full of "borrowed" bits of the Alliance and Leicester.

And that is how G robbed a bank.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 11:39, Reply)
More Fraud, really
When I was a little Slut Monkey, at the age of 10, I and my primary school chums had just discovered a fascinating new game, called 'Dungeons & Dragons'. It had books, with cool pictures of monsters and big breasted elf girls, lots of fantastically shaped dice, and NO PLAYING BOARD!

WOW. Utterly amazing. Deciphering how to play it was like learning the black arts, and we gleefully worked our way through the first levels, imaginarily killing imaginary monsters with our imaginary magic and imaginary swords. Great fun. Then suddenly it came to a halt. We needed the next 'set', which cost a whopping 10 pounds! I begged and begged my mother to buy it, but she correctly noticed 'there's something wierd about that game...' and refused.


So what do I do? Well, one day while poring over ads for shops in 'White Dwarf' (jazz mag for chronic nerds) I noticed an ad that immediately got my attention. It was a toy shop, in Alderney (a channel island) which, alongside listing their wares also had a little box showing that they accepted credit cards. To illustrate this, they also showed a tiny picture of a credit card.

Not tiny enough. Out came the magnifying glass... its an actual picture of a credit card! I can even remember the name, 'John Williams', it was an 'Access' card, it was now my new 'flexible friend'!

So I phoned the shop, put on my best deep voice, and ordered it, using the credit card details on the ad. I asked for it to be sent to my nephew, 'Master Ginger Slut Monkey', at his home address.

It was done. All I had to do was wait.

It only bloody turned up! Trouble was, I was at school at the time, and my mum got it. Naturally curious as to why her son had recieved a package from the Channel Islands, she opened it, finding the game I had been pestering her for, and the credit card invoice.

Shit. I was in lots of it. I'll never forget the look she gave the appaling monster she had given birth to.

Still, it only taught me one thing.

Planning is everything, plausible denial is all.

Blah blah length blah di blah.
(, Tue 15 Jan 2008, 13:34, 4 replies)
I Stole A Tree Part Deux
As requested. You'll have to forgive me if it's not as funny as normal but I'm a bit down as I've just ended a long-term relationship today.

Save the sympathy - it wasn't mine bum-tish!

When I lived in Manchester I'd scored with a lovely bit of posh totty. A Sloane Ranger who decided to indulge in a spot of rough - i.e - me.

I'd arranged to pick her up from her halls of residence and take her out for a night on the town. So I got suited and booted in my best leathers and jeans and headed across town to pick her up. On the journey with me was my old partner in crime Denty. As I was about an hour early we decided to have a quick pint and a game of pool before heading for my assignation.

Bad move. In the pub were a bunch of people I knew and we got chatting, as you do, and then playing pool for pints. It was one of those nights where I just couldn't miss. Every ball I went for, every difficult pot or snooker just came off. I was in the zone. I was also winning a lot of beer.

6 o'clock, the time of my date, came and went as did 7,8 and 9. By this time I'd decided that I was so late that I may as well not bother and kept on playing pool. Around ten, a mate of my date came in and asked me what I was playing at. My date was sitting in her flat, dressed to the nines waiting patiently for me. Guilt took me and I sank my last pint and drunkenly wobbled for the door. It took me a while to get to her halls, partly because I was drunk and partly because I stopped to remonstrate with a waste bin that jumped out and attacked me, but I eventually made it.

"She's going to be soooo pissed off" I thought. "Better take her a present. I know. A tree. Girls like growing things"

So I spied a sapling that had been recently planted and went to drag it out of the ground. I took a firm grip with both hands and pulled. Well my grip wasn't firm enough and my hands slid up the tree and ripped themselves to shreds on the tough bark.

"Bugger" I thought. "I'm not being beaten by a tree" so I took a *really* strong grip on the little sod and heaved. Out it came dragging clods of mud and soil with it. And off I headed to my dates flat. I rang the bell and she opened the door.

So there I was, covered in mud and soil proudly holding tree with blood dripping down my hands and a soppy grin on my face.

"Brought you a present" I said thrusting the tree towards.

"Oh Legless" she said taking the tree. "What am I going to do with you?"

Then she proceeded to beat me with her present.

Women eh?

(, Tue 15 Jan 2008, 3:09, 5 replies)
I never got to meet the bloke…and no, I don’t condone his actions etc etc blah blah

As I have previously stated before, I seem to have the uncanny knack of being able to mix with all sorts of people. Some characters could quite possibly be described as ‘rather unsavoury’ types. When in the company of such fellows, it usually means that general thieving twunt-stickery or tall tales about such clandestine adventures are never far away. I’m not particularly proud of it but you know that annoying git in the pub who always seems to know somebody who knows somebody who can steal anything?

Well…that’s me, that is.

Many years ago my mum was about to embark on a trip to Australia (apparently that was as far as she could possibly get away from us all, seeing as they don’t do trips to Mars yet). She requested her requirement for a video camera to record her happy experiences, far away from me and the rest of the family.

(This was absolutely AGES ago, by the way…and at the time, your average home video camera experience was comparable to plonking a medium sized refrigerator on your shoulder, shouting ‘Annnnnnnd ACTION!’ whilst your legs buckled under the weight and your battery ran out after twelve seconds). Good times.

Suffice to say, my mum didn’t want one of those efforts – she wanted a nice little-sized one…but these were expensive…so she asked my brother and I what we could do.

My brother found the answer…His name was ‘Zumbie’ (never found out why) and he had a growing reputation around our way as an Olympic class shoplifter. His infamy grew, not only due to the items he would be prepared to steal, but the blatant way that he went about it.

Zumbie had no style and no finesse…just bare-arsed cheek and balls which were obviously so big he should have carried them around in a wheelbarrow.

His whole technique consisted of walking into a shop, grabbing what had been ordered and then bollocking out of there as fast as his tea-leafing pikey legs could carry him. His reputation for catching security guards by surprise and / or outrunning them spread like wildfire around our yobbish community and he was subsequently asked to blag my mum a camcorder.

The one she said she liked was priced at £1200 – Zumbie told my brother he would get it for £200…My brother calls my mum, my mum said “Result!”, and off Zumbie goes on his merry way.

Lo and behold, within an hour of being given his ‘assignment’, Zumbie approached my brother with the required camera – including special offer labels, the price tag and features list still attached in shiny lettering.

However, there was a problem. Obviously we weren’t expecting a box and instructions etc, but this camcorder had come without a battery and was therefore pretty useless to us – my brother promptly told Zumbie where he could shove his dirty stolen rubbish.

‘Hold on a bit’, said Zumbie…he studied the item, made a note of the name and model number and walked off.

Back to the exact same shop he had just been to…

I believe the term is ‘bold as brass’, and god only knows how or why he wasn’t recognised…but he walked up to the nearest ‘may I help you?’ cretin and asked “Do you stock batteries for one of these?” as he thrust a piece of paper containing his freshly robbed camcorder details into the hapless assistant’s hand.

“One moment sir, I’ll find out right away” replied the numpty, tanking off enthusiastically into the back of the shop.

A couple of minutes later, said troglodyte returned and showed him a brand new battery.

..Which Zumbie promptly snatched out of his hand before sprinting off.

If I can still be bothered later I’ll tell you the story of how Zumbie finally got caught and sent down.

(and apologies to everyone that attended Big Girl’s Blouse’s brilliant B3ta bash last Saturday, for already hearing this post from my own rat-arsed slurring mouth)
(, Mon 14 Jan 2008, 15:57, 7 replies)
What a way to spend Easter
Not me guvnor, but some peeps I used to work with once nicked a cardboard life-size effigy of Colonel Sanders from the local KFC take-away.

On a hill above town it had become the practice, due to some religious event or other that seems to happen just after Good Friday each year, for three wooden crosses to be stuck in the ground at the top of the hill for all the townsfolk to see.

Fast forward to the following morning and the Jolly Old Colonel Sanders effigy is to be found nailed to one of the crosses to the horror of the local God botherers. Think it was even reported in the local papers. I laughed so much, the tears ran down my legs.
(, Sun 13 Jan 2008, 12:25, Reply)
Not stealing, adding.
This game is best played with two or more participants in a busy supermarket - this game was invented by an old girlfriend of mine.

What you do is stalk round the aisles adding small and inexpensive items to trolleys and baskets - extra points if the trolley is being wheeled, or the basket is being carried at the same time.

On one memorable occasion I added a small triangular box of spices to a trolley (jaunty little backhand flick into the trolley as I passed the guy wheeling it)- by chance I later I ended up next but one in line at the checkout to the trolley owners, a middle aged couple.

The bloke was unloading the trolley and the woman was packing. He looked bemusedly at the spice package, shrugged then put it with the other stuff - his wife/gf picked it up after it had been scanned and asked him why he had bought this stupid thing.

He denied having bought it, a vicious screaming row ensued.

Feeling incredibly guilty and wanting to laugh like a baboon at the same time is quite an odd sensation.
(, Sat 12 Jan 2008, 15:37, 3 replies)
Last year I was at the hairdressers for a quick trim when in walks the local druggie carrying a heavy object under his arm. He's well known in the area and is usually quite pleasent as he's constantly trying to sell you the latest items he's shoplifted so he can get his smack as quick as possible. The hair dressers tolerate him as he doesn't hang around too long and he's entertaining enough.
This time he sits down next to me and starts showing everyone the vacuum cleaner he's just nicked.

"I've just lifted this vac from the window of Curries," he exclaimed proudly. "Top of the range, yours for............fifty quid".
"I don't think so," came the reply around the salon.
"Alright........twenty quid".
Still no one was entertaining him.
"Watch this, all this hair on the floor, gone."

He lent over to the plug sockets and plugged it in. A light appeared on the front of it and a quiet whirring sound started up. Our druggie friend couldn't find the nozzel so he just pushed it across the floor through all the hair clippings, nothing was happening, but he persevered.
As I watched this bizarre demonstration I began to feel cold, so I took a closer look and realised his problem.

"That's not a vacuum cleaner," I said.
"what do you mean?"
"It's an air conditioner...to keep your house cool".
"................a fiver then".

He ended up leaving it behind. There's not really the market for air conditioners in Glasgow.
(, Fri 11 Jan 2008, 12:35, 2 replies)
My mates mum stole a snail from the USA. It was in a fish shop (tropical not cod or haddock) on a display tank. On the outside. This didn't ring any alarm bells.

She decide it would look great at home, in her tank. So she put it into a film case (pre-digital days of old)which she filled with water and popped in the plucky gastropod.

She then kept it all holiday, flew home ignoring all signs "do not transport wildlife".

She gets home, overjoyed that it is still alive. So she pops it in the tank.

Every morning she got up, the snail had got all the way to the top of the tank and was trying to escape. She would push it back in again and happily go about her day.

It was nearly a month later when a friend of hers was round she showed off the snail - " it keeps trying to escape to its certain doom so i just plop it back in".

The friend laughed her arse off - the snail was a common american land snail, probably from the garden or the street and had accidently wandered into the shop. It had now been shoplifed thousands of miles and was being forcibly drowned daily. Every time it managed to get out of the water it was pushed back.

i hope she ate it to save our indigenous snails. It could be the start of something massive
(, Mon 14 Jan 2008, 16:21, Reply)
Nudey Mag Heist
At the age of about nine or ten, a group of mates and I conceived of, and successfully pulled off a complex nudey mag heist from Circle K in North Cheam.

The three targets were copies of Razzle, Fiesta and Knave. We avoided Penthouse and Playboy because their girls all looked too sensible and grown up.

Our plan was surprisingly complex (considering our ages) and it went something like this.

12pm - lunchtime - known to be busy in the shop. Accomplice "X" enters Circle K and proceeds to the newspaper and magazine area. After picking up a Financial Times (despite this being a strange paper for a nine year old), wait for strategically quiet moment to slip a copy of each nudey mag into the broad sheet newspaper. After successfully securing the targets, (here is the cunning bit) proceed to the biscuit and crisp area, and slide the paper under the display shelves. Then purchase a packet of Ringos (Cheese and Onion) and some Monster Munch. Continue to pay for aforementioned potato / maize snacks and exit the store. Celebrate success of Phase One, by eating crisps with other accomplices.

Again wait for lunch time, Accomplice "Y" proceeds to the crisp area to rendez vous with the stashed newspaper. Good news...its still there. Stuff the paper (containing stick mags) into the jacket and zip up. If confronted, maintain that this is yesterdays paper and how could I possibly be stealing it. We banked on this to perplex the sub-gibbon security guard. Fortunately, no need. Cover maintained and two cans of Vimto successfully purchased. Exit shop.

What a caper ! Oceans Eleven eat your heart out. Although we couldnt have been that clever, I seem to recall thinking that having a frothy piss after reading them was spunk.
(, Fri 11 Jan 2008, 1:49, 5 replies)
not really shop lifting, but who feels the need to be accurate to the QOTW anyway?
When my parents were renovating our house (which they needed to do as the back verandah led to the bathroom and was so rotten that it would not hold the weight of an anorexic rat), they didn't have much money. At all.
Seriously, we did't even have beds, just matresses on the floor, but my parents were wise enough to see that owning their own place was more important than air flow inder the matress.....
back to the point-ish

They did a nice big fancy 3 room, 2 level double brick extension on the back of our house.

How did they afford this?

My dad worked at the brickworks and they were allowed to take the occasional brick that got a bit mucked up, like if the temperature was too high or they were left in the kiln too long.

So he and his mates made sure that all the bricks were rejects until dad had enough for his extension. And then they helped him take them all home.

Dad built the extension himself, so it all worked out pretty much free.

I know I'm not a master storyteller or anything, but I thought the story somewhat fitting, so please be kind.
(, Sat 12 Jan 2008, 2:17, 2 replies)
I'm not sure if this is quite on-topic, but you won't know until you reach the end. So here goes.

It's December 1995, and I am a fresher. My hall of residence, along with those adjacent, throws a Christmas ball to see out the term. Having queued for hours to get tickets, my stablemates and I are keen to get our money's worth.

Already half-cut by the time the meal was served, we noticed - we could not have failed to notice - the table laden with booze, just over there. Curious to know what it is, we investigate. Bottles of wine, Martini, Taboo (look: it was the '90s, OK?) call us like glass sirens. And, not being tied to the mast, we are helpless. They must be ours.

For the girls in their ballgowns, half-inching them is difficult, so S, A, O and the three Js don't get much. But G (of bank robbery fame), C and I are wearing tuxes; I am in a waistcoat, too. Borrowing a bottle is easy. Drinking the contents is easier.

But this leaves us with a problem: how to dispose of the empties? We don't know why the bottles were there, but even we can tell that they oughtn't to be here. The solution is to slide an empty back under the tux, then to go and speak to a vague aquaintance on the other side of the room. During the course of the conversation, the bottle could find its way under the interlocutor's table.

The plan works like a dream: as the meal is cleared away and the dancing starts, we lose all our empties.

From that point on, my awareness of events is hazy, except for two things. One is the realisation at some point that there is an attractive young lady attached to my face - I hadn't noticed before, but don't really mind. The second is an announcement over the PA as midnight strikes.

"We were supposed to be having a raffle now. But someone seems to have stolen all the prizes."

Ah. So that's what they were...
(, Fri 11 Jan 2008, 14:17, 3 replies)
The crime of the century! (Not really)
Due to being raised by morally upright parents who instilled a sense of right and wrong into me at a young age, I have never felt the urge to shoplift. Even when my household is running low on loo paper and my flatmates and I can't afford to buy any nice paper, I won't take a roll from the loos in my serviced office block, we'll just make do with the stunningly cheap "9 rolls for 99p" stuff that the newsagents sells (which, unless you have a fetish for having your anus lacerated with splintery plywood, I wouldn't recommend).

However, when I was 6, I did something that has shamed me ever since. I stole a penny sweet from Sainsburys.

I'll set the scene:
It was a lovely sunny day in the Fens, and my dearest Mama cried: "Let us sally forth to Sainsburys to do the weekly shop! Children, because you have behaved so very well this week, you shall come with me!"
"Yaaaaaaaaaay" cried my Brother and I with great joy, fighting to be the first to get into the car.

We were wandering round the celestial haven that is the Chesterton branch of Sainsbury's in Cambridge, full of glee and delight. My Brother and I were excitedly pointing out rare and exotic foods, and showing off our recently-acquired reading skills to each other ("Ec-on-o-my ham!" "Ba-by-sha-m!"), when the time came for us to depart, and shuffle back to the drab hovel from which we came.

The aisle to the checkouts that we chose housed a collection of small, individually wrapped sweets that fascinated me. However, I wasn't such a good and favoured child that my Mother would buy me a mint humbug, chocolate eclair or string of strawberry bootlace, so she marched straight on, as we toddled behind disconsolately. My hand acted of its own accord, and shot out, grabbing one of those precious parcels of sugary goodness, bringing it into the confines of my pocket with ninja-like speed, unseen by anyone else.

My stomach was churning as we approached the checkout. Already I knew that what I had done was Bad and Wrong, and that if caught, I would be soundly thrashed. But I was surrounded by people now, it was too late to take the sweet out of my pocket, people would see me! But somehow, miraculously, we walked out of the store and to the car without attracting attention. The cries of "Halt! That child has a penny sweet that hasn't been paid for" never came. And then - sweet blessed Jesus! - we were driving home.

However, I was still unsure of what to do with my ill-gotten plunder. I could not eat it - my mother might smell the sweetness on my breath, and demand to know where I obtained it. Besides, I simply couldn't bring myself to eat something that was gained through theft. I could not leave it in my pocket - it would be found. The same was for leaving it in the car. In the end, I snuck it out of my pocket, and clasping it tightly in my fist as I leant forward, pretending to tie up my shoelace. A shifty glance revealed that my brother was watching the horizon, and my Mother's attention was on the road. Gently, to avoid the tell-tale crackly sound of the cellophane rustling, I pushed the loot into my shoe. I walked around with it in my shoe for another 2 hours, before going into the garden to play. I went to the compost heap, which was out of sight of the house, and with my bare hands dug a deep hole in it, pushed the sweet in, and quickly filled the hole in again.

I was safe. Only the acidic stain of guilt on my soul remained. I was never to steal again.

*Epilogue* I confessed this all to my mother about a year ago - she was horrified, and demanded that I go back to Sainsburys and apologise, and give them a penny. Seriously.

Apologies for length, but it's the only thing I've ever stolen, and I felt I had to compensate somehow.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 14:19, 6 replies)
Been Waiting For This One
I stole a park bench from Manchester University.

It was a Becks Promotion night. Becks had just arrived in the UK and they were selling it in the Student Union for 30p a pint. I got muntered on 3 quid.

So, on leaving the union with my mate we took a short-cut through the University grounds. And we spied a bench.

"That would be perfect on our balcony mate" I slurred to Jon - and he agreed.

So he picked up one end and I got the other. Fuck me it was heavy. It was a well built, rock solid piece of craftsmanship and about 8 foot long.

So off we went, past the library, through the car park to the back gates. Which were locked. Bugger. So I leant the bench against the iron spikey fence and climbed up it. Wedging myself against the railings, I pulled and Jon pushed and, eventually, we had the bench balancing precariously on the top of the fence. Then Jon climbed over and I dropped the bench on him.


After moaning and groaning for a bit, Jon got up and we continued our journey. Only now we were out in the open and had to be careful. So we crossed the road and entered the park. Now for some reason we were now doing an exaggerated cartoon style of sneaking. You know the one - the one where you lift your feet up too high as you sneak for cover to cover. Would have worked too if we weren't giggling like paedophiles at playtime.

After a while this got too much for us so we put the bench down, sat on it, and rolled up a fat one.

Good move Legless. Now you're pissed *and* stoned and you're trying to carry a monsterous bench.

And so we continued on our way.

Eventually we left the park and had one more road to cross before we were safe in the bowels of Hulme. A place where no copper dared tread. So we made another cartoon scurry across the road and made it to the other side when we saw the headlights of a car approaching.

"Quick" said Jon " Sit on the bench and act nonchalant"

So we did and the car passed without stopping. Safe.

Then I heard a crunch-crunch of feet on frosty grass behind me. I looked back and, oh bollocks. It was a copper. On his own, on foot, in the middle of bloody Hulme. This was one for the books.

Now I was too drunk, stoned and tired to run. He would have grabbed us in a heartbeat.

"What you got there" says the copper

"Err - shine your torch on it" I said. "Ah it's a bench"

"And where did you get it from" says the copper

"I've just pinched it" I said "From the university"

"It's a prank" chimes in Jon helpfully.

Copper looked at the bench again. Looked at me and Jon giggling helplessly, shook his head and walked away.

"I don't fucking believe this" he muttered.

Neither did we.

(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 13:07, 24 replies)
Security blanket

Funny really: I've little compunction about nicking things from work, and exaggerating an insurance claim is just getting value for money (isn't it?) but I draw the line at shop-lifting; I wonder why that should be...probably to do with the fear of being caught rather than excessive morality.

Still, I did once steal something from a hotel. "Big deal" you say, "Hang on a minute," I reply...

It was exactly 23 years ago this week that it happened. January 1985; for those of you not old enough to remember it, it was one of the coldest Januarys on record; people were dying in the streets of Paris, snow lay thickly, but dirtily on the streets of London and where was Che? He was in Chania in northern Crete. This was the end of my young, free and single wanderings. I'd left the UK in May of 1984, spent a few months in Nice (see: 'beautiful but bonkers'), briefly touched base back in London in September before heading off to pick grapes in the Languedoc Rousillon and then Pfalz region. Back to Nice to visit friends, over to Austria (for Thanksgiving of all things), then Grenoble to work in the ski resorts but found nothing, hence to Crete, where an old school friend was setting up a restaurant with her new husband.

I've touched on some of the characters that were hanging out there when I pitched up - the happy-go-lucky, mis-fitting, easily pleased, hard drinking, young and not-so-young detritus of the World in an earlier post so I won't give too much detail now. Suffice to say that in my small group of friends were British, Australian, Swedish, Danish, Canadian, Brazilian, Colombian, Iranian, German etc. etc. We needed work - some more than others - and found it most of the time: picking olives was the staple, with oranges and satsumas too (if you've never tasted an orange straight from the tree, put it on your 'things to do before I die' list). But then the rain started and the work dried up for a bit, so three of us decided to move south for a bit as someone said there was work there. We got a bus to (I think it was called) Paleochora, a small town on the south coast.

There was Andrea - a 19 yr old, 6' 2", lanky, laid back Swedish burglar, Kerry - a 28 yr old, 5' 5", plump, laid back Aussie chic and Che - 21 yr old, 5' 7", skinny laid back English bloke. We found a very reasonable apartment: three beds, 2-ring electric stove, bathroom, for a couple of quid per person per night and it was only two doors down from a pool hall. It was good to get away from the claustrophobic atmosphere in Chania for a bit and although there was no work to be had, I did meet and fall headlong in love with a lovely Danish girl called Malene. I think the feeling was mutual, but her boyfriend was flying out to be with her in a couple of days.

I decided to go back up north, Andreas and Kerry were going to explore the south for a bit; we checked out of our apartment, and I nicked a blanket. It was a great blanket, made of some synthetic material it was thick and warm but light. It was brown coloured with some sort of a pattern on it so that on one side it was dark brown with a lighter brown pattern with the reverse on the other side. It rolled up fairly small and I was able to squeeze it into my trusty rucksack as well as my knackered cheap sleeping bag. That was the reason I nicked it, my sleeping bag, although fine in the summer in the south of France was proving to be less than adaquate for mid-winter, even in Crete.

When I got back to Chania, things were falling apart. My old school mate left her husband, things had been rough for a while; their restaurant should have opened before Christmas but was destined never to get finished. She had been sleeping with the bricklayer and he had been drinking to forget. The night after I got back I met him (the hubby) and we went for a meal after meeting up with Malene. We had a good night though much drink was drunk; I declared my undying affection for Malene and fell on the floor. Later, a drunken hubby had introduced Malene to his wife, explaining that she would be one of their waitresses once the restaurant opened, she went home, packed her bags and moved out.

We all drank a lot because drink was so cheap and measures were so big. An ouzo cost very little and the standard measure was about the same as a triple back in the UK. My favourite cocktail was the Vodzou - one large measure of vodka and the same of ouzo - the vodka took some of the aniseed flavour off the ouzo and the ouzo masked the nastiness of the cheap vodka. I'd have a couple of these early evening, we'd normally eat at one of the cheap eateries (we called one of them Pigs Balls - as that was one of the dishes on offer) with a couple of large pitchers of local Retsina to wash it down. Afterwards, back to a bar for coffee and Metaxa brandy - the whole evening costing about £3.00 which was about half a day's pay [don't quote me on those, they are rough guesses].

Without realising it, I was drinking heavily and a couple of times when we went on to some night spot or other, I lost a few hours. It may seem amusing but for me it was not. Especially one time when it turns out I'd been very nasty about one of my friends to another one. We were going to travel to Barcelona together, I'd said I was going to dump her when I got to Nice. The next day she told me what I'd said and I realised it was time to go home. I'd gone to bed early and had a particularly disturbing dream - waking suddenly thinking that my Grandma had just died. I spent the rest of the night wrapped in my blanket, chain smoking Karelia Lights and sipping retsina which I'd taken from Reiner's bedside. Reiner, though a friend of ours was a true alcoholic and this was his carefully stashed breakfast drink, put aside before embarking on the night's drinking. He woke up in morning shaking so badly we had to scour the place for some booze for him, but I think I probably felt worse than him. A couple of days later I was heading back home.

We've still got that blanket. I've taken it from rucksack to bedroom, to bedsits, to flats, to houses. When one of us is ill, we bring it downstairs and wrap the poorly one in it while they languish on the sofa. On very cold nights we put it on top of the duvet. It's getting a bit threadbare now but I think it'll last a good few more years yet.
(, Mon 14 Jan 2008, 13:45, 6 replies)
NOT shoplifting at B&Q
I recently found I was very irritated at being followed around B&Q by the worlds least subtle security guard who clearly thought I was a candidate for "shop & go" action.

The fact that I was just unable to find or buy the paint I needed due to their lack of signage, prices, colour charts, staff and stock made things worse. Not to mention that of all the people there I was probably least likely to steal anything, including the staff.

So I decided to tell them that. I emailed the head office ranting about the guard following me like a hawk and the crapness of their paint dept.

They apologised and sent me £10 (in voucher form).

So I got paid to not shoplift at B&Q !
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 14:58, 7 replies)
Stolen Phone calls...
..when I was at uni, I lived in a shared house in the middle of nowhere. It was an old farmhouse, cold, with it's own pump and borehole for water. Go to uni and live in the big city? Nope, about 10 of us crammed into this huge old farmhouse 15miles away from town. Cool place, but that's my opinion now - when i was 18 I wanted some excitment beyond cows wandering into the yard.

So, we had a payphone in this place, and it wasn't too long before a couple of us realised we could get free credit on this phone by sticking a knife down the coin slot - the phone was crude enough that it registered that as credit, usually 50p.

Ideal, so we could relieve some boredom by phoning home and our mates now and again.

Of course, boredom eventually kicked in and we started to experiment.

'Does australia have a speaking clock?'
Hey, lets find out.

Lets ring random New Zealand mobile phone numbers until we get someone! Followed by a 40min phone call to some random kiwi in a pub who thought it hilarious that he'd been called out of the blue by some bored students on the other side of the world. We got to know him quite well...

Of course, eventually the phone bill came in and wondered why the coin box was 300quid short...and evicted the pikey guy, the only non-student in the house, the guy who'd shoot rabbits from inside the house through the window, and the guy our landlord thought most likely responsible.

Oops. Paul in NewZealand - if you're reading this - that's why the phone calls stopped...
(, Sun 13 Jan 2008, 14:01, Reply)
When I worked for a bank
I use to be a Security systems developer at a bank. we use to have computer systems clearances but because there were no inventories we could take any "old" equipment away.
This year I have had to dispose of many of theses items by giving them away.

click I like this and I will put a list of stuff I have left up for free (you must collect)
(, Sat 12 Jan 2008, 19:32, 2 replies)
Brace Yo'self
My friend was one of the more nefarious types in my little gang of chums when I was at college.

He was a bit of clothes freak, and any opportunity to lift the latest wares would be taken with relish.

It was around this time that his little brother had a set of braces fitted on his teeth. On a family shopping trip to 'Meadowhell', our hero discovered that in some shops, the braces would cross the shop's sensors and set off the alarm for the shop security to collar the apparent thieving bastards.

My friend was not an A-grade student for nothing - and being very observant and logical, he realised that his freshly metalled-up sibling would be the perfect distraction for him to play out his favourite hobby.

It was simple, little bro would wait outside on look out, when the lift was made and the signal given, little bro would walk into the shop 'looking for his mum', set the sensor off, and older bro would walk straight through as the alarm wailed, without suspicion, whilst the alarm kept the shop staff occupied.

After a bit of testing and research into the susceptible shops, big bro was ready to execute his plan.

Despite having more gaps in the concept than the Sheffield Wednesday defence, the pair were amazingly successful and all of a sudden me and my college chums were adorned with plenty of the latest fashions - mostly jeans and t-shirts, but he managed to swipe the odd set of trainers and even a games console in his time.

To ensure little bro kept his gob shut, he always got 10% of the takings, which kept him in gobstoppers and Space Raiders for many, many months to come.

Apparently his mum and dad were happy for big bro to take little bro out on trips during the weekend, they took pride in the seeming improvement in brotherly relations and big bro's responsible attitude.

Now, you should never look a gift horse in the mouth as they say, and this was my chum's downfall.

After a six-month pillage of various department stores in the area, Sheffield's answer to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were caught in - of all places - Netto.

They'd executed the manoveure as usual, this time to swipe some sweets and pop. However, big bro had been seen by the burly security jobsworth and the doors didn't have any sensors to catch such thieving little so-and-sos - thus the cover was blown.

Apparently, little bro wet himself on the spot, big bro was in tears, and eventually found himself kicked out of college. All for a packet of skittles and a can of coke.

So, there a lesson there kids - it might be cheap, it might be nasty, but... NETTO KNOWS.

Still, the Levis were nice. Bit tight on the thigh, though.
(, Sat 12 Jan 2008, 12:36, 6 replies)
More Tesco's...
When I worked at Tesco, I used to steal packets of smoked ham, hide in a cupboard and eat them.

I was the Deli Manager at the time.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 15:23, Reply)
One of those convenience type stores independently owned. They had recently expanded into the empty unit next door.

As a result the other shops door was not in use and they had stacked a display shelf with crisps on in front of it.

They had failed to notice that it backed onto the letterbox.


Wotsits galore for about 3 weeks till they must have noticed the letterbox, or wondered what the rustling noise was at the back of that shelf.

length? about an inch, slightly bent and very orange.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 14:04, 3 replies)
Educating the nation
When I was around 12 or so, my best friend and I went through a phase of shoplifting pocket dictionaries (or other improving literature) and then planting them in stupid-looking people's bags and pockets on the tube home.
(, Mon 14 Jan 2008, 14:52, Reply)
Anxiety Porn
This is a rather embarrasing tale for my first post but alas it is the only time I've shoplifted.

I went on my first holiday to Spain with my family when I was around 13/14. Indeed, it was around this time that I noticed a temporary euphoria whilst trying to tear off a particular body part.

I had spent about a week of the holiday surrounded by my family so it was impossible to abuse myself. One day I caught/ate something that made me sick. My family had booked a bus trip somewhere so I insisted that they go whilst I stayed in bed. After a few hours I felt slightly better and saw an opportunity present itself.

However, I wanted to put a bit of effort into this one as it might have been my only chance during the two week period. I had noticed our slightly more liberal European cousins had a variety of softcore porn available in almost every shop. I headed out with a pocket full of cash ready to purchase my first piece of pornography. I was slightly nervous walking into the shop but being in a foreign country gave me a confidence boost.

Despite this I still hid my selected magazine in a basket full of Fanta, Lays crisps and Chubba Chub lollies. Whilst I was waiting in the queue I noticed an English guy the same age as me purchasing a pack of cards. There appeared to be a problem with this particular transaction. On further inspection I realised the old Spanish lady behind the till was pointing at the lovely breasts that decorated the cards. She then shouted at my comrade in hands and threw him out of the shop.

I started to panic and quickly jogged around to another aisle. I was a desperate young man and had just seen my best chance of momentary happiness being shot down in flames. Fuelled by anxiety and anticipation I shoved the magazine down the back of my shorts and headed back towards the till. As I approached I started to feel sick again. My legs started to go weak and my head light. I could feel every set of eyes on me and my anxiety grew so much that my breathing was suffering. I tried to focus in on the beeps of each item being scanned but it was no good. I managed not to faint but had to run outside and be sick before collapsing on the steps outside.

The old Spanish lady took pity on me and didn't charge me for any of my stuff. I remember thinking how nice a person she was as I headed off back to my hotel room. It wasn't until I got back and sat down on a seat that I remembered I had solid gold in my pants (boom boom). The guilt of my theft lasted about five seconds... rougly the same time it took me to do a naked strip run to the bathroom.

The last laugh was on her though as I eventually passed out on the toilet seat and cracked my head on the sink.

Length? 8 stitches above my left eye.
I haven't stolen anything since.
(, Sun 13 Jan 2008, 6:22, 1 reply)
Gilt trip
Back when I lived in Bristol, I had a brilliant apartment which I shared with a friend, that overlooked the floating harbour. The real selling point of this place was the HUGE patio with a view of the Bristol skyline and enough room to comfortably house 20 or some people for some outdoor bbq party action. My housemate was a keen gardener, and wanted to buy a huge planter to put some of the more impressive shrubs and such in that he'd grown over the years. But these things cost a fortune, a couple of hundred quid, easily. So he hatched a plan...

We lived down the road from a plumbers yard (Bristol residents may now be getting an idea of where the flat was). This yard usually had old bathroom suites outside which were waiting to be scrapped. One night, while a bit pissed, my housemate liberated a bath from the yard and dragged it back to the flat, took it onto the patio and sprayed it bronze with some Hammerite paint. Chuck in some soil and some rocks for drainage and bingo, we have ourselves a planter, and a real talking point to boot...

Three years on and we're ready to move. We've cleared the house, cleaned it and... oh, hang on, there's a bath full of soil and plants outside...

18 bin bags of dirt and rocks later and we've emptied the fucker. The plants have been repotted and the bath is spent. So we load it in a van to take it to the tip.

Except the tip won't take it. The van is too tall and we can't unload outside and carry it in for "health and safety" (ie jobsworth) reasons.

So we hatched another plan. Under cover of darkness, we picked the bath up and carried it back to the yard where it had be stolen from. We casually dumped it outside the front door and scarpered. Next morning we walked past to see a very confused looking plumbers merchant wondering how a bronze spray painted bath had materialised during the previous 24 hours.

So no, I've never stolen anything. But I have returned stolen goods to their original homes after a "changing rooms" style makeover... I like to think of it as a public service

And if you've made it this far, apologies for taking five minutes of your life that you'll never get back...
(, Fri 11 Jan 2008, 19:15, 2 replies)
Gallantly Accidental Shoplifting
I have only ever remember stealing something once, and it was completely by accident (this is by the medium of shoplifting; when it comes to software/music I'm much more guilty, as probably are most of us here).

I was in a flu-filled haze in 1994, and was helping my mother with the laundry. My mother required some washing powder, and gave me two whole English pounds with which to purchase the product.

I remember walking to the store.

I remember getting home.

My mother asks for her change in shiny coins.

I hand her two English pounds.

Obviously perplexed, I tried to recall the events of my shopping trip, and then it hit me. I had walked into the store, picked up a box of washing powder directly in front of the cashier, gave a nod and a vocal sounding of 'alright?' to the man, then hazily walked out of the store.

What I don't understand to this day is why the shopkeeper didn't stop me, or say anything.

It was probably because he didn't expect a woozy looking child with a runny nose to have the bawls to walk into his store, shoplift something RIGHT UNDER HIS NOSE and greet him at the same time.

Length? up to about 15 washes before it shrunk.
(, Thu 10 Jan 2008, 16:23, 1 reply)

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