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What should I do about my daughter? She Shoplifted.

She had money with her to pay for the item, but I found the item in her coat pocket this morning. Should I call the police and have her arrested? She's 13, close to 14, and she will steal things from anyone, family, friends, stores- it doesn't matter- she doesn't care who it is, if she wants it she takes it. It is to the point that we have to check her pockets before we leave if we've gone to visit anyone. This is the second time she's shoplifted to my knowledge, and hasn't been caught by the store yet. Can I be sent to jail for this?


Asked by Anonymous at 7:02 AM on Jan. 14, 2011 in Teens (13-17)

This question is closed.
Answers (15)
  • It sounds like she may need therapy. Not sure calling the police would be the right thing to do. I'd just send back the item. Back in the day I'd say make her take it back but nowadays they throw the book at kids and they don't teach kids anything about not stealing. Not to mention it will cost you a fortune in legal fees and taking off from work. I'd stick it in the mail or throw it away but that's bc I've tried to do it by having the child take it back and it blew up in my face.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:20 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Not the police. But take her back to the store or the person that she stole from. She needs to return the item. If they call the police, so be it. It is not because she cannot afford it. She probably gets a temporary high from the stealing thrill. This needs to be addressed before it progresses.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 7:13 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Oh wow... Sorry you are going through this. Have you thought about taking her to the store with the item and making her give it back, apologizing and then letting the store decide what to do? That is a bit harsh, but if this is something that she is continuing to do, that may be the only thing that will scare her straight. Hopefully someone has a better suggestion for you, good luck:)


    Answer by shanlaree at 7:07 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • I agree with tootoobusy. Also, maybe some therapy could help her. IDK. I wish you the best with this though.

    Answer by MommyH2 at 7:15 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • I agree taking her back to the store to either returng the item or to pay for it is a great way to start. When I was this age I used to steal sometimes as well and it wasn't about not having the money, I started hanging with a group of kids that did this so I tried it. One time my sister and I got caught by the store and we got taken into the back room. THey called our parents and told us that this time they weren't going to call the police although next time they would. I never stole again.

    I am sure you have told her that stealing is bad and that she shouldn't do it, although until she gets caught by someone else or gets scared she may not stop. I would try talking to her about why she is stealing and if you can't get anywhere you could look into counseling. I know for me I went into therapy and learned a lot about myself and why I did certain things. I will tell you I turned out okay, so there is hope

    Good Luck

    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 7:23 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • I also think you should escort her back to the store and make her return the item. I would also ban her from going shopping without you present and I would watch her like a hawk. She is breaking the law and is on her way to a criminal record.

    Answer by jcm62497 at 7:41 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Take her back to the store with the item she stole and make her return it. It will then be up to the store to determine what they do about it, so be sure you are standing by her side. Also, you should know that your child is not stealing because she wants something that she doesn't have. She is doing it to meet some kind of emotional need, and somebody needs to help her unearth what that need is so that it can be met. That's where the focus needs to be.

    Answer by NannyB. at 7:54 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Take her back to the store and make her give back the item if they call the cops then so be it. The girl needs therapy. This type of behavior is something she cant help or control and it will only get worse.

    Answer by mistynights234 at 8:11 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Make her take it back to the store and the store will decide if they will press charges or not. And get your daughter therapy. Kleptomania is a disease and needs treatment.

    Answer by twinsplus2more at 8:47 AM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Don't call the police on your "OWN" kid, just sit her down and tell her about the law in our country on shoplifting, and it can be punishable for jail time. Let her know to get it out of her system now before it's too late, but never, ever, ever, ever call the cops on your own kid. My 7 year old was stealing things like gum, candy, dumb stuff. Eventually we had a home counselor come in, and guess what? She's a police officer(ironic), and she told her that shoplifting is bad and she could get into a lot of trouble.She put together a portfolio of my child's accomplishments...6 months later and no stealing. The police officer is still in her life, but now she's mentoring her making sure the stealing is out of her head. There are many resources out there for you should your child continue to do this. Stop it now before you get that terrifying call from the police department telling you their holding your child

    Answer by ambr2006 at 9:57 AM on Jan. 14, 2011