Confessions Of A Shoplifter

Has the recession forced you do away with shopping at Whole Paycheck, er, Foods? There’s really no need for that. You can still consume gourmet fruits and vegetables as long as you’re willing to get over any pesky moral qualms about stealing.

That’s what one struggling freelancer in New York has done. For the past six or seven years, he’s regularly shoplifted roughly $100 worth of food a week from Whole Foods and other high-end grocery stores. Below are some tidbits from his interview with Gothamist.


Where do you usually hit? I have a few rotations with Whole Foods, one of the main targets because I’ve figured out the structure, the infrastructure of the place…I call them blind spots, there are a lot of blind spots.

Where else do you boost? Key Foods occasionally, and then if something is on my way and I want to employ the more improvisational style, I can do that.

We find it interesting that the shoplifter failed to mention a number of high-end Manhattan grocery stores: Balducci’s, Dean & Deluca, Zabar’s, Trader Joe’s, and Citarella. Did he just not want to give up all of his spots? Or is it possible that Whole Foods has the worst surveillance/security of high-end New York grocery stores?

Have you ever been caught? I came close once, but I managed to unload the goods before they approached me and I played it out because I knew it was no longer in my bag. They didn’t see me taking it out but they clearly saw me putting it in, so I created a huge scene. I called the manager and I was screaming that I was outraged and so forth.

Do you think the secret to your success is your experience? That’s a part of it, that’s an aspect to it. The second aspect is that it’s out of necessity. This is not for pleasure; you do this because you need to be healthy to continue with your job and your career and maintain yourself in good shape. Because it has a practical application, it adds to the confidence and adds to the purpose and that’s ultimately why it’s a successful adventure.

Do you remember the first thing you shoplifted? Of course, it was a sausage. It was a really expensive sausage that I put under my pants.



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