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Session 24

Learning Objectives: Session 24 examines shoplifting. Teens will define shoplifting, consider the reason that people commit the crime, and . . .

Learning Objectives:

Session 24 examines shoplifting. Teens will define shoplifting, consider the reason that people commit the crime, and examine the impact that shoplifting has on teens and their communities. Teens will also begin to explore how store owners might perceive their behavior and to express how they feel when store owners treat them with suspicion.

Tips to Enhance Session 24:

  • Facilitate group discussion during Step B. Ask students to rank the following situations:
  • A boy shoplifts candy and gum from a small store.
  • A girl shoplifts expensive clothes from a department store.
  • An older woman takes a bottle of perfume on impulse.
  • A 12-year-old steals money from a parent to go to the movies.
  • A 17-year-old boy who works at a fast-food restaurant gives his friends free hamburgers and fries.
  • A drug addict takes $50 from the cash register when the clerk is not looking.
  • A sales clerk takes a sweater that no one seems to want to buy, from the store where she works.
    • Then ask students the following questions:

      1. What made you rank some of the situations as more serious than others?
      2. If you saw any of these situations occurring, which ones, if any, would you report?
      3. What is the impact of shoplifting on the shoplifter who is caught? On his or her family? On the community? On business? On law enforcement? (These final questions will help you segue into Step C).
  • Give students a copy of NCPC’s downloadable Shoplifting (PDF) brochure during Step C. The brochure outlines the costs and consequences of shoplifting for the shoplifter, the store, and the greater community.

Web Resources:

Community Resource People:

  • Police officer: Can explain the consequences of shoplifting (e.g., arrest, fines, community service, and imprisonment).
  • Shop owner: Can convey how shoplifting affects the greater community due to prices being raised, distrust of minors, etc.


Don’t forget to give the CRP the session materials at least one week before he or she participates in your class.


Service-Learning Project Ideas:

  • Short Project: Students can create posters with shoplifting prevention messages and pictures. The posters should highlight the consequences of the crime to the person stealing, the store, and the community. Students could display the posters throughout the school.
  • Medium-Length Project: Students can attend a juvenile court hearing to learn about the judicial sentences for theft. Then, they can write editorials for a school or local newspaper concerning the costs and consequences of shoplifting.
  • Long Project: Students can start a shoplifting prevention advertisement and awareness campaign in school and community newspapers. Students can create one-half page awareness ads with pictures of stolen merchandise as well as the people and stores affected by shoplifting. Then, students can write prevention messages about the costs and consequences of shoplifting.
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