If you’ve ever spent time with your grandma, you’ve probably had the experience of discovering her stash of movies on VHS, old clothes in her guest room, or that creepy doll she keeps on the shelf. You probably didn’t think much of it at the time. However, if she has recently been showing up with a new CD or DVD you’ve never seen before, and it’s from your favorite childhood band such as Backstreet Boys, you might want to reconsider.
Most old people have a secret personal stash of items—from framed photos to keyless car fobs—stored in their rooms, closets, or basements. The stuff typically ranges from sentimental to creepy, but whatever it is attracts them like flies.
What you’re not aware of, though, is that as they get older and slower (and as they’re no longer working), the temptation to steal things from stores probably becomes too much for them. And that’s when they’ll go digging through Goodwill or the Salvation Army, looking for items to swindle.
Many people are surprised to learn that older folks are taking advantage of Goodwill and other similar stores, but it seems to be happening more often these days. One reason is that many people, including me, have spent a lot of time at thrift shops or Goodwill as a kid. We all knew the old folk who went into those stores behind our backs and took things from them. We all knew they did it, but we probably didn’t realize just how often it was happening—and that it’s still happening today.
What should you do if you suspect your grandma is shoplifting at Goodwill?
The first thing that you should do is to talk to her calmly and reasonably. Then, get all the facts about what’s happening so that you can act.
Start by asking about your grandmother’s recent behavior. This might seem like a simple question, but it’s actually very difficult to answer. Many old people have been suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or some other form of mental illness for quite some time, so they may not realize they’re doing something wrong.
If your grandmother has a mental illness, notify a doctor. Or have her family step in to help, or maybe even have her placed in a mental health care facility.
The first step should be to confirm your suspicions. If there’s reasonable doubt, go to Goodwill and talk with management—find out if people are reporting her.
If management confirms that they have reports of your grandmother stealing, then the next step is to confront her. She may deny it, so you’ll have to be ready for that. If she does, explain that stealing is wrong and that if she did it, then she needs to admit it and stop.
Also, explain that you’ll have her arrested for theft if she takes items from the store again
It’s possible that your grandmother will make her own confession. If she does, you should consider keeping the matter confidential and not tell anyone else. This is to avoid people ostracizing her. Remember, it’s a disease, and she needs help.
If she doesn’t, then take the matter to the police. What you need to tell them is simple: you think your grandma may be stealing from Goodwill and that you need her to stop. Even worse than that, she’s stealing Backstreet Boys CDs, and as everyone knows, those CDs contain some of the worst music ever.
Not only is your grandma a thief, but she also has terrible taste in music
Your grandma’s taste when it comes to music sucks big time. After all, we’re talking about a woman who is probably at least 75 years old and may be suffering from a form of dementia or Alzheimer’s. And let’s face it, Backstreet Boys are the fan-favorite of losers. That should tell you something about her.
If your grandma has recently been stealing from Goodwill and you can’t convince her to stop, then the next step is to take legal action. Talk with the authorities and file charges or a police report. Hopefully, that will teach the old bag a lesson.
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