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Moment of utter madness - caught shoplifting in Sainsburys - PLEASE HELP!


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Hello all,

 

This is my first time posting on this forum so please be gentle with me.

 

On NYE afternoon I was caught shop lifting from my local Sainsbury’s store. I have NEVER done anything like this before and I am so ashamed and disgusted that I don’t know what on earth the do with myself. I suffer terribly from anxiety and panic attacks and the on-set of one in an extremely busy store made me make a snap decision that I have never regretted so much and that was to leave the store immediately with my trolley having not paid. I was stopped and the security guy asked me for a receipt I could not produce one of course and me and my trolley were escorted upstairs to the office.

 

To cut a long and story short they interrogated me which took a long time (about 40 mins) as I was hyperventilating for a good 10 minutes until my medication kicked in and then the enormity of what I had done sunk in and I was a gibbering wreck. I feel so dirty and ashamed like the **** of the earth for what I had done I told them over and over how sorry I was that I made a snap decision to escape the store but I should have just left my shopping before leaving.

 

They didn’t call the police but told me I was banned from that and any Sainsbury’s store for life and they took my name and address and they asked to confirm I had not given them a false address, which I confirmed. They then gave me a letter which stated that I was banned due to the “incident” and that should I ever enter a store again I will be treated as a trespasser and the police called.

 

They would not allow me to pay for the goods in my trolley.

 

It then says “Sainsburys” has a policy of pursuing civil recovery in circumstances where the company has suffered loss as a result of the actions of individuals. Sainsbury’s may therefore pass on your personal information details to our partners and agents who work on our behalf in accordance with this policy and in pursuit of a claim.

 

I am beyond terrified as to what will happen now. Can I be taken to court over this or put in jail? When the branch manager was escorting me off the premises after everything I asked what will happen now and he said nothing, just do your shopping in Tesco’s from now on.

 

But what if Sainsbury’s change their mind, can they send the police to my house even days/weeks after the event. I haven’t told my husband what happened as I think I would die of shame and he would be so disappointed it would crush me.

 

I cannot eat or sleep since this happened and I feel like I am going out of my mind with worry and despair. What if the police come to my house or I get arrested at work? I have read that many people have received bills in the post for several hundreds of pounds to pay in costs. I will pay whatever I need to pay to make this go away and to do the right thing but I am now panicking about the letter coming through the post and my husband seeing it or at least questioning who the letter is from.

 

I feel so depressed, alone and desperate I truly don’t know what to do. Please can someone who has been in a similar situation please tell me what to expect now? I am guessing I will definitely be pursued for costs which I will pay immediately but what else can I expect to happen to me?

 

As if it couldn’t be any worse my husband has a friend who is a manager in an instore bakery in a Sainsburys store in another county in the UK, but not a million miles from my local area. Is there a chance he will find out about me? I would assume “banned” peoples details are circulated to all nationwide stores and their employees.

 

Please help me understand what will happen to me.

 

Thank you in advance for any advice

Edited by honeybee13
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Were the police involved? If not then its finished woth. If rlp or a similar company contact you, send them the one line letter of deniability and then ignore them.

 

They may send half a dozen threat lettets but if you dont reply they normally run off.

 

As for your husband knowing, its up to you to tell him. If security leaked your info they would be in breach of dpa. However the sharing of info is an empty threat. It rarely ever happens.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

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Hello and welcome to CAG.

 

I expect the forum guys will be along later with advice for you. We're not here to judge people, although obviously we don't condone shoplifting. Reading what you say, I suspect you won't want to put yourself in this position again though.

 

I doubt very much if you would go to prison for this. And if the police haven't been involved already, it's unlikely they will turn up later.

 

Please have a read of other threads on this forum, it should help you to understand the system and how the civil recovery firms work. If you do receive a letter from one of them, we'll be able to help you.

 

My best, HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Thanks for the quick reply, sorry I don't know why there are no paragraphs in my post. No the police were not involved. But I assume they can still turn up at my home if Sainsburys decide to involve them even days/weeks after the event?

 

I don't want any letters coming to my house as I simply cannot tell my husband of my terrible behavior so I will just pay the fine as soon as I get the first letter through.

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Sainsbury have already washed their hands of you. In their eyes youve been dealt with.

 

It is also not a fine and if you pay the company you are justifying their unlawful business practices and saying they are legit in what they are doing.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Thanks for the quick reply, sorry I don't know why there are no paragraphs in my post. No the police were not involved. But I assume they can still turn up at my home if Sainsburys decide to involve them even days/weeks after the event?

 

I don't want any letters coming to my house as I simply cannot tell my husband of my terrible behavior so I will just pay the fine as soon as I get the first letter through.

 

Hello again.

 

I can understand that you want this to go away. However, we've seen people pay up to get rid of civil recovery companies and then be asked for more money.

 

Telling your OH would be the best thing, but I believe the envelopes don't have anything specific written on the outside.

 

HB

Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Hi Mrs Sweetcheeks (nice name)

 

DWF are the company that deals with this. They are very similar to Retail Loss Prevention (RLP) in that they send out their threat-o-grams using pseudo legal babble to confuse and intimidate people who have been caught shoplifting.

 

They do not care about the circumstances, only the money. As far as I am aware, they have taken no-one to court for this.

 

When (if) you get the letters, make sure you come here to get help if a response is needed

If you are asked to deal with any matter via private message, PLEASE report it.

Everything I say is opinion only. If you are unsure on any comment made, you should see a qualified solicitor

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Thanks for all the replies, I really appreciate them. Sorry to go on but I have nowhere else to to turn to about this. I just cannot believe what I have done, my stomach is lurching and my heart is pounding all the time. I honestly don't know if I can live with the guilt and the shame. Does it get easier?

 

I understand what you are saying about no paying the fine. But I am terrified if I don't pay then I risk being taken to court or arrested. I was so lucky that Sainsbury's didn't call the police there and then but they may change their mind if I don't cooperate surely?.

 

Have people really ignored the letters requesting to pay the fine? what happened ultimately? Is it common to not pay/ignore in this type of situation? Is there a possibility that they will turn up at your home to collect payment?

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To be brutally honest if you want to continue to worry that is entire up to you and serves NO purpose whatsoever.

 

ONLY a court can fine you, you will NOT receive a fine as the police were NOT called and you haven't been arrested.

 

Should you receive anything, it will be an 'invoice' that EVERYONE on this site ignores. NO one will turn up at your house, no one will go to prison and NO ONE will take your first born.

 

YOU made a mistake and feel guilty, now work hard to get over it.

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Hi Mrs Sweetcheeks,

 

I can't add to the advice you have been given by the guys above, but they are very experienced and I think you should accept what they say. Ignore any letters. If you do get any just ask here for advice. Sainsbury's didn't call the police and they haven't suffered a loss.

 

Day by day, the memory will fade and I'm sure you'll never do anything like this again. I wonder if you should tell your husband but only you know how he is likely to react. I'm just wondering what excuse you would give if he ever wanted to go into Sainsbury's when you were together?

 

I expect many people have become overwhelmed in crowded stores for any number of reasons, and it's just a shame you didn't just abandon the trolley.

 

Do you have a close friend you could confide in? Just to chat about it over a coffee with a friend might help. Good friends don't judge, they support.

 

I'm sending you a big hug.

 

DDxx

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Thanks to everyone who has replied. I know I sound like a complete drip but I have never ever done anything like this before and I have always been a honest and upfront person. But I did what I did, its my fault and I need to deal with that.

 

Desperate Daniella, thank you for kind words and the hug :-). I hope that in time I will be able forgive myself and that the memory does fade. Right now I just cant face it at all to tell anyone in RL even those I am close to and know I could confide in. Maybe I'll feel differently in a few days.once its all sunk in a bit more.

 

Dear Havingastella, I appreciate your honest reply. I know that worrying needlessly wont change the outcome of the situation but only make me feel worse and more distressed. Very difficult to change my way of thinking maybe its its still so recent but I will try to put more energy into learning a valuable lesson rather beating myself up more and more.

 

Dear Silverfox1961,

 

Thanks. If I do get a letter from DWF I will post here first for advice rather than making immediate payment as I originally planned. After reading some threads about these types of claims I feel a more reassured that I don't "HAVE" to pay and can put up a fight. Although I am still worried about any repercussions if I do that.

 

Can I ask about RLP and DWF, for those people that do make the requested payment, who actually gets the money? It is the supermarket ultimately? Is that why they pursue Civil Recovery via these types of companies? Or does the retailer and RLP/DWF split any money that people pay?

 

Also what are the chances of me being pursued by DWF? Is it a bit hit and miss/luck of the draw as to they come after or is it pretty much guaranteed that places like Sainsburys and all retailers pass on your details as standard policy?

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DWF do similar tactics to RLP. Meaning they send a couple of scary letters, then beg you to pay, then run after someone else. It takes a few months for them to stop, but they eventually will. We arent 100% sure who gets the money of you pay them, but from all the evidence we have seen so far, it seems to be 90% of it goes to DWF/RLP and the rest to the supermarket.

 

Also, after a court case last year ( or the year before, i forget), RLP and DWF rarely ever go anywhere near a court now.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Don't take this as something to worry about it is just a question.

 

Did Sainsburys make ANY comment about the police for example on this occasion I have decided not to involve the police?

 

They have not lost anything so why would they now try to say they had.

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When you started to hyperventilate during the "interrogation" was any medical assistance called for you ?

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I'm glad if the support here helps, but am wondering if some support "in-person" might help.

 

2 possible sources would be :

a) counselling : possibly via your GP's?, and

b) The Samaritans.

Both (I'd hope!) wouldn't be judgemental, and might help you see you aren't a bad person, but your panic attack led you to do something you feel was wrong.

 

I'm not saying what you did was right, nor anything to feel proud of, but:

i) it wasn't like you intended to steal

ii) the effect it has had on you makes it likely you'll not do the same again?, and

iii) perhaps they'll help you see "it was a mistake, rather than an intentional act, and you need to be a little less harsh on yourself"?

 

I hope you find the help and support you need (and deserve!)

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Good morning,

 

Just to answer a few questions.

 

No the police were not mentioned at all by the Sainsbury's staff from their side. But I asked them a couple of times if I was going to be arrested or were they calling the police and they said no they were not calling the police. If I hadn't asked I dont know if they would have mentioned the police as in this time they had decided not to involve them.

 

I was already having the panic attack when the security guard approached me and was starting to hyperventilate, by the time I got to the back office I was unable to speak properly or was shaking so much they couldn't speak to me as I was unable to answer. I took my medication as soon as they got me a glass of water and within 10 minutes I was able to speak in a coherent manner although I was very tearful and distressed. No medical assistance was offered.

 

I am already having ongoing therapy for crippling low self esteem/self worth and various other physiological issues and so in theory could mention this incident to my therapist but I just don't feel able to right now. I am so desperately ashamed and embarrassed.. But when I have my appointment next week I will try to build up the courage to mention it if I possibly can.

 

I have rung the Samaritans before nd I would potentially ring them again about this issue as its anonymous. Thank you BaazaS for the suggestion. I wouldn't have thought to do that in this instance.

 

Can I just double check that.if the police were not called at the time of the incident its unlikely that they will be made aware of the incident now and turn up at my home (no one took my phone numbers just my home address).I am very concerned by this.

 

Thanks for everyone who is replying to this thread. I really appreciate it.

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Mrs Sweetcheeks

If they said they are not involving the police you will be fine so do not worry about that.

As for your therapist there will be nothing and I mean NOTHING that an experienced therapist hasn't heard before.

I do hope you are getting the right kind of therapy as there are so many different types available.

 

Low self esteem is an awful condition that has effects I think many people do not appreciate.

I am not suggesting this as treatment but as something to give you insight Overcoming low self esteem by Melanie fennel on amazom

 

Mention itto your therapist as it might just confuse things if they are using another approach

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/1849010684/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1388743519&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX110_SY165

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Hi again,

 

I really don't think they are going to contact the police either. The manager could probably appreciate what a dreadful state you were in.

 

I agree with both Bazza and Annie. The Samaritans, as you know, won't judge and it's completely anonymous, and your therapist will have heard about situations like this before and she won't judge you either.

 

We don't condone shoplifting, and it's clear you don't either, but I think I can possibly understand why this happened. Years ago I was in Homebase just before Christmas, very stressed and upset, and all of a sudden being surrounded by lots of happy families became too much and I burst into tears, left the trolley in the middle of the aisle and ran out. In your situation I think you started to have a panic attack but somewhere in your mind you knew that you needed the groceries in the trolley so if you didn't take them with you you'd have to come back again, or ask your husband to do the shopping, and I think it all became too much. I'm sure your head was absolutely spinning and just leaving with the groceries seemed the fastest way to get away from the situation which was causing you to panic.

 

I think experienced supermarket managers probably can tell the difference between someone who has gone in to shoplift deliberately and someone like yourself who has done something stupid on the spur of the moment and I think this is why he probably didn't call the police and just told you not to come back.

 

Every day is another day away from that bad experience. Hold on, and come here as often as you wish. I do think you should speak to the Samaritans or your therapist though. I think it would help you to actually hear a reassuring voice.

 

Hugs,

 

DDxx

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I also think that the matter is ended as far as any police involvement is concerned.

 

This is why:

 

- the police were not called at once. Even if they had been, in many areas they don't always respond when the incident is minor.

- the police will not be interested after the event

- the store suffered no loss

- the shop security people probably realise that they may have left themselves open to criticism because you were clearly unwell and they failed to get help

 

If the police had been involved, the chances are that they would have been sympathetic to your situation. They are certainly much better at dealing with matters where poor mental health is a factor than the average shop security drone.

 

It is really important that you talk to your therapist about this, because unless the therapist is aware of everything, they cannot give you the most effective treatment. As has been mentioned before, nothing you say will surprise or shock the therapist. Counsellors and psychotherapists are there to help you, not to judge you or make you feel worse about yourself.

 

You may, in due course, get a letter from a firm called DWF demanding money. This is nothing to be worried about; you can get lots of help here but if you have a read around you will see that although civil recovery is based upon shaky legal grounds and bullying, they can be dealt with. Retailers are extremely unlikely to take any definitive action, especially where the matter concerns someone suffering poor mental health.

 

Normally, we advise people receiving these demands to ignore them, or send a simple denial of liability. In your case, something slightly different may be appropriate, but let's wait and see if anything materialises first.

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Hi,

 

I have been thinking about the incident almost constantly since it happened, its eating me up and I keep having bad thoughts about how I should punish myself so I have decided to really try hard to find the courage to tell my therapist when I see her this week.

 

Thanks Annie71 for the recommendation of the book. I will mention it to my therapist but I don't think she will have an issue with me reading it. She is quite open to me trying different strategies to help boost my self worth along with her treatment.

 

Desperate Daniela, I think you summed it up. I know I HAD to remove myself from the busy supermarket before I had a full on panic attack which was starting to wash over me and they can be so bad it incapacitates me that I just needed to get out as fast as I could but I also needed my groceries too and the thought of having to place myself in a busy supermarket again filled me with immense fear at that moment so in a split decision and major error of judgment I decided to leave with the trolley :(. I feel so very angry with myself for doing that but I have learnt my lesson and that is I should have just left my trolley with the security guard and left the store immediately.

 

I haven't received anything through the post yet but I guess its early days and it could take weeks or even a couple of months for something to come through. I'll post back here if/when I receive something from DWF and ask for advice as I am really worried about how to handle them.

 

Thanks everyone who has taken the time to reply to me.

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Hi,

 

Please, please, please stop feeling angry with yourself, and you don't need to punish yourself at all. You were having a panic attack and we all do stupid things when we panic.

 

I doubt if there are many people who haven't done something stupid in their lives which they regret. I know I have. But you made a silly decision on the spur of the moment and that is what people do when they have so many thoughts spinning around in their heads.

 

There are people out there who make a deliberate decision to drive when they know they are over the limit and they do it regularly. I have no sympathy for them whatsoever when they are caught. It's premeditated and they know what they are doing is wrong. What you did is nothing like that.

 

You are on medication and you are seeing a therapist because you need to build up your self esteem and learn to cope with the panic attacks. I am so glad you have decided to tell her. I am sure she will be understanding and supportive.

 

When are you seeing her?

 

Big hug,

 

DDxx

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Hi Mrs sweetcheeks. its over. Done with. Finished. Complete. Sainsburys no longer have any interest, the police werent involved. End of story. The only one concerned about it now is you. You got caught, you got banned. its over. Move on with your life, and ignore any parasites that might pop up.

 

basically and the therapist will tell you this, you are going through the guilt stage. it will weight heavy on your mind, but after a week or so and a few sessions, it wont bother you any more. You may see differently, but i bet your therapist will tell you the same thing.

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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Good luck with the therapist. Just remember to tell him/her EVERYTHING. Leave nothing out, no matter how trivial or silly you think it might be. You'll get through this and we'll help you if you want. :)

Any advice i give is my own and is based solely on personal experience. If in any doubt about a situation , please contact a certified legal representative or debt counsellor..

 

 

If my advice helps you, click the star icon at the bottom of my post and feel free to say thanks

:D

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