Dollar Tree(l), Someone shoplifting(R)

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‘I just tell people take what you want’: Dollar Tree worker encourages customers to steal, says inflation is ‘too damn high’ to care

'Grab u a candy and god bless.'


Kahron Spearman


Posted on Mar 13, 2024   Updated on Mar 13, 2024, 5:09 am CDT

In a recent Reddit post that garnered significant attention, a user expressed a laissez-faire attitude toward shoplifting at Dollar Tree, candidly stating, “Aye fr I don’t give a funyun if yall wanna steal,” and further suggested, “grab u a candy and god bless.” This striking declaration sheds light on a growing sentiment among some retail employees, who, facing the brunt of soaring inflation, seem to empathize with those compelled to shoplift for basic necessities. The post highlights the personal toll of inflation on both employees and customers and ignites a broader conversation on the ethics and realities of shoplifting in today’s economic climate.

One of the top comments read: “I was the same way lmfao only time i cared was when it was theft and vandalism committed at the same time bc why tf can’t u just steal why do you have to destroy my isles while i am the only one on shift in the same go. do that shit to the other asm that everyone (customers and staff) hates.”

Retail giants, from Home Depot to Walgreens, have sounded the alarm on an uptick in shoplifting, describing it as an epidemic that threatens their operations and could potentially lead to increased prices or store closures. In response, several states have introduced legislation to toughen penalties for retail theft, particularly targeting organized groups. However, this approach has faced criticism for not addressing the root causes of the issue and potentially exacerbating racial disparities within the criminal justice system. Critics argue that more punitive measures won’t deter crime and overlook that a significant portion of retail losses is due to employee theft or other internal issues rather than shoplifting.

Amid this contentious backdrop, inflation plays a role. The National Retail Federation reports that stolen merchandise cost retailers $94 billion in 2021, a figure influenced by inflation-driven price increases rather than a rise in theft incidents. This suggests that the narrative around a shoplifting crisis may be more complex and intertwined with broader economic pressures facing consumers.

The user’s post from Reddit and the ensuing discussion highlights a palpable frustration with inflation and its impact on everyday Americans. Many are struggling to afford basic necessities, prompting a spectrum of responses, from empathetic retail workers to desperate acts of theft. The situation is a microcosm of a more significant debate on economic inequality, corporate responsibility, and the efficacy of criminalizing poverty.

As retail workers like Reddit users express a form of solidarity with those pushed to the margins by inflation, the conversation around Dollar Tree and similar stores becomes a poignant commentary on the state of America’s economy. The focus shifts to the broader implications of inflation on Dollar Tree’s customer base, primarily consisting of individuals seeking affordable goods in an increasingly expensive world. The discourse extends beyond the act of shoplifting to encompass a critical examination of how businesses and lawmakers are addressing—or failing to address—the underlying economic challenges that drive such behavior.

In this context, Dollar Tree and its approach to shoplifting emerge as a case study in the complex interplay between retail policies, employee attitudes, and consumer desperation. The conversation sparked by the Reddit post and echoed in discussions across various platforms reflects a growing call for a more nuanced understanding of shoplifting within the larger narrative of inflation and economic disparity. It underscores the need for policies that protect businesses and support the most vulnerable members of society, offering a more compassionate and comprehensive response to the challenges of living in an inflationary era.

The Daily Dot contacted Dollar Tree for comment.

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*First Published: Mar 13, 2024, 6:00 am CDT