Self-checkouts aren’t the only service shifted to the customers. Now companies have posted signs asking people to report suspected shoplifters.
TikToker Sam (@sambearrr) recently went viral when she posted a short clip denouncing companies requesting people to snitch on fellow customers who may be shoplifting. The video has been viewed over 471,000 times as of publication.
Resting her head against her hand, Sam explained a recent development she noticed while shopping.
“I was at a self-checkout the other day that had a sign that said If you see something say something,” she began. “And it wasn’t about anything dangerous. It was just about shoplifting. And this was a store that sells food.”
“I’m here to tell you right now I wouldn’t say anything,” she continued. “And there are very few times in my life that I wouldn’t say anything, but this is one of them.”
Users agreed with her, taking the position that stealing food can be necessary in the current economy.
“Some of us have had to steal food. The feeling alone is shameful. Imagine being told on for wanting to just eat,” one said.
“I’m a manager at Aldi and I’m like I did not see that baby food you ‘forgot’ to scan. Have a good day mom,” a second agreed.
“Same. Not for corporations,” another added.
Others claimed that calling out shoplifters was only right if it was a local store.
“I see nothing inside corporations, but inside my neighborhood Mom & Pop markets I absolutely do,” a user said.
“I work at a tiny vintage shop and I get MAD at the people that steal from us. If you need clothes go to the target down the street, I’ll go with you!” a user elaborated.
“I worked at a monthly flea market that rented booths to local artists/antique/second-hand sellers. I’d ABSOLUTELY tackle someone stealing there. From a chain store? I’m blind,” a user agreed.
Others argued that it’s not the job of customers to act as security.
“We have the same sign in our office building. Hire more security,” a user stated.
Many companies have cited shoplifting as the primary reason for closing locations across the country. They’ve also increased the number of items locked in cases. Recently, companies have tested new technologies like smart shopping carts and self-servicing locking cabinets to combat organized retail theft.
Unfortunately, the recent rise in theft has led to large sections of daily household goods being locked behind cases. This only hampers average customers. Organized criminal enterprises, on the other hand, have taken to robbing cargo in warehouses and ports. According to CargoNet, there’s been a 50% increase in food and beverage theft before products reach stores. These heists can rake in an average of $214,000 per load.
Regardless of reason, people should be careful when shoplifting. Companies like Walmart and Target often allow small scale theft to occur so they can gather evidence against the customer. The common method of these super stores is to wait until someone steals around $750 so they can slap them with grand theft.
The Daily Dot reached out to Sam via TikTok comments for further information.