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Dealing with thieves

I would like to know what Orchidians think. At the recent INATS (“new
age”) show in Denver one of the wholesalers who has a permanent
showroom had a problem, one of the customers told th e owner that
they saw another customer loading up her purse with merchandis e. At
checkout she was asked repeatedly if she was done shopping, and if
there was anything else she wanted to purchase. She kept saying no.
As sh e left the showroom, security intervened and requested that she
empty her purse. She kept saying she had not stolen anything and was
going from her purse to h er pocket and finally pulled two pendants
out of her pocket. Repeatedly aski ng her to empty her purse resulted
in the discovery of over 40 items from th is wholesaler, and a large
quantity from another vendor in the mart. The thi ef kept repeating
that in her mind she did not consider what she did stealin g. The
other vendor was called. There was over $500 worth wholesale fro m
the first vendor, and $1500 from the second. The second vendor has
had a business and social relationship for over 10 years with this
woman. She knows her as a very successful owner of a retail "New Age"
business and h as stayed with her at her home. She is reputedly “A
pillar of the community” 2E The second vendor can press charges, but
did not have the police photograph the evidence that would be used in
court. The 2nd vendor has h eld off because she wants to try to handle
this in a compassionate way, the woman has a 16 years old daughter
that was with her at the show, but apparently was not involved. The
woman was lead away in cuffs. The second vendor made a deal with the
thief to be paid for the merchandise. The sec ond vendor also had a
$4000 sale pending to the thief. My position is if she was caught
stealing, likely she had done it before

She lied, thieves lie. Theft is a violation, and breaches trust at a
deep level. If someone steals from you, they cancel their friendship
ticket. Thieves say they have not done it before, and so do rapists
and child molesters. Pedophile priests have a “spiritual
back-round”. “Pillars of t he community” get sent to prison for
crimes. The second vendor is a minister of a “new age church” and
seems to wa nt to help reclaim the thief, who she thinks has a mental
problem as she doe s not remember taking the jewelry, with help from
a therapist and a professional psychologist. Thief lives over 1000
miles away from Denver. I have known both vendors for many years. I
do not know if I will be able to trust the second vendor in the
future. There is some competition between the two vendors, and they
had a n issue over one taking a line away from the other. To me that
is business as it involved another person who knew there would be an
issue if she took a line away from one rep and gave it to the other
rep. I don’t believe there was an exclusivity clause, and it did
involve $ 150 000 commitment from the vendor getting the line that
the first vendor cou ld not match. My feelings are, if someone
breaches ethical, moral, and civ il law, your competition is a better
ally than a thief. If she does not support the first vendor in
prosecuting, if she does not watch the other vendors back, then she
won’t watch mine.

Please reply offline so as not to clog the bandwidth.

Thanks in Advance,
Richard Hart

I fail to understand why you feel you can’t trust the vendor who
didn’t want to prosecute a woman with whom she obviously has had a
longstanding personal friendship. Her lack of desire to prosecute
for her losses - which were stopped at the door anyway - has
absolutely no bearing whatsoever on whether or not she’s going to
"get your back" at some point in the future, should she see (I assume
this is what you want) someone stealing from your table.

There appears to be some question that the “thief” may in fact be a
kleptomaniac. Whether or not you give credence to this possibility
just plain doesn’t enter into it.

Frankly, I would be MORE inclined to trust someone who takes the
compassionate view over someone who immediately goes for the whips
and chains.

But possibly that’s just me.

Sojourner

   I fail to understand why you feel you can't trust the vendor
who didn't want to prosecute a woman with whom she obviously has
had a longstanding personal friendship. 

Feelings do not have any logic or rational. The vendor has a way of
looking at it that is not held by some of the others vendors in her
building. I have since found out that some people who have done
business with t his woman in the past think this is an anomaly, that
it is out of character f or this woman. There is a chance that it has
happened before, and she did not get caught. The best indication of
future behavior is past behavior. Theoretically prosecution is part
of our system to deter future inappropriate behavior. By not
prosecuting, the thief may do it again to someone else, so people do
not feel safe. In some cultures, bad behavior meant expulsion from
that society. Criminal law has been developed to punish those who
financially or physically hurt others. I see it as a way of trying
to protect society. Is there a society that has developed a better model?

    Feelings do not have any logic or rational. The vendor has a
way of looking at it that is  not held by some of the others
vendors in her building. I have since found out that some people
who have done business with t his woman in the past think this is
an anomaly, that it is out of character f or this woman. .... The
best indication of future behavior is past behavior. 

Which is why people who know her don’t want to prosecute - her past
behaviour does not support her current behaviour.

There is the possibility that this is an emotional problem and not
"thieving" per se. Kleptomania is a compulsion, not a moral lapse.

We here on this list can’t know this is the case, but we certainly
can’t know that it is NOT the case. I’m satisfied to let the people
who know her well deal with the issue as they see fit.

I STILL fail to see why this vendor should not be trusted. She
gives every appearance of being a rational, compassionate person.

I hope our society has come a bit farther along the path toward
civilization than the “eye for an eye” method of “justice”.

I don’t think we have, in many instances. But one can hope that we
at least aren’t casting out people with mental or emotional troubles
just because their behaviour doesn’t meet with our approval. Whether
or not that’s the case here isn’t knowable, at least not to us. We
cannot possibly know what the appropriate handling of this
particular case would be. Therefore trying to second guess the
people who know her well and were there firsthand is worse than
useless - its assuming guilt until proven innocent. Kind of
backwards from the law I’d hope to see practiced around here.

Sojourner

people, there be many other interpretations and opinions of the
robbery incident, here’s mine:

" I fail to understand why you feel you can't trust the vendor who
didn't want to prosecute a woman with whom she obviously has had a
longstanding personal friendship. Her lack of desire to prosecute
for her losses - which were stopped at the door anyway -" 

this obviously was not a situation for “three c” response:
‘compassion + consideration = condone’. it was a situation where a
true ‘friend’ would insist on a resolution in accordance with the
law, sending the thief in front of a judge, to ensure that she is
required to undergo and complete treatment and counseling. but
methinks the vendor doth protest too much in the name of
’compassion’ when it is more likely in the name of her ‘profit’ from
the pending $4,000.00 sale to the thief. what the vendor’s
"compassion" says to me about her: who could trust someone who had
the opportunity to possibly stop the thief from stealing from others

  • whose losses will not be “stopped at the door” - and refused to do
    so in the name of profit? what would the ‘community’ think about her
    arrest? all over town there would probably be people saying “darn,
    so that’s where my [fill in the blank] went!”

think people, think: you are not the sole occupant of this planet,
your every action, or lack thereof, affects the lives of others in
some way.

ive

I’m a little late on this thread because I’ve been away on vacation
but I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth:

There is the possibility that this is an emotional problem and not
"thieving" per se.  Kleptomania is a compulsion, not a moral
lapse. 

Kleptomania may be a compulsion but it is still thievery and theft
in a business built on trust (as this industry is) should be stopped
immediately in whatever way is possible. I don’t understand why one
of the wholesalers was not interested in prosecuting as, regardless
of the reasons behind the theft, it needs to be stopped. Usually if
the matter is brought to court and it is a “compulsion” the court
will force the person to get some kind of help. The real problem
here is that probably the woman has been doing it for years and this
is just the first time she was caught (particularly if, as claimed,
she couldn’t understand that what she was doing was wrong). If it
was my business she was stealing from, I would cut her off
immediately because it simply wouldn’t be worth the risk of doing
business with her anymore and prosecute her to the fullest extent of
the law. As for doing business with the wholesaler who isn’t
prosecuting, I’m not sure I understand the logic behind that either
but, by not prosecuting, they are in fact, putting the entire
industry at risk by allowing the woman to continue with her
behavior, so maybe there is some justification behind it.

Incidentally, if you haven’t ever had anything stolen from you then
I would be very careful about allowing the excuse of kleptomania to
be used. I have had stuff stolen from me a number of times and I’m
sure many of the theives didn’t think they were “really” doing
anything wrong, and possibly that some of them were kleptomaniacs,
but that didn’t a) make it right, b) cost me less money than if they
were professional theives, and c) make it feel one iota better than
being robbed by some “professional”. It always is a terrible thing
to have happen and no one should have to have it happen to them.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, LLC
1780 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-234-4392
www.spirerjewelers.com

I have a different perspective/light to shine on thieves thinking
process. A former friend had a “code” of sorts. If the person being
robbed was a business, or was well off, or had more materials
possessions, or was getting a steady paycheck, then the theft was
somehow justified. If the person had very little and was living
hand-to-mouth, then that person was left alone. He said, “I’m a
crook, but I ain’t no thief.”

Wonky thinking isn’t it?

Betty

That ‘thinking’ is justification only in the thieves mind. If they
have money, possessions etc somehow the thief decides they don’t
deserve to keep owning it…without the thought of how hard or long
the persons worked to get these items, money etc. It seems the
thought of WORK is foriegn to a thieves mind. If they put half the
effort of criminal activity into a positive community service and
earned their money just think how the culture would change.

Teri
An American Cameo Artist
www.cameoartist.com