Earlier this year, Reddit banned one of it’s subreddits called r/shoplifting. The whole purpose of the community was to exchange tips and tricks to fellow ‘lifters’, show the ‘hauls’ the users had managed to steal, and to get legal advice on what to do if caught.
Although now banned, a snapshot of the subreddit on Jan 30th can be viewed with the Wayback Machine. The page looks staggering: post headings included “How to get around alarms?”, “thought I’d show my security tag stuff”, “Any better ideas on stealing a mousepad?” and “Hey guys and gals, never lifted before but I’m planning to walk down to my local Dollar General later. Any recommendations? 16 year old boy.”
The site had over 77 000 subscribers.
Even though the subreddit was banned, as it violated Reddit’s rules by, well, being focused on something illegal, other such online communities exist. On Tumblr, there is a community called Liftblr, and shoplifters share their ‘hauls’ with hashtags such as #liftshopping and #fivefingerdiscount. YouTube has videos with titles like “How to shoplift” and instructional videos on how to remove the basic security tags from products without setting the alarms. It seems as if one wished to become a shoplifter, a criminal, the Internet has them covered with all sorts of tips and tricks.
We are as baffled as you are that people would take pride in their criminal activity so publicly! If you worry about being a victim of ‘lifters’ and don’t want to see your products posted as ‘hauls’ on the Internet – contact us and we’ll get you all set!