The Show

Shoplifting Confessions

As the nation suffers through an economic meltdown, many Americans resort to drastic measures to keep their families afloat.

A Life of Crime?




"My wife and I are professional shoplifters," says Allen.

"Every month, we make about $10,000, about $100,000 a year," adds his spouse, Laura. She says they've amassed nearly $1 million in stolen goods over the past seven years.


The couple says they pilfer smaller items such as diapers, shoes and socks, but also nab big-ticket merchandise like desks, computers and televisions. Allen gestures to a lawn mower. "This one wasn't locked up, so I took the plates off the car, threw it in the back of the car, and I got a new lawn mower," he says proudly.

"We've traveled to Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, because if we kept it all in our area, people would obviously start to recognize us. That's how we became so successful," Laura says.

Allen reveals some of his biggest scams. "I have some pants that have pockets down at the bottom, and I would keep the actual store bags that they use. We would get somewhere where I know the camera is not looking, quickly put stuff in bags and just go out so it looks like we paid for it," he explains. "The other time is what we call ‘buy one, get one' where my wife and I would go into a retail store. She would go in first and buy the item. She would have her receipt, she would hand me the receipt, and I would go get the same exact item, and I would walk out with it. If I would get stopped at the door, I would have my receipt right there. What are you going to do about it?"
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