Life of Petty Crime
Sometimes, crime is what they call it when you’re just trying to survive.
From shoplifting to retail store cons to flipping weed, anonymous chronicles the ways by which she has sustained herself over the years.
My family grew up dirt poor.
We started off in an intentional community that promised a collaborative existence where everyone worked together to profit all involved. Unfortunately a few elite members of the community enjoyed the successes while the rest of us lived in squalor. This led to inequality and resentment among those wise enough to realize that they were being exploited. My mother would have to go prostrate herself in front of the leader of the community just to get us kids clothes and shoes. After she procured a $200 check, she would load her five children in a rusty old van and head to town.
Stretching 200 dollars to buy clothes and shoes for five kids is impossible. Most of my childhood was spent in hand-me-downs that had been passed down the line numerous times. I was the smallest of all my siblings so all their clothes were given to me.
This changed at eight years old when I learned to steal. My older sisters were well-versed in petty crime, and at eight years old they started teaching me their methods. They were expert shoplifters and ran all sorts of other scams on unwitting adults and children. They showed me how to dress in order to fit as much clothes as possible underneath my current outfit and how to utilize distraction to get out of the store without getting caught. From then on I would steal as much as I could. I was very small for my age so even if guards occasionally looked at me suspiciously I was never caught.
I learned quickly how to put things in my pocket, and to control the emotions I displayed on my face. (I had already learned this skill when dealing with my abusive father; I rarely was at the ends of his beatings because I knew how to act right and express the emotions or behaviors necessary to go unnoticed.) I became a first class actress and observer, determining the exact right moment to make my move and slip something shiny into my pocket. As I entered my teens I became a little more sophisticated in my methods – I moved on to bigger cons.