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When Hungry People Steal Food

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what to do when hungry people steal food iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Stealing is wrong. We know it. We teach it to our kids. Do you feel that reporting the act of stealing is a moral obligation?

Picture this situation:

You are in a grocery store with your young child. You are sitting at the deli/café area which is located at the front of the store, near the large, glass automatic doors.

You are sharing a sandwich for lunch and sipping cold lemonade drinks. You and your smiling son start to play a game of “I Spy” and look around the store at the wide selection of items that can be used for the guessing game.

As you look around, you notice a man who seems to blend in with the other customers. There is nothing about him that stands out except for his unusual behavior.

Although the store contains a fair amount of people, you seem to be the only one to notice that he looks around the area with shifty eyes.

He stands near the rotisserie chicken display, at first appearing to be greatly interested in the rolls displayed near the chicken then glancing up nervously, taking a visual inventory of the people around him.

Something just doesn’t seem right and you know it.

Suddenly, you see the man sweep up three rotisserie chickens from the warming display and run out the automatic front doors. Your heart starts to race as you see him slide into a running car that is waiting outside of the door for him.

As the car peels away, you look for an employee or any other customer that has just witnessed what you have.

Your son keeps giving you hints for the guessing game and everyone else keeps eating at their tables. There are no employees at the deli counter.

Your mind tries to grasp what you have just seen. You try to recall details of the thief. You ask yourself, “What kind of a person steals three rotisserie chickens from a grocery store?”

The answer is obvious. A desperate, hungry person that needs to feed a number of people.

Stealing is wrong.

But can you overlook the circumstances of the hungry person that steals food to feed their family?

Would you feel differently if the item stolen was something other than hot, fresh food?

Should you mind your own business? Do you have a moral obligation to report what you have seen?

What would you do?

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Wow, an excellent read. The detailed picture you painted in this article really hits home. Makes you think of the number of people in society today that are actually going hungry and we don't even know it. I think I would feel differently if it were an item being stolen. Like a cellphone or an Ipod. The man that stole the chickens most likely isn't going to resell them, he is going to eat them and possibly feed his family. The question is would I take the time to contact the police in this matter? How do you arrest someone for stealing 3 chickens? Great read. Another site where you can read about interesting topics is http://harrisreviews.com

August 17, 2012 - 11:33pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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