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San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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Student Shoplifting Addressed

Did you know that 25% of shoplifters are under 18 years old (according to the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention)? If you have been off campus for lunch this year, you may have noticed some changes in policies at Vons and CVS. Both stores have been experiencing issues with student shoplifting and have implemented new procedures to address these problems.

At Vons, management has started to check receipts, ensuring that no unpurchased merchandise escapes the premise. CVS has an entirely different approach; they are requiring teenaged customers to leave their backpacks outside of the store with a friend,or up front next to the drink cases if you are alone. 

Robert Cisneros, the general manager at the Turnpike CVS said, “when it comes to backpacks we’re asking that they be left outside just because we’re having a lot of foot traffic with the high schoolers.” 

He went on to explain that both liquor and cosmetics are highly targeted items, so they have re-implemented their previous policy. This is a policy that has been in place in the past, although most of us have not witnessed it, since it was from before COVID. That just goes to show that shoplifting is not a new issue in this area. 

Image courtesy of Creative Commons

When asked about prior anti-shoplifting rules, Principal Holdren said, “Several years ago, they [stores in the Turnpike Shopping Center] used to have an agreement where they would actually pay us money to provide some of our security people over there to patrol the parking lot and help against the shoplifting.”

Even though severe measures are being taken, some San Marcos students think that this response is not enough to solve the problem. 

An anonymous SM student said, “Each employee has their own work shift, so there’s one day when all the employees really couldn’t give a **** about you wearing a backpack, and there’s another day where they’ll flag you down the second you come into the store in a backpack.”

The inconsistency in employees paired with the changing rules has led students to fail to take this issue seriously. In light of the lack of seriousness regarding this issue, it is important to remember that shoplifting is a crime and can have real consequences. 

Principal Holdren said, “They [shoplifters] are subject to discipline from the school in addition to whatever the private business wants to put in place, so that’s how we can rescind off campus lunches, and we will call parents if we find that, and we will do the normal interventions if someone’s stealing alcohol or something of that nature.”

If you are contemplating shoplifting from the stores mentioned above, or any other stores for that matter, remember that off-campus lunch is a privilege that can and will be revoked if necessary, and if you shoplift you can find yourself in serious trouble with the law. 

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About the Contributor
Elizabeth Léka, Opinion Editor
Elizabeth is a senior at San Marcos High School. Opinion is her favorite section, and she has essentially monopolized it for two years now. She loves anything sweet, reading, playing board games (like Monopoly), and spontaneously going on walks. Her favorite subjects in school are history, and of course journalism.
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Student Shoplifting Addressed