A Beginner's Guide to Shoplifting


This guide is up to date as of: January 21, 2019


The question's been asked time after time; "How do I get started with shoplifting?" Well I, u/thief, am here to answer that for you.

Well, first of all, welcome to the world of professional thievery. You'll find that this may become very beneficial to you, as shoplifting (and all its other forms that are practiced) may save you money and sometimes earn you money when you get more professional and skillful at this type of crime.

Why do people shoplift? Some people do it because they need to. Some people do it because they want to save money. Others may do it for fun because it gives them a surge of adrenaline.

However, before you start, you have to remember that shoplifting is a criminal offense. It can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on your state laws. If you're caught and lift over the felony limit your record is fucked for a long time. Be sure this is the type of thing you want to get into before you start, or before you get caught.

You need to remember, however, that nervousness and strange behavior is the main reason people get caught. Now, I'm not saying if you're anxious about lifting, it's not for you; however, if you're even going to think about getting into the world of theft, you need to control yourself, your worries, and your anxiety before you get yourself caught by displaying erratic behavior.

Now that we have the introduction out of the way, let's get right into the basics.


  1. 1 - Your First Lift (Basics)

    1. The Day

  2. 2 - Success

1 - Your First Lift (Basics)

If you've lifted at least once before, you can skip this step.

Well, if you've decided you want to start stealing, welcome again. Here's how you can plan out your first lift.

  • Plan a day to start. When will you be the most ready to swipe your first product? Are you feeling daring and want to go right after reading this? Are you feeling nervous and want to go tomorrow? It doesn't matter when you go, you just have to make sure to trust your gut and go when you're ready. Your first lift can be a nerve racking experience.

  • Pick out a store to hit your first lift at. Never, and I mean never, attempt a store you know will be difficult, or that has a lot of security measures. This is how you will get fucked in the ass the first time and get a criminal record. My greatest suggestion is to try a superficially easy store such as Dollar Tree or Dollar General (or whatever the easiest store is in your country). Those are two easy stores with almost no security features at all. Do not attempt gas stations.

  • Decide what you want. You should know this so you're not strolling the store looking for useless objects. Take something you can actually take advantage of. This includes things such as food items or drinks. You should actually need the item you're taking. Well, not necessarily need, but you should always take something that you can actually use. For example, don't steal a phone case you don't have the phone for. Take a soda, or maybe a pack of gum. Take something concealable that you can fit on your person without it being very obvious.

That's the basics. You just have to make sure you're ready for..

The Day

Alright, so it's the day you're going to attempt your first lift. You're ready for action and planned it out.

  • Go to your location. Picked an easy location? Good, go there. However you get there doesn't matter.

  • Open the door and walk in with confidence. You've opened the door and you are now mere minutes away from taking off with a product of theirs. Avoid suspicious behavior. Do not look at the counter. Do not walk too slow, but do not speedwalk or run. If you make eye contact with anyone else, including employees, flash a quick smile and be on your way.

  • Walk to your item. Once you're there, do not act suspicious.

  • You ready? Pocket your item. Obviously you're going to want to look out for employees and customers in your area. This is often a very tense and scary situation for many beginners, but do not act suspicious under any circumstances. Once you can confirm you have at least ten seconds alone, shove your item in your pocket, in a purse, under your shirt, wherever you know it won't be bulging out, or slip out, and is comfortable.

Tip: It is advised you do not conceal more than one item unless it is small and you are confident.

  • Leave the store. And make sure you leave quickly. Again, do not run, but do not walk slow enough for anyone to apprehend you if you were caught. Do not stare at anyone or the counter. Look at the door and walk forward. Flash another smile to fellow shoppers and employees. And keep your hands out of your pocket. Push open the door. Success.

2 - Success

You made it out of the door. You made it past the point of sale (POS). Now you officially, by law, committed an act of shoplifting.

  • Keep walking. Go home. If you drove, keys in the ignition, put it in reverse, and leave. If you walked, just walk home. If no one's stopped you at this point, you made it clean.

  • Congratulations on your first lift. Now what? Now you can move onto larger lifts. Not large, but slightly more each time now that you're confident.

  • Plan to do slightly larger lifts each time. Lift two packs of gum this time. Take two sodas. The time after that, take three, maybe take a larger object that's still concealable.

I would personally say, after your third lift you should be ready to move up to intermediate lifting. Yes, I'm talking about stores with some degree of security measures. Not anything too difficult, but maybe a store with security towers. Maybe one with a little bit of cameras to get used to using blind spots. Pace yourself. Tagged items should only be attempted by the advanced. Be sure to read the intermediate guide once you're ready to step your game up.

But it should go without saying: Never get too cocky.


Read the other guides: The Shoplifting Guide Quadrilogy