Secrets of Shoplifting


In this documentary “Secrets of Shoplifting”, professional shoplifters talk about stealing to order, supplying the black market, working in teams.  They talk about the ease with which they can make a thousand dollars, stealing just one or two days a week.

They do not see their actions as harmful to retailers or honest customers. Shoplifters also discuss the enormous drawbacks – their deviant lives, the culture of drugs and double dealing that they get trapped in, the difficulty of maintaining ordinary, trusting relationships with family and friends.

It is also about debunking myths.  There are a number of misconceptions about shoplifting.  One fallacy is that shoplifters are mentally unstable.  According to criminal psychologists, kleptomania (stealing addiction) accounts for only a tiny fraction of those who are caught taking from stores.

That people shoplift for need is another common misconception.  Security staff are quick to point out that they very rarely catch anyone stealing bread or potatoes.

And most shoplifters have enough cash in their wallets to have bought the item they are pocketing.

An inside look at the crooks and petty thieves who cost honest New Zealanders nearly 600 million dollars a year.


Promotional Trailer

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Production Details

Producer: Tony Manson

Exec producer: John Harris

Network exec: Sue Woodfield

Director:  John Milligan

Researchers: Leigh Hart, Trevor Conn

Production manager: Karren Woolly

Writer: John Milligan

Narrator: John Sumner

Financial controller: Glenda Paterson

Funded by: New Zealand on Air and TV3