Middle class crime

‘Should I get six eggs or the full dozen?’ I thought. It was confusing, even more so when I realised that twelve eggs were more expensive than two cartons of six eggs.

As I stood in the supermarket, perplexed, I saw something strange. The woman next to me was holding a carton of dozen ‘basics’ eggs. This is the most inexpensive option — nothing barn laid, free range or organic about those eggs.

Yet, I noticed the woman had her hand in a carton of free range eggs too. I watched as she swapped each basic egg with a free range egg!

I was gobsmacked. I understand that people shoplift but this… this seemed particularly pointless. I can’t taste the difference between eggs from free range chickens and caged chickens. I buy free range and organic eggs for the principle of it, not the taste.

Ethical stealing? ‘I only steal Fair Trade. I want to support the farmers, you know.’

I have seen people swapping ‘Sainsbury’s Basics’ tomatoes for the premium ‘Taste the Difference’ tomatoes. Now, that I understand. I really can taste the difference, the branding does not lie.

Later that evening, I was listening to the radio and there was a discussion about the global financial crisis (again).

The commentator said, ‘As the recession deepens, we’ve seen increasing rates of shoplifting. Interestingly, it’s middle class shoplifting. More iPods are being taken, perfume, books…’

And, as I witnessed, also free range Fair Trade organic groceries!


  1. Alden says:

    Just the other day I saw a man swapping the basics with free range eggs. I went to the security and reported the case. He then paged his colleagues on a walkie-talkie and thanked me. He reassured that he’s being tracked by the CCTV and will be dealt with as soon as he leaves the store.

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