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January 20, 2007 7:52 AM   Subscribe

MeatLifter. Why is meat the most shoplifted item in America? (Previously: MeatFilter.)
posted by loquacious (89 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Because it's easy (and fun) to stick a cold sirloin down your pants. D'uh.
posted by Skygazer at 7:56 AM on January 20, 2007


Having been the fine line between poor and poverty, where you can't make ends meet and can't afford food on top of bills, but are financially stable according to the government and don't qualify for stamps, I have a theory.
The food bank doesn't give out meat, and when it does, it's in the form of corned beef hash and tuna- canned.

When we were having a very rough time financially we became default vegetarians for several months. The only meats we could afford were low end- ground beef, processed chicken nuggets, things like that, and that was a once-a-week treat.

Meat's expensive, and our culture is such that most find a meal incomplete without it.

As for the fact that, according to the article, the choice cuts are the most commonly snatched, well hey, if you're going to steal you might as well go whole hog at that point. (so to speak).
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:59 AM on January 20, 2007


ZOMG! Meat = murder AND theft!
posted by veggieboy at 8:00 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


My father used to be a meat cutter long ago. He caught a guy stealing a pack of T-bones, chased him to the back of the store, and tied his hands with a belt until the cops arrived. I guess he was feeling brave that day. He had numerous stories of meat shoplifters.
posted by LoriFLA at 8:03 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


This is actually the first time I've heard of this.
posted by odinsdream at 8:05 AM on January 20, 2007


During my misspent youth, I was once busted shoplifting from a music store. As part of my rehabilitation into society, I took some "shoplifting course" -- alas, it did not teach better technique. On the first day when everyone had to relate their stories of shame, one guy admitted to being caught sticking 20 lbs of new york strips down his pants and sprinting out of the grocery story. I said, all Andrew 'Dice' Clay, "Hey, I'd better watch out, I might get busted because I'm always carrying 20 lbs of beef down here. Owh!"

Well, OK, that last part didn't happen.
posted by papakwanz at 8:13 AM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


meatlifting is an international problem, folks.
posted by phaedon at 8:17 AM on January 20, 2007


Bling-bling!
Winner of "Bestest anagram of MetaFilter".
posted by bru at 8:17 AM on January 20, 2007


because meat doesn't smell as strong in your pants as fish does
posted by caddis at 8:19 AM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Great title.
posted by grouse at 8:19 AM on January 20, 2007


OK, now what crime is an anagram for MetaTalk?
posted by revgeorge at 8:19 AM on January 20, 2007


What's interesting is that the article suggests that many meat-lifters actually pay for all of their other groceries, but stick a steak down their pants as a little "bonus."

I ahem knew someone who did this when they were a teenager, and they said that it was always surprising how little scrutiny you got when you were standing in line paying for $50 of groceries (with a steak in your pants) versus trying to just go in and grab a steak, or trying to buy something small and also liffting the steak. It was like, if you were spending $50 of so, you must be an upstanding citizen.

That was 10 years ago. Actually, I think the trend now in stores is to closely scrutinize everyone, no matter what they are buying. It always pissess me off when the check-out person takes a big look at the lower-rack part of my shopping cart to ensure that I'm not walking out with a big thing of paper towels or something, when I'm spending $100+ every week. But I suppose people steal this way enought that it makes sense for them to do it.
posted by Mid at 8:21 AM on January 20, 2007


Meat can't be downloaded.
posted by Anders Levant at 8:23 AM on January 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


Because meat is tasty, tasty murder?

Also, I have to quibble with this:

Shoppers would doubtless blanch at abandoning the self-service meat refrigerator in favor of once again taking a number and waiting for the attention of a white-coated butcher.

It took me forever to find a good butcher shop where I live (plus, you want rattlesnake? Bear? If they don't have it they can get it.) It's a bit of a drive, but when I make it I'm more than happy to take a number.
posted by Cyrano at 8:24 AM on January 20, 2007


I agree, Cyrano. I'm sick of buying 1.3 lbs of one thing, .6 of another, simply because I have to pick from whatever some bored high school kid wrapped up and put out the night before.
Maybe I'd like to decide for myself how much of something I wanted!
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:29 AM on January 20, 2007


Because they can sell meat that they've stolen.

And also the cartons of cigarettes are no longer out in the open.
posted by dglynn at 8:30 AM on January 20, 2007


Cyrano:

Do you know where I can get any spotted owl?


Mmm... endangered deliciousness...


/Homer
posted by papakwanz at 8:35 AM on January 20, 2007


At least no one steals the soylent green.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:43 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I can see why considering how expensive it can be in certain places, but slopping a cold slice of cow in your pockets isn't really my idea of pleasant.
posted by thedak at 8:46 AM on January 20, 2007


No surprise that that razor blades are also so high on the list. They're so fucking expensive, and they keep coming up with new "improved" designs that cost a fortune. The Gillette fusion costs like $2.50 a blade now, and lasts like four or five shaves. It's absurd.

How much can a few grams of metal and plastic cost?
posted by delmoi at 8:53 AM on January 20, 2007


so that's why quonsar's got a fish in his pants
posted by pyramid termite at 8:53 AM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Delmoi: The Gillette fusion costs like $2.50 a blade now, and lasts like four or five shaves. It's absurd.

Oh yeah, well just wait until the Gillette Doomsday (tm) shaving system comes out: Strategic mlecular ICBM's are exploded on your face giving you......

THE CLOSEST SHAVE EVARRR!!!

(Cost: $1.2 million per pack)



posted by Skygazer at 9:02 AM on January 20, 2007


It's not just America, and it's not just small-time either.

I always greet the meat guards at my local Safeway with a hearty, "Good morning".
posted by watsondog at 9:03 AM on January 20, 2007


Ugh, this is a subject that's near and dear to my heart.

I worked as a stocker in a grocery store for 6 years. We used to get this problem all the time, but it wasn't limited to just prime rib and such, they'd theif chicken breasts and even crab legs.

Now, I didn't work in the meat dept. so this didn't affect my section, and further, as most grocery employees, I hated my job, so this didn't really annoy me at the economic level either.

The method went a bit like this: The 'meatlifter' as it were (usually the same lady, sometimes she'd have a team) would walk around the store, pick up some meat, and circle the store in no discernable pattern. We're not sure how she got the meat out of the package and into her bag etc. without being detected, because we could never catch her.

The end result, however, did affect me directly; after the meat was removed, she'd discard the empty package hidden behind other product, usually in the paper towel aisle, where we wouldn't find it until we could smell it. During the summer this made for an unpleasant workplace.

The irritating thing is we could never catch her. We knew who was doing it, but the best we could do was follow her around so she didn't have an opportunity to 'make the exchange', which might have worked if we weren't grossly understaffed and didn't have freight to run...

Add in a very timid store policy on dealing with shoplifters (which pretty much amounted to asking customers 'hi can I help you?' and if their answer wasn't 'yes, could you help me steal something?' then our hands were tied) a spurious security camera system, store managers who didn't want to risk 'profiling' (it's not racist if it's the same woman every time!) and a local police department that wasn't all that interested in missing sirloin, and you get frustration all around.

It didn't help that the Section 8 housing project about a half a mile away knew our store to be 'sweet' to steal from.

Speaking of shoplifting, one of the more amusing memos from a companywide meeting was raising awareness on shoplifting because, there was a wave of organized shoplifting groups stealing product and selling it to (get this) FUND TERRORISM!!

The epilogue, That store was a mess. It finally closed down last May, and now I work in an office.

Screw meatlifters.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:03 AM on January 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


Thieves don't care about their carbon footprint.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:07 AM on January 20, 2007


Meat is the most shoplifted because they lock up the razor blades these days.

Why?

Three packs of sirloin steak = 1 £10 bag of heroin/crack.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:14 AM on January 20, 2007


Do you know where I can get any spotted owl?

I swear I saw a cowboy poet do a riff on this story waaay back when on The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson (yes, Carson) but, fuck me, I couldn't find it anywhere.
posted by Cyrano at 9:17 AM on January 20, 2007


Cyrano is right on. Butchers are skilled workers, they cost the store a lot of money. Of course if you only hire 1/10th the staff you need, there will be lineups, and this can bribe/fool customers into selecting the type of service you want them to select. It is exactly the same with self serve checkouts, which are actually slower than a skilled cashier. Even bar code scanners are as much about making staff costs lower - because you can hire less skilled workers - as they are about anything else.

On the other hand, this seems to say something fundamental:
With only enough money to purchase an ordinary chuck-eye roast, many otherwise ethical shoppers make a snap decision to lift the Angus instead. Store detectives speculate that these meatlifters feel entitled to have steak instead of hamburger on occasion, as a reward for their hard work; swiping an expensive bottle of dish soap doesn't provide the same sense of satisfaction. Though men and women shoplift in equal numbers, such aspirational meatlifters are most likely to be gainfully employed women between 35 and 54, according to a 2005 University of Florida study; men prefer to lift Tylenol or batteries, often for resale and often to support a drug or alcohol habit.
posted by Chuckles at 9:19 AM on January 20, 2007


Around these here parts, people steal a herd of 60 cattle.
Imagine tryin' to git away with them in yer pants.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2007


Some other potential posts:

Meat Trifle: a Metatalk post calling out this thread for lack of evidence
Fame Litter: a photo blog of celebrity detritus
Matte Rifle: papercraft guns [via boingboing]
Eat Elf Trim: XXX-mas porno [nsfw]
Arm Feel Tit: the sex lives of the handless
posted by Falconetti at 9:27 AM on January 20, 2007 [20 favorites]


On the one hand, this arguably makes prices higher for everyone. On the other hand, not shoplifting never lowered the prices and that means that the only rational decision is to join in on the mischief.

(I used to work at a grocery store, but our big problem was the health supplements, which people usually tried to return. They were, like, $15 for a tiny little bottle, and even now— though I don't work there or shoplift there— stuck in an alcove that makes it impossible to watch.)
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on January 20, 2007


OK, now what crime is an anagram for MetaTalk?

Easy. MetaTalk.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:33 AM on January 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


Oh man, I've known old head junkies that tell the craziest stories about boosting meat. It truly is a highly targeted item by drug addicts in Philly because they can hit a supermarket up in the Northeast or lower Bucks County and then be back in the Zone selling it off to Latin restaurants and bodegas within in ten minutes. Then they've got their dope dollars and are right down the street from the copman.
posted by The Straightener at 9:38 AM on January 20, 2007


On the one hand, this arguably makes prices higher for everyone. On the other hand, not shoplifting never lowered the prices and that means that the only rational decision is to join in on the mischief.

of course, the dirty little secret of the retail biz is that some of the employees are outdoing the customers when it comes to ripping the store off ... or they're undercharging their friends or looking the other way as their friends steal something

in the convenience store i used to work in, there was a cigarette carton display next to the dolly madison end cap ... well, those grew little feet and walked all the time ... they also had us count up the cigarettes at the end of every shift

those are just like money out on the street
posted by pyramid termite at 9:39 AM on January 20, 2007


ZOMG! Meat = murder AND theft!

So then meat=felony murder=execution! Put that meat theif in the electric chair. And put the meat in there with him, it'll cook up nicely.
posted by jonmc at 9:40 AM on January 20, 2007


Or just eat the felon.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:52 AM on January 20, 2007


In Animal House, Pinto had a sweater full of stolen meat when he asked Dean Wormer's daughter to the toga party.
posted by roboto at 10:06 AM on January 20, 2007


My father worked at a grocery store, and he told me that once a 6'3, 300 pound guy walked in with a huge trashbag, walked back to the meat section, emptied the meat case of basically everything and then walked out the front door basically daring anybody to stop him.

In the middle of the day. On a Sunday. Nobody did.
posted by empath at 10:09 AM on January 20, 2007


So the people who come by my house about twice a year with a van full of meat they're trying to sell are peddling stolen goods? Actually I always suspected as much - it just seems wrong, somehow, to buy your meat on the street.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:15 AM on January 20, 2007


in the convenience store i used to work in, there was a cigarette carton display next to the dolly madison end cap ... well, those grew little feet and walked all the time ...

In my first convenience store job, the employees would just pull their cars up to the front door after closing and load up their trunks with whatever they needed.

It didn't help that the Section 8 housing project about a half a mile away knew our store to be 'sweet' to steal from.

That's a key point for managers trying to reduce shrinkage. I used to work in an indie record store that shared a parking lot with a Tower Records, and we were acutely aware that we only had to make our store more difficult to steal from than Tower. If we met that low bar, then 90% of the crooks would cross the lot.
posted by cribcage at 10:15 AM on January 20, 2007


The guy I knew (who was not someone I liked or thought was cool or still know in any capacity, I'm just repeating what I heard) used to go in through the back of the supermarket brandishing one of those smaller sized sledgehammers. I guess when you see some wild eyed six foot tall junky with jailhouse tattoos all over his hands and forearms come storming through the back door waving one of those in the air you just let him take what he wants and call the cops once he's gone.
posted by The Straightener at 10:17 AM on January 20, 2007


As a vegetarian I often steal eggplants and cucumbers. I get a free meal and chicks dig it.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:22 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


once a 6'3, 300 pound guy walked in with a huge trashbag,

yeah, i probably wouldn't bother with stopping him, but ...

one time, i was working night shift with a partner and i was sweeping the floor ... i heard this rattling sound and my partner called my name in a scared voice ... i looked up and there's this BIG guy, as big as yours struggling over the cash register and it looks to me like he's hitting her

well, no one's going to HIT my partner!

so i ran up, said "hey" and swung my pushbroom at him as he turned around ... and MISSED! ... he swung at me with a huge fist and missed me by an inch and i attempted to backswing him with the broom and missed again! ... then he ran out the door so fast he broke the thing on top of it with a terrified look on his face and i chased him all the way back to his car, waving the broom around and calling him a motherfucker ... i decided i didn't really want to catch him, though and settled for his license plate number

well, look, if he'd just grabbed some cigarette cartons i'd have never dreamed of doing that, but i though he was going to beat the shit out of my co-worker

so my arms hurt for a few days because of how hard i swung that broom ... and people were a lot nicer to me for a long time at that place

funny how that works
posted by pyramid termite at 10:23 AM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Tower Records, and we were acutely aware that we only had to make our store more difficult to steal from than Tower. If we met that low bar, then 90% of the crooks would cross the lot.

Tower Records might be the one place in Philly (not surprisingly it just went under) that's beat up by junkies more than the supermarkets. The tactic at Tower, which also explains why they prefer it over small stores, is to go in teams. One guy distracts the counter people by pestering them with questions or making some kind of scene. Another guy stands at the head of the aisle and acts as the look out. Once he's sure everyone has their eyes on something else he gives the signal to the third guy who then starts busting cds out of their cases. The box sets are always the first to go, but most stores wised up to that and started to move them closer to the counter or in some cases behind the counter.
posted by The Straightener at 10:24 AM on January 20, 2007


So the people who come by my house about twice a year with a van full of meat they're trying to sell are peddling stolen goods? Actually I always suspected as much - it just seems wrong, somehow, to buy your meat on the street.
posted by mygothlaundry

Jesus Christ! Are you serious? Who would buy meat out of the back of a van? Wouldn't you die instantly from blood flukes, tapeworms, roundworms (in your eye), bacteria including but not limited to E. coli, and utter catastrophic skeevation?
posted by Methylviolet at 10:37 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Weird. I just now got back from buying a half-a-heifer from the local Andersons. We bought some other things and then the checkout girl asked "so is that an empty box in the cart?" I said yes, why yes it is! She smirked and just about waved me through (I'm white, by the way, we do this kind of thing for each other) but just then the store manager dropped by her line.

Not that I actually would have done it - quite against my principles - but my wife was distracted in another part of the store and checkout girl was hot. I was doing really good with her. Then my three kids ran up and started calling me "daddy" which totally ruined the moment.

Anyway: Yay, beef. Suck it vegans. And don't steal.
posted by hal9k at 10:39 AM on January 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


Yeah, totally serious. It happens a couple of times a year and I think it's a small refrigerated truck, but it might not be. They go door to door. I always just assumed it was some kind of really weird scam - once she buys the meat we'll have her! We can come back tonight and get those steaks returned! - and so whenever they come by I tell them I'm a vegetarian. I never considered the e. coli angle though - hey, if you buy hot meat, you gotta take some risks. ;-)
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:01 AM on January 20, 2007


And now ye shall be heralded ...

pyramid termite broomswinger.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 11:01 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I heart hal9k.
posted by Kwine at 11:04 AM on January 20, 2007


I overheard the following exchange at a Food Emporium supermarket in New York:

Cashier Girl #1: Did you see that guy with the steak in his pants?

Cashier Girl #2: Yeah! the top was sticking right out of his belt!

Cashier Girl #1: Ha, do I look like a security gaurd? Do I look like I'm gettin' paid $15 an hour?

Cashier Girl #2: I hear that. Touch my purse, that's another thing. Otherwise, I could give a shit. They can pay me to be security if that's what they want.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:06 AM on January 20, 2007


OK, now what crime is an anagram for MetaTalk?

MalkTeat: overuse of growth hormones in dairy animals?

Ha! Like that'd be illegal!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:15 AM on January 20, 2007


This calls for a mention of Pink Flamingos.
posted by LinusMines at 11:16 AM on January 20, 2007


LoriFLA, we may be related. My dad is also an enthusiastic meat-cutter who loves to tackle shoplifters. On his breaks he used to go up in the catwalks and watch from above, and then confront the thieves as they left the store.

He told me that very often he's caught women shoplifting meat underneath their babies inside strollers and carriages.

The problem with cramming it in your pants is that if you need to run away, you're very much hampered. And that's when my dad, "Square Deal" Gary, tackles you from behind and pins you until the police arrive.

His favorite is when people are smuggling beer, actually, because it tends to explode and spray upon impact with the parking lot asphalt.

Also, he used to show up early for work with his pellet gun to exterminate the birds that had flown through the wide front doors and gotten trapped inside the store. Eventually this practice was discontinued because of complaints from many horrified customers.
posted by hermitosis at 11:21 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, I consult for a few big retailers. Meat always has high shrinkage, but predictably, the #1 stolen item in a lot of places are home pregnancy tests. They have 50+% shrinkage, which means only about 1 out of 2 are actually paid for. The reason that they are not further up in this list is that several retailers refuse to stock them (either for image reasons, or exactly because you can't sell them for a profit).
posted by costas at 11:24 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, now what crime is an anagram for MetaTalk?

Take malt. Once the meat is locked up, the thieves will be reduced to stealing malt liquor.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:25 AM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The other day I was at the grocery store and the checker was unable to identify a portabello mushroom in my pants. And no, she wasn't new...and to make matters worse, the checker next to her didn't know either. She looks down at my pants and she's like, "What's That?" Sadly, the education of the youth of amerika is declining in more than one way.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:28 AM on January 20, 2007 [9 favorites]


well, look, if he'd just grabbed some cigarette cartons i'd have never dreamed of doing that, but i though he was going to beat the shit out of my co-worker

so my arms hurt for a few days because of how hard i swung that broom ... and people were a lot nicer to me for a long time at that place

funny how that works


nice, pyramidtermite.

that's unintentional poetry worthy of don marquis's archy & mehitabel.
posted by ab3 at 11:50 AM on January 20, 2007


"OK, now what crime is an anagram for MetaTalk?"

Matt leak. #1 goes #1. In public.

You'd categorize it "etiquette", of course.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:54 AM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


I work in the only grocery store around that has a stop and detain policy. Our loss prevention is undercover. We once had a small riot erupt, 20 or so customers trying to decide if the 8 of us uniformed (and 1 not) employees were beating the woman up or if she was beating us up. At the end of the whole thing we had 6 police cars, a fire truck, an ambulance and a lot of angry people.

The store manager sustained tufts of her hair being pulled out and bite marks on her hand. Our LP agent had bruises on his arms and face, I had a nasty scratch along my left hand, which bled a little and had to be photographed by the crime scene investigator.

It wasn't over meat though, it was over a single starburst candy bar. The meatlifters usually just load up a big cart of meat/beer/diapers and run out the front door when they think no one is looking. Or they take the expensive tags off the filet mignon and try to tell out cashiers it's chuck.
posted by M Edward at 12:03 PM on January 20, 2007


i found a 1lb hershey's bar laying under the Albertson's weekly special in the cart's child-seat, outside of the store.

Pretty slick MO I thought.

As for this topic, there's a recently announced RFID (invisible) ink that can be sprayed onto stuff like meat directly. It's got a signal range of a meter or so.

If everything is tagged like that, including your receipt from the checker, then shrinkage will drop a lot.

The future is, like that commercial, is intelligent carts talking to your credit/debit card(s) directly.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:13 PM on January 20, 2007


Try this. If your supermarket has a Dunkin Donuts, the way many have them, get a few donuts. They are paid for at the Dunkin counter and put in a Dunkin Donut bag. Then, go down an empty aisle, unload the donuts. Get a nice steak or a few, put them in the bag. When you go to pay for groceries, the cashier will put the bag aside an d in your cart because it is paid for. You keep your pants nice and dry, unless you are incontinent. You lose a donut but gain a nice steak.
posted by Postroad at 12:14 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine used to drive one of those trucks selling meat door-to-door. He was quite good at it; he would target the poor neighborhoods and break up the packs and sell the individual cuts separately because more people could afford those, even though he was charging a premium for breaking up the pack. He also learned when the welfare checks arrived so he could target people when they had cash to spare. He unloaded the leftovers nobody wanted -- many hamburger and cube steaks -- on us at a steep discount.

The product was actually quite good. We also had some of the premium cuts when he had trouble selling them all and they were comparable to the best available at the supermarket. The business model is that the sales force and cooler trucks are less expensive to maintain than a storefront.

The trick is that many of the salesmen are drug addicts; they take the work because they are paid every day in cash. Our friend did it because he was a gambling addict. He would work long enough to pull together a stake and then live at the casino until he lost it all; lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually he made a lot of money counting cards and we stopped getting the package-split leftovers, which was a shame :-)
posted by localroger at 12:18 PM on January 20, 2007


mygothlaundry, It might not actually be anything illegal. Many years ago I worked one summer for a place in Chicago that sold meat and seafood door to door. The basic idea was this; the company bought stock from suppliers that typically sold to high-end restaurants, then drivers/ salesmen cultivated a route of customers who once a month or so would buy a bunch of expensive shrimp and steak that they could make for themselves. I got roped into it as a driver for a family friend who had lost his license to a DUI, and thus would have been unemployed had I not been able to help.

The crazy thing is, that these guys made a lot of money. For working about 4 hours a day, my friend was able to afford a new truck and a nice condo in the suburbs of Chicago. If I didn't hate the cold-calling door-to-door part of it, I would have considered this a great job coming out of college.
posted by quin at 12:46 PM on January 20, 2007


He also learned when the welfare checks arrived so he could target people when they had cash to spare.

You see all sorts of crazy shit around the first of the month in the ghetto. They stagger the checks now so some of them come out a couple days before and a couple days after, but take a ride up under the El on Frankford Avenue in Philly when the checks are out and you see all sorts of wacky hustles. There's this one guy who comes out with this double decker style rack that he hangs helium balloons on so that from a distance it almost looks like a Macy's float. Those go fast when the checks are out. The funny thing was that the woman I make my home visits with and I saw him this one time in the middle of the month and he was walking up the Avenue at the end of the day with not a single balloon missing, looking all forlorn and holding up traffic with his jerry rigged rack on wheels. My partner shook her head and was like, "Mmmm, mmm, baby, this ain't the first of the month. No, no. You go take that junk and put it back up in your basement for two more weeks, now."
posted by The Straightener at 1:07 PM on January 20, 2007


You keep your pants nice and dry, unless you are incontinent.

There's always a catch, isn't there!!
posted by papakwanz at 1:23 PM on January 20, 2007


One of the more interesting experiences I have ever had at the grocery store involved some guy stuffing steaks down his pants at 11:30 at night. Apparently he was a regular at it, and the staff knew, but hadn't been able to catch (detain) him - he always got away.

The guy would usually come in and fill up a cart with groceries and his pants with steak during busy times (I think), then oush his cart over towards the pharmacy and the door, as if he was just looking for something. When he got close enough to the door, he'd run out, steak and all.

This particular night the store had plenty of employees working (a minor amazement, that) and the staff recognized him. A couple of the bagboys somehow just happened to be standing kind of close to the door when he made his break for the parking lot, and four baggers and the manager ran out with him. A couple of minutes later, they carried him back in, one employee per limb, while he was kicking and screaming and cussing and squirming. I don't think the store's policy really allows that kind of pursuit and detention, but the baggers who chased down the thief were mostly in their teens, and they looked like they were having a great time. They were supervised in their return by the one old man who was working as bagger - he seemed to have some serious breathing problems but could get enough breath to answer the meatlifter's name-calling.

And all the cashiers and customers just stopped and stared through the entire thing, and the cashiers told us all about the guy and what was going on.
posted by dilettante at 1:25 PM on January 20, 2007


Read "Steal This Book" by Abby Hoffman. It has detailed diagrams on how to steal meat. Types of coats to wear, etc... Also tips on making molotov cocktails and pipe bombs. Cool stuff.
posted by vronsky at 1:26 PM on January 20, 2007


I didn't realize stealing meat was so easy. And all this time I've been crawling into the local stock yards at night with a plastic tarp, a raincoat, and some very long knives.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:30 PM on January 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


And in the original, those diagrams were drawn by R. Crumb.

And make that Abbie.
posted by vronsky at 1:39 PM on January 20, 2007


An actual friend of mine (really, I'm vegetarian) used to wave smoked salmon at the CCTV cameras before inserting it into his trousers. He figured if they ever caught him he'd use the footage as evidence that it was a prank, not a real theft attempt. Doubt it would have worked, but hey.

Even better was the time he liberated a tall tree with a small spherical ball of leaves on it. The guy in the garden centre spotted him, but my pal was quick and legged it, so I got the delightful sight of watching this ball of leaves move at very high speed through the crowd. Oh we laughed.
posted by imperium at 2:15 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I blame Jane's Addiction.

Imagine, if you will:
5 poor nineteen year olds living in a decrepit 2 bedroom near the beach. We pool our money nightly and head for Taco Bell.
The leguminosity is wearing us down. WE NEED MEAT!!
We never thought about stuffing meat down our pants until good old Perry Farrel gave us a video with explicit instructions on how to abscond with the meat.

We trek to Winn Dixie. My friends exit with many kilos of prime grade-A beef. Something possessed me to avoid the meat and go for "different" booty.

We get home, empty our pants and divvy up the goods. 5 steaks, 4lbs of ground beef, several coils of sausage and....dropped from my pants: 5 cans of Spam.

My bruised and battered person was later told that I would not be permitted to partake of the meat. For some reason that I still don't quite understand, it was all completely worth it.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:26 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh..it also gave me the opportunity to come up with REALLY creative spam recipes.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 2:28 PM on January 20, 2007


As a former supermarket bagboy, I can state with confidence that a large amount of meat is stolen by the people who work there, including managers.
posted by longsleeves at 3:01 PM on January 20, 2007


Go for expensive cheeses. They're smaller than meat, and usually worth more too. That $14.95/lb wedge of parmigiano reggiano slides reeeeeal nicely into an inside coat pocket.
posted by scose at 3:20 PM on January 20, 2007


FETAL MERIT: The ongoing abortion debate
LET IT FRAME: Something artsy
I... LET ME FART: Something Flatulent
FILET ME ART: Body-Mods
MAIL FETTER: Bush opens more mail
posted by tehloki at 3:30 PM on January 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Monkeyfilter has the best one, though. "LINK TO MY REEF"
posted by tehloki at 3:33 PM on January 20, 2007


MeatLifter: Bulgy Commie Town
posted by grouse at 3:35 PM on January 20, 2007


Scose: Yeah, the cheese. Or sometimes the high-end chocolates.
posted by klangklangston at 3:57 PM on January 20, 2007


Read "Steal This Book" by Abby (sic) Hoffman. It has detailed diagrams on how to steal meat. Types of coats to wear, etc... Also tips on making molotov cocktails and pipe bombs. Cool stuff.

Is there a torrent for an audiobook version?
posted by hal9k at 4:25 PM on January 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


From the January 10, 2007 Arizona Daily Star, First cattle rustling charges in decades — Rancher sought, and got, DNA tests to prove ownership.

Rustling is still a sizable problem in Texas and other beef states: if you see any livestock being led astray, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association offers a reward.

(BTW, Rancho Deluxe is a funny movie with a good cast and a Jimmy Buffet score.)
posted by cenoxo at 7:33 PM on January 20, 2007


Meat always has high shrinkage

That's what I keep saying ...
posted by me & my monkey at 8:17 PM on January 20, 2007


Lower East side Vancouver you can buy meat off the street, freshly stolen. I kid you not. Either whatever is on hand or you can ask for something particular.

I was amazed to discover this working down there a few years back, and my coworkers were nonplussed. It was a regular part of the neighbourhood.

So in some bizarre parts, meat = money. Cigarettes are a better choice, but they're behind the counter for a reason.
posted by dreamsign at 8:18 PM on January 20, 2007


hal9k: Is there a torrent for an audiobook version?

No, but we have one for Copyright Violate this Book.
posted by kid ichorous at 8:37 PM on January 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


Lower East side Vancouver you can buy meat off the street, freshly stolen.

Gives a whole new meaning to Saturday night specials: Lamb to the SlaughterWP.
posted by cenoxo at 10:09 PM on January 20, 2007


Wake me up when they're selling stolen body parts in quaint little booths on main street.
posted by tehloki at 1:00 AM on January 21, 2007


"OK, now what crime is an anagram for MetaTalk?"
Elk A Matt : attempted assault with a deadly dear on our dear leader.
posted by todbot at 1:07 PM on January 21, 2007


What I want to know is why hardware stores keep circuit breakers behind the counter. Home Depot has them locked up. Circuit breakers???
posted by GuyZero at 6:38 PM on January 21, 2007


you probably need them to make meth or something.
posted by tehloki at 11:34 PM on January 21, 2007


Well, you don't need them.
posted by Methylviolet at 1:21 PM on January 22, 2007


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