• Sweden edition
Store spares shoplifters using 'sign of shame'

Store spares shoplifters using 'sign of shame'

Published: 18 Nov 2011 15:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 18 Nov 2011 15:56 GMT+01:00

Within 20 days of the store's opening, personnel had caught four people with sticky fingers.

They were all given the choice of either being reported to police and fined 1500 kronor ($220), or working a weekend shift at the store collecting shopping carts, while wearing a sign that says “I’m a THIEF, I shoplifted from DOLLARSTORE”.

“None of the shoplifters chose the sign,” DollarStore’s owner Peter Ahlberg told the local daily Dagbladet, adding that his goal is to draw attention to the growing problem of shoplifting in Sweden, and not simply to shame shoplifters.

His company alone, with about 20 stores in Sweden, loses millions of kronor to shoplifters each year.

“In our store in Boden they displayed 60 bras and 20 of them were stolen,” Ahlberg told the paper.

The store also reported similar losses for denim and batteries, but Ahlberg made sure to point out that the vast majority of customers are honest, saying that it’s only about one percent that are the troublemakers.

According to SEB, a major Swedish bank, shoplifting constitutes more than 1.4 percent of the revenue in Swedish stores, adding up to 6.4 billion kronor per year, Dagbladet reported.

Ahlberg also admitted that the number of unreported cases of shoplifting is huge, since it’s a very time consuming process that many choose to forego.

Annica Odelind with the local Sundsvall police told the paper that crimes should always be reported.

However, if a person chooses to make a deal with the store in order to avoid legal actions, that is up to the parties involved, she added.

Joel Linde (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

17:24 November 18, 2011 by Kahmoudi
I love that store owner! Brilliant idea! Sweden needs more proactive people like him that refuse to wallow in apathy.
19:21 November 18, 2011 by lennea
I once worked at a bookstore in the US. There were signs posted that said, "We prosecute shoplifters," but we never did. Prosecuting them takes too much money, and apparently the deterrent isn't worth it for the bottom line. Thieves were merely trespassed and forbidden from returning... which--you guessed it--made us a prime target for all of their buddies.
21:26 November 18, 2011 by SimonDMontfort
The article mentioned that 'thieves' were offered an alternative by the store.

But I think society should still be very wary about 'public shaming' as a punishment whoever decides to start the practice.

As a US judge once said "[a] fair measure of a civilized society is how its institutions behave in the space between what it may have the power to do and what it should do."
00:52 November 19, 2011 by Coalbanks
How about putting the security video on display? No expectation of privacy in a public space, right? Let your actions speak for you!
13:18 November 19, 2011 by Svensksmith
Cool sign. Could someone swipe one for me?
21:46 November 19, 2011 by Grokh
simple if people dont want to pay fines or wear a sign of shame then dont steal... its not that hard.
00:44 November 20, 2011 by jacksonjerry
what about Håkan Juholt shoplifting from the Country?

(i am referring to the rental controversy)
Today's headlines
Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'
Hillevi Engström and protesters against Uganda's anti-gay laws. Photos: Maja Suslin/Ben Curtis/TT

Sweden resumes aid to 'anti-gay Uganda'

Sweden has resumed sending development aid funds to Uganda, after suspending payouts back in March due to "anti-gay legislation". READ  

The Local List
Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm
Fanny feels at home at the Blå Lotus. Photo: Isabela Vrba

Top ten coffee spots in central Stockholm

If you're wondering where to grab your next cappucino, then wonder no more. The Local talked to the locals in Stockholm and found out the best spots in town for the ultimate fika experience. READ  

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine
The Azov task force. Photo: Sergei Chuzavkov/TT

Swedish neo-Nazis join fight in Ukraine

Four Swedes are fighting with the Ukrainian task force Azov - a squad which flies a flag with Nazi symbols and, according to one Swedish soldier, fights for "a white Ukraine". READ  

Swedish elk get one-way ticket to Denmark
The elk in this picture are not the ones that will be sent to Denmark. Photo: The Uppsala Koala

Swedish elk get one-way ticket to Denmark

Up to a dozen elk will be transported from Sweden to Denmark in an effort to help maintain local marshlands. READ  

Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs
Photo: Henrik Trygg/Imagebank Sweden

Sweden worst in EU at getting foreigners jobs

UPDATED: Swedish citizens are the most likely to be employed in the EU, but Sweden is among the very worst when it comes to getting non-EU citizens into work. READ  

Man arrested for burning partner's face
Photo: Linn Malmén/TT

Man arrested for burning partner's face

Police suspect that a man in western Sweden is responsible for the extreme burns on his partner's face. The man has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault - and potentially attempted murder. READ  

In Pictures: Conchita Wurst in Stockholm
Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

In Pictures: Conchita Wurst in Stockholm

Eurovision winner and LGBTQ idol Conchita Wurst is in Stockholm this week for Stockholm Pride - and joined Swedes at Skansen for a colourful summer sing-along. READ  

Stockholm holds colour contest for new metro
Photo: Joel Bagon

Stockholm holds colour contest for new metro

Stockholm's new metro line is not set for preliminary construction until 2016, and will not be completed until 2022 - but Swedes already have the chance to vote for the new line's colour. READ  

Sweden's heat wave officially over
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Sweden's heat wave officially over

The heat wave that swept over Sweden recently has finally passed, meteorologists reported on Wednesday, promising cooler and more autumnal temperatures around the corner. READ  

Ukraine rebels release kidnapped Swede
Rebel tanks on the road to Horlivka in June. Photo: TT

Ukraine rebels release kidnapped Swede

The Swede who was kidnapped by pro-Russian rebels has been released after nearly three weeks of being held hostage - although no one knows where he is now. READ  

Stockholm Pride kicks off
The top six ways the US and Sweden differ
Swedish youth suicides hit 25-year high
Politician reported for selling 'negro ball'
Police turn blind eye to Swedish 'slave trade'
Blog updates

27 July

Approaching Stockholm (Around Sweden in a kayak) »

"I woke up in the comfort of my own little cabin on Eva and Rolf’s boat, it was 7:30am and I was feeling a bit groggy after a couple of beers with all the lovely locals the night before. The previous day had really taken its toll on my body and I was very stiff and..." READ »


24 July

Sharing our Pride: Celebrating Love & the LGBT Community! (Stockholm in my American Heart) »

"It’s mid- July in Stockholm, and with much of the city on vacation, things can seem a little quiet – the streets, the bus, and the grocery store. One thing that has not paused for a summer break, though, is preparation for Stockholm’s Pride Festival, which will take place from July 28 to August 2...." READ »

Stockholm Pride: Allsång på Skansen with Conchita Wurst
Sponsored Article
Introducing... ID cards and permits in Stockholm
People-watching, June 26th - 28th. Get inside Stockholm's hottest nightclubs
Top ten Swedish taboos
Seven-year-old Swede cycles to Berlin
'Gaza conflict needs help, not empty rhetoric'
Swedes voted 'most beautiful' in the Nordics
Business & Money
Sweden demands EU clarity on Bitcoin tax
Swedish organic sales enjoy 'amazing' growth
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT
What's On in Sweden
People-watching July 23
Swedish cops elect not to shoot 'angry elks'
Business & Money
New alcohol retail rules threaten micro-breweries
People-watching Båstad
Business & Money
Sweden falls to third in global innovation index
Swedish ornithologists keep webcam watch
Photo: Andreas Nordström/Image Bank Sweden
Top ten Swedish beach hot spots
Swedish Wiki vet sets new content record
Photo: Fastighetsbyrån
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: