Petty Thefts By Women In Lebanese Mini-Market Caught On Camera (Video)

Supplied by Abeer Saadeh

After noticing that some items were missing from their store, the owners of Mini Market Abou Charbel in Feytroun decided to review security footage and were shocked by what they saw.

Well-dressed, wealthy-looking local women, the owners said, were the unexpected culprits of multiple thefts that were so petty it’s almost hard to believe if they hadn’t had proof.

In one of the videos, a woman put a block of a pricey Kashkaval cheese right into her purse without paying for it, according to the store owners, even though she had paid for other products.

Looking at the footage, the owners also noticed another woman who stole other small items, including chocolates, by stuffing them in her pants and wearing an oversized shirt to cover it up.

In the video seen by The961, the woman looked flustered and nervous and was walking in a strange way as to not drop the objects she has tucked in her pants.

For the sake of discretion towards the identities of the women, we will not show all the recorded videos.

Not Your Typical Face Of Poverty?

The thefts were surprising to the owners who said the women didn’t look like “the type” of people who would steal.

“They didn’t look like people who are in need,” said owner Abir Saadeh to The961, adding that they looked well-off, were well-dressed, and drove “big cars.”

However, nowadays in Lebanon, poverty doesn’t have its typical face, not a stereotypical one that people might expect at least.

Are these women stealing food items for lacking moral values or because they can no longer afford enough as they used to?

Too many businesses have been closed for too long, prices have skyrocketed, people have very restricted access to their money in banks, salaries have significantly depreciated by the dramatic devaluation of the local currency, and a devastating economic crisis has been bleeding the country.

One of the socio-economic results is the emergence of a large number of newly impoverished families. They might still have assets, like their cars and homes, but they are struggling to make ends meet.

As The961 came to know from several school administrations, many parents haven’t been paying their children’s tuition.

A screenshot of one of the videos supplied by Abir Saadeh of Mini Market Abou Charbel.

Saadeh told us that, while occasional thefts happen, thefts like the ones her minimarket is now experiencing only began increasing this month. They do coincide with the value of the Lebanese Lira dropping drastically against the dollar. On Saturday, the exchange rate exceeded 10,000 LBP.

However, Saadeh did indicate that there have been poor customers who looked like they were in real need and yet never stole from their store.

“If Lebanese are going through difficult times, there are ways to ask for help rather than resorting to stealing. These actions portray a lack of morals, no matter how small the item they stole,” she said.

After all, no legal businesses and no store’s owners have been spared the impact of the nationwide economic collapse.

Saadeh urged people not to fall into stealing from each other or fighting over items in supermarkets. Everyone in Lebanon is currently suffering the same hardships.

Customers entering stores with the intent of stealing must be also aware that surveillance cameras are there to catch them in the act, which, whatever the reasons behind it, is a criminal offense.

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