4-Year-Old Who Shoplifted Deserved Her Punishment (VIDEO)

Savannah Harp
Savannah Harp
People are up in arms because of the way a security guard in Washington reacted when a 4-year-old little girl was caught "shoplifting." Apparently, Savannah Harp was shopping with her father at her local Safeway when she felt like having a snack. So she swiped a bag of dried apricots off of the shelf and ate a few, then put them back, without her father being any the wiser.

Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your take), an alert security guard saw the incident and was ready to enforce his power to protect the store from thieves. The guard stopped them at the door, took them to the break room, and let them have it. He told them the store would be pressing charges and that Savannah was now banned from Safeway stores. He even made her sign/scribble her name on paper to make it official, even though she doesn't know how to read or write.

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A bit of an overreaction? Yes, it sounds like it. But for this incident the guard has been fired, and I think that's a bit of an overreaction too. She was, after all, taking something that wasn't hers, and honestly, at 4, she should have known better. Her mother, Alissa Jones, disagrees and told ABC, "It’s pretty troubling. It’s not like she even knows what she was doing."

And why not? My 2-year-old knows we don't just take things from store shelves. It's not that she never will do so, but we have certainly talked about not taking what's not ours multiple times. If my toddler did something like that, I wouldn't mind someone putting a little fear into her about the consequences.

That, of course, is where the line gets murky, and you have to wonder if the guard was indeed just trying to scare her straight or if he really was some power-tripping guard who thought he could actually ban her from the store and press charges for something like this. I don't know; I wasn't there, but it's hard to imagine it's really the latter, and, of course, Safeway never would have enforced the ban, anyway.

The fact is she did something she shouldn't have. There are no reports of the guard shouting at her or physically harming her -- what's the big deal about making her sign a piece of paper and putting a little fear in her? I bet she won't shoplift again.


Do you think the guard overreacted? Do you think firing the guard was an overreaction? Have your children ever shoplifted, and if so, how did you handle it?


Image via YouTube

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