Accused of theft, its only abit of nail polish!!!

July 18, 2008 5:22pm CST
A 12 year old girl was questioned by three police officers for more than an hour on suspicion of shoplifting after testing nail polish on her thumb. On her second trip to town on her own, Hannah wanted to try some nail polish but the store didnt have any testers so she opened a bottle and dabbed some on her thumb nail only for the security guard to ask her to pay for it as it would be classed as theft. Since she had no money on her, she was taken to the back room and had to wait for her parents. Her parents paid for the nail polish (which cost £6.29) Do you think the security guards were right in asking for the child to pay for the nail polish?? if it was an adult who had tested the nail polish, do you think they would have treated them the same way they treated Hannah?? Should stores have testers out to prevent such things happening??? This was in a Boots store so you would have thought they would have some testers!!!
4 people like this
10 responses
• India
19 Jul 08
Awwso sad for that young girl. If any elderly lady had done they would not bothered much ecept for warning her. I don't think it was right on the part of guards to ask for money, unless they purchased the nail polish. They could have just warned and left. They have to provide with testers if its a branded showroom. Take care and have a great weekend!
1 person likes this
19 Jul 08
The mother actually ended up paying for the nail polish, but I dont think they should have detained her. Maybe they should have explained to her that there are no testers due to it being classed as theft and that she would have to buy the nail polish. If it were me, I would buy it and then bring it back making up some excuse that I had bought for someone else but they didnt like the colour!! Just shows how you would have never thought off it as theft, I mean if they offer testers then they expect people to use them but when there are no testers, its theft. Its ridiculous!! Thank your for response
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Jul 08
I can assure you that people help themselves to more than just a sampling of nail polish. I have seen empty dvd cases hidden in layers of folded jeans, empty battery packages, one pair of socks taken from a package of six. Just last night I found that a power pack (or some such thing) for an xbox had been taken. I have also found empty pregnancy test boxes and then at the other end of the spectrum empty comdom boxes. It just irks me to see that people have no respect for other people's property, whether it be an individual or a company, and think that they have the right to take it at will.
1 person likes this
19 Jul 08
I work in a store myself and it is annoying when people open the packaging especially when you can clearly see what it is. We recently had some perfume in, it was only 99p but the boxes got opened and ohh look.....theres an empty one dumped in the bird food box!! I mean come on please, its not as if its worth pinching!! It was a small bottle and is probably cheap nasty stuff!! It is annoying how they damage things and then complain that the pieces arent in there! They will happily take things out of the box but not even bother to put it back in!! I think we should have a rule that if they open it they should pay for it but obviously you cant watch the customers all the time!! Thanks for your comment, have a good day x
1 person likes this
@ravinskye (8242)
• United States
18 Jul 08
aw that poor girl. well, i guess they should have testers out. i'm not one for nail polish. i think they should have made her pay for it though because she used it. I realize she only did one nail but it still was used and the person that bought it would be using something that touched someone else's fingers. its just like trying to buy makeup at walmart. i've gone and had to put down 5 things of blush or concealer because someone had obviously "tested" it and put it back.
1 person likes this
19 Jul 08
I can see health and safety is an issue as you never know what the user has!! She was only 12 and probably hadnt been told about things like this. I know when i grew up no one had told me about stuff like this, I mean they had testers and you would use them not thinking about who had used them before you. Im sure now she will think twice about doing such a thing, and make sure that she goes to town with money incase she sees something that she wants to buy!! i mean when you were 12, did you ever test a product?? Did you actually stop and think no that will be theft or who knows what someone has who may have used this?? Sorry but these arent questions that a 12 year old will think about. the store should have signs saying that products are not to be used for testing. thanks for your comment x
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
19 Jul 08
I know it may seem harsh but actually I have to agree with the store on this. First of all, the girl was in the store with no money so why was she testing nail polish that obviously she could not buy? She is 12 and that is the time (or before) to put a stop to this sort of thing before it turns into something bigger. Sure testers would be nice but not all stores have them or the space for them. If this were ok then you'd have people going in and just painting their nails for free and why bother buying? People do with with perfumes as well. I would not be very happy if i came in after her and bought a nail polish or anything that was already used. The store can't really sell it after it has been opened so the store loses out and prices go up to compensate. Sorry, I have to agree with the store on this one. If it were my daughter, I'd want the store to do the same. Hard lesson to learn but i'll bet she learned it.
1 person likes this
@carpenter5 (6786)
• United States
19 Jul 08
A lot of stores do have testers out. I am not real keen on using them, because of the health issues. Lotion or perfume, yes...because you aren't using the same brush. I have asked my girls not to allow other girls to use their makeup brushes etc... there are so many fungus and germs that grow under your fingernails. I certainly wouldn't want to use nail polish after someone else did. As for detaining her, I'm not sure I'd have gone to all that trouble. It would seem that they should have just eaten the loss and thrown out the nail polish. But she should be cautioned about opening products and using them in the story, because even a bit of nail polish...is still using something that is not paid for.
1 person likes this
@Elkeliini (265)
• Finland
19 Jul 08
well, it is a bit harsh to go that far with a 12 year old. But she should indeed get away with a warning and having to buy the product. She should not get theft on her record. And perhaps Hannah should have learned that a tester should have the word tester on it.
1 person likes this
@roanne05 (1292)
• Oman
19 Jul 08
they should have testers...they cannot prevent this from happening, might it be from adult or child...but they should not question the girl and detend the girl.
1 person likes this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
18 Jul 08
The store should have testers, or those little chip samples you can look at. Girls and adults should not be opening bottles and testing them. If everybody did that, there would be messy bottles with very little left in them. Customers would be paying full price for less than a full bottle, and who knows what germs or nail fungus, to boot. The store loses money if people just help themselves to a little of this and a little of that. The store can't sell used bottles of polish. Yes, she should pay for the bottle she opened. You don't open items that are for sale and take a sample.
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
18 Jul 08
Oh, and as a previous retailer, I can say, yes it is theft.
19 Jul 08
Yes I can see it as theft. I work in a store so I see people trying stuff on, opening boxes etc, we have signs asking customers not to open packages and that we dont have testers available. Me when Im buying stuff like deodorant, I get one from the back as these are the ones that are least likely to have been tested!! I think big major stores like Boots should have testers or those picture samples. This was the second time she had been to town on her own so she may have seen parents or friends doing just this and not been caught so she probably didnt see anything wrong with it!! Thanks for you comment and have a good day x
1 person likes this
@Annie2 (594)
• United States
19 Jul 08
It may have seemed harsh for a 12-year-old to be detained, but maybe it taught her a lesson and put a little scare into her so she won't do it again. Hopefully, her mother will teach her about it, too. Her mom bailed her out of the situation by paying for it, but the girl should not learn that mom is going to bail her out every time she makes a mistake. The mom should make the girl pay her mom back out of her allowance, baby sitting money, or do chores for it. A valuable lesson can be learned here for this girl. There are younger children than that doing much worse.
@gemini_rose (16193)
19 Jul 08
£6.29 for nail polish? That is ridiculous. For that price there should be testers I would want to make sure it was a good colour before I paid that much. I would not say that it was right she was questioned for shop lifting, maybe she should not have done that but it is hardly theft in my opinion. They should have testers, because then it would be a lot easier to tell if it was the right colour.
19 Jul 08
I do believe if I remember rightly it was Revlon nail polish!! I think she should have been given a warning. I know the security guards have a job to do but this seems pretty minor!!
@Humbug25 (12551)
19 Jul 08
I think that the security guard would have scared her enough by just giving her a warning rather than detaining her and embarrassing her by calling in her parents and embarrassing them too, it wasn't like she was trying to steal the whole bottle but I do think she should have paid for it because by opening a fresh bottle then made the item unsaleable. I wouldn't buy a carton of milk if it had been opened already and I too take items from the back to ensure that I get the full measurement of the product. Of course they should have had some testers out or colour cards to prevent this sort of thing from happening. C'mon on Boots pull your socks up!!