Grocery Shoplifting in Kreuzberg
First off: This guide is written in English. It is intended for educated shoplifters. If you really look disadvantaged, they probably won’t even let you take a bag inside the supermarket. Remember, poor people are poor because they pay twice and work twice as much, rich people are rich because they pay half and work half as much.
My readers are those who aren’t satisfied with the puny class privileges of the intelligentsia. Fuck free university, we want free maxi jars of organic cashew nut butter!
You don’t have to be white to steal successfully. If you’re colored, look like an expat, not like a refugee. Never underestimate the Obrigkeitshörigkeit of Berlin’s proletariat, even if it’s “just” awe of an Indo-Canadian fashion designer’s glambasting symbolic capital.
Legal & economic info:
German courts usually ignore reported thefts with less than EUR 50 worth of goods. Food being so cheap in Germany, it’s hard to steal more than EUR 50 in one tour at a discount supermarket.
If your case does go to court, you can try to buy your way out by stopping the investigation by paying a fine of a few hundred euro. You can also try contacting the company your robbed for an out-of-court settlement.
I know someone who steals for 5 people about once a week and got caught once last year after a snitch reported him. There have been no news from the court so far, so the state attorney probably dropped the investigation.
However, you should be able to respond to court letters and have some savings to pay fines. Like all business, if your legal department’s on track, the profits will stack!
Lesson 1: You’re a fool if you pay your regular groceries.
The supermarket workers are not allowed to search you, they can only alert the security guard (if one is present). This guard can ask but not force you to open your bag. They will usually need to call the police.
The guards are usually degraded workers in silly uniforms. Seems like supermarkets rely on installing tons of fake cameras and hiring human scarecrows. Prevention instead of punishment.
Catching thieves is a hassle and it makes all the buyers stop and stare. It has happened that thieves sued supermarket workers for treating them too gruffly.
Plenty of shoppers put things in their bags inside the market. Imagine you managed a supermarket: Would you want to have daily arguments from your employees yelling at customers?
The large corporate supermarkets seem to have a strict division of labor – cashier clerks are not paid to do detective work. They also have quotas to meet, so they usually haste from shelf to shelf paying no attention to the customers, who might complain or switch to the competition if they feel recklessly eyeballed.
My friend steals at about 7 different stores around Kreuzberg. The workers even sometimes greet him, but nobody looks at him queer when he walks out with a stuffed 80 liter backpack and buys only a bar of chocolate.
Lesson 2: The workers are on your side (or under your shoe, whatever you prefer)
There are a dozen supermarket chains, offering the same crap, killing their suppliers to have you as their customer, even if you just go there to steal.
If they don’t sell it to you, they’ll throw it away. They don’t make their profit from you, but by exploiting producers, by real estate and stock market speculation and by robbing customers in Bulgaria and Mexico.
The conspirative discount grocery chain ALDI, for example, pays most of its expenses cash and owns the land under virtually all of its stores and logistics centers. They follow the same business model as the Roman Church, McDonald’s and the British Queen: Rentier landlordship.
Lesson 3: The economy is a scam. We live in a feudalist system.
What you need:
– Spare change
– A trekking backpack or similar
– An innocent attitude & a smile
– A euro for the cart
You don’t have to look particularly proper or inconspicuous, but I feel safer if I resemble the people in my neighborhood. Kreuzberg is full of hipsters; if I wear a funny hat here, nobody will notice.
Further east, there are many old people and families, so I will stand out more, but to the cash register I’m just a customer.
Some obvious warnings:
Don’t pay by card! Even if they don’t watch the recordings, they do film you.
Don’t avoid workers. Ask them questions, just for fun. Pretend to be cooperative at the checkout line by opening your bag.
Don’t stare around suspiciously. Nobody is watching you in particular.
If you go stealing with friends, use only one bag. In case you get caught, it’s stupid to have two persons get punished for 20 euro worth of food.
Look out for “customers” walking around without a jacket in winter, big men without groceries… These are usually detectives or workers without uniform.
You can scout a shop for some minutes before putting things in your bag. You can also test the territory by acting suspiciously and then leaving the store without paying. If someone harasses you, threaten to write an angry letter to their boss.
Watch out for electronic security tags. They usually put them on cosmetics and household goods, but rarely on food.
Most importantly, if you feel insecure, empty out your bag somewhere and leave. Don’t act against your instinct.
I recommend buying a few cheap or bulky items, such as flour, toilet paper, water. This makes you look more honest.
Throw away the receipt, then you can always claim to have paid for everything after you’re out of the store.
Linger in front of the posters at the exit for a bit, pack your bag calmly, call a friend on the phone while paying. Don’t act panicky.
In case someone asks you to open your bag, you can either refuse and quickly leave or show them your stuff and say you paid. Stay polite, don’t act like you’ve been caught. Show confidence that “this regretful misunderstanding will be solved amicably.”
Avoid rush hours, that’s when a guard is most likely present. Also watch out for square-looking customers. Snitches are more dangerous than detectives.
Try not to steal at the same store every day.
Where to steal
Avoid owner-operated stores like EDEKA or Intergida. Here the store manager loses money from disappearing products, so the workers are under more pressure to prevent theft.
More upscale stores like Kaiser’s/REWE are also bad; the higher the profit margin, the more it pays to hire a detective.
In Kreuzberg 36 I prefer Penny, Norma and Aldi. Compared to LIDL and Netto, they have fewer cameras. They also don’t use as many security tags.
Netto and LIDL also have benefits. They are usually very large and have big luxury sections.
My favorite is Bio Company. They sell useless, overpriced crap in tiny quantities, but you can easily steal goods for EUR 100 in one tour.
The employees are super kind bio people and here I suspect playing the race card would have the greatest effect in case you get caught. If you’re a paleface, claim to be Polish. Lesser white people can’t reach to a real German the water.
A final note on use value
If we measure economic damage in EUR, we can cause the largest damage by stealing at Bio Company. But most products they sell are vulgar trophies of colonialism: Cofee, nuts, cocoa, soy.
So they do cause large damage in the Trikont, but in Germany they have no indispensable benefit to society. Not one German will suffer a tangible decrease in living standards from a shortage of TAZ coffee and Argentine beef.
Bread, however, is bread. It’s useful, it’s cheap, its absence kills and it’s more valuable to society the cheaper its sales price.
I would be very happy if this information causes more people to feast decadently at the expense of the retail monopolists, but this is not a reason to wallow in satisfaction and prolong your meaningless existence, as the organic bourgeoisie. Their temples must be burnt to the ground, their idols defiled, their priests abused.