After she caught two girls shoplifting sports drinks, Custer Country Store owner wanted to find a way to give the culprits a strong message without handing them over to Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies.
“We’re in a small town here and everybody kind of knows everybody,” She said. “We never had a good, effective system for dealing with younger shoplifters. … You don’t want to let them get off with nothing, but you don’t want to put them into the court system.”
Perry’s solution: an unofficial $200 penalty that the perpetrators work off in her store at minimum hourly wage — while wearing a T-shirt that says, “I stole from the Custer Country Store.”
The girls and their parents preferred that alternative to legal prosecution.
This happened in Custer, which is in Whatcom County where I live.
I hope the humiliation will make them think twice the next time they are tempted.|