Okay, So Why Do Celebrities Shoplift?
02/08/2002 at 12:00 AM EST
It's more than just the tough economic climate, but, in fact, why are so many celebrity names popping up on police reports in connection with five-fingered exercises? Besides Winona Ryder, who faces four felony counts related to her alleged shoplifting spree at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills last December, there's a long list of well-known names who have been arrested on shoplifting charges, notes ABCNEWS.com. Only last week, Olympic gold medalist Olga Korbut, 47, was charged with swiping $19 in groceries from a Georgia supermarket. A few years ago, tennis ace Jennifer Capriati, 25, was accused of stealing a ring from a small store in Tampa, Fla. Two years ago, movie critic and "The Gong Show" alum Rex Reed, 63, spent a lonely night in a New York City jail cell after police picked him up on charges of helping himself to some CDs at Tower Records (the case was eventually settled and the court records sealed). And former Miss America Bess Myerson, 77, was arrested in 1987 for stealing $44 dollars in merchandise. Okay, so . . . why? According to UCLA psychiatrist Dr. Heather Krell, speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America," the drive to shoplift is comparable to the drive that propels someone into having to become a star. "In order to be a celebrity you have to take lots of chances," Krell said. "You have to believe in yourself and that you're going to prevail, and you have to get caught up in the moment. And it certainly seems that that's part of shoplifting." She also termed shoplifters as misunderstood. "People often think that it's a specific kind or type of person, and that perhaps they even need the items that they are shoplifting," Krell said. "Often it's not the case at all. Socioeconomic status can vary, education can vary, background can vary, and certainly fame is no protector." She also went on to say that a shoplifter, on average, has practiced his or her lifting an average of 49 times before being caught.