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A specific form of shoplifting. This is the hardest to fight and the easiest to get away with because it exploits the realities of human nature. It also gives you a powerful excuse in case you get caught and it’s actually really hard to end up in jail.

The first step is to make sure you have enough money to pay for whatever it is you are planning on stealing. This is essential in case you get caught.

You have to buy something, a pack of gum might not do it, something bigger would be better. The point of buying something is to distract the employee at the cashier and make it so that even security guards think you are just another paying customer.

Now go ahead and select something to steal. Hold it in your left hand (hence the name) and go up the register with the item you plan to pay for in your right hand. Then pay for it like you normally would. Doing this at a busy time or day or at least in a long line is better. This is important because it means the cashier is distracted.

The essential part of this act is to hold an air of confidence or perhaps aloofness. Act like the item in your left hand does not exist or is perfectly natural being in your hand and there is nothing strange about you holding it without paying for it. The cashier likely won't even notice and will assume that if you need to pay for something you will. Sometimes the cashier DOES notice but doesn't say anything, some stores for example have a return policy and she may assume that since you aren't paying for the item it is probably because it is an exchanged item. She may also simply be too embarrassed to accuse a customer of stealing, she doesn’t want to be accused of being a jerk!

BUT ALL THE SUDDEN SHE SAYS: HEY, AREN'T YOU GOING TO PAY FOR THAT? Act embarrassed, and make some joke about how you're spacey or out of it today. Laugh it off and DO pay for the item, very likely she will play along with your little game. This is because this happens all the time to real people who aren’t trying to steal things. I can recall an instance where my dad walked out of a store with a bag of chips. Then upon realizing what he did, went back in and paid for it. If you can't pay for the item then it’s pretty obvious you were planning on stealing from them. What makes businesses the most mad is when people get caught stealing. If you don't get caught then as far as they can see its invisible (aside from declining inventory after the fact). If you are even a half decent actor simply paying for the item in question will end the situation right there. You failed, but at least you don't have any legal problems!

In the off chance that someone accuses you of stealing, act real indignant and insulted. Again, this is more believable if you actually have the money to pay for it and insist that you do so as angrily as possible. It is hard to prove beyond a doubt that you are in fact trying to steal something if you have the money to pay for it. The worst that will happen is that you can get banned from the store for life, unless you live in a very small town that is no big deal.

Now suppose you got through the register line just fine and you're walking out of the store and all the sudden the alarm goes off! What do you do? Only if you are certain you will get caught should you run and never come back. Otherwise, stop, look at the cashier who you just had a transaction with and give her a quizzing glance and she will almost certainly simply wave you through! This is especially true if she is dealing with another customer. This works because allot of the time cashiers scan things which later set off alarms, consequently they are desensitized to it.

Note well: this will not work for big giant stores with paid guards who check your receipts against items in your hands when you leave their store. Unless of course you hide the stolen items well inside your bag.

Some advice, ever wonder why books (like college textbooks) set off the alarm? Well you've probably had the experience of flipping through a book and then some strange piece of paper falls out with metal printing on it. This is the item which sets off the alarm and it is best to remove it and avoid tripping any potential alarms as that situation can turn ugly.

Finally a word about illegality, yes lefthanding is illegal and can get you in jail. However if you follow these steps (which I do not advocate in any way, this writeup is for entertainment purposes only, are you entertained yet?) you probably won't go to jail or even get caught. Make sure you scope out the place you plan on stealing from and buy something from them just to see how the situation works. Finally, this technique works best at grocery stores and book stores. If you find the need to steal food chances are you really do need it and as Jesus Christ taught us there is nothing morally wrong with that. So PLEASE: steal bread for Christ’s sake!

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