Take A Penny/Leave A Penny: Stealing Or Not?

Last week, I was at the counter of a business in Breezy Point paying for items I had purchased.

The bill came to $15.01.  So, instead of digging into the abyss – otherwise known as my purse – for a penny to add to my cash purchase, I saw a “take a penny / leave a penny” tin and reached for a penny.  There were about 6 in there.  I didn’t feel bad because there are numerous time (more often than not) that I LEAVE pennies for others because I don’t want them.

So, as I am talking to the clerk, who knew what I did for a living, she started sharing with me that within the past few days, a woman had come in to the store, made a purchase with a credit card, but then picked up that same penny tin – which at that time, had about 10-15 pennies in it – and dumped the whole tin of pennies into her purse!  She did not use any of them toward her purchase as she used “plastic,” and went about leaving the store – which, in turn, left the clerk speechless.

I asked the clerk if that was considered stealing, and she said, “we were wondering the same thing!”  I mean, REALLY?   Where does anyone think that taking the WHOLE penny stash is something you do?!  AND not even using any of them for your purchase!

I asked the clerk why she didn’t say anything and she said she couldn’t speak!  She was so dumbfounded that no words came out.  After thinking about it, being the passive – aggressive Minnesota girl that I am, I probably would have been the same way – and it takes a heck-of-a-lot to leave ME speechless.  I just can’t believe that anyone would do that.  If YOU do that… DON’T.  In my book, it’s stealing.  And getting the cops called for stealing 10-15 cents makes NO SENSE, if you get my drift.

If you saw that, would YOU say anything?  If so, what?  Discuss….