I believe I grew up in a really blessed time to be a child. The internet hadn’t taken over everything, so most days I would ride my bike with friends, go exploring, break bottles on the side of the road; harmless juvenile activities.
When I was eleven years old I remember hanging out with one of my best friends, it was summer break and we were galivanting around on our bicycles. We went into the local 7-eleven for a couple of slurpees, and when we came out I realized that my friend had taken something without paying for it. He stole a York Peppermint Patty, and started eating it behind the bushes next to the store. I was in disbelief; how can you just take something and not pay for it?
I remember feeling confused and excited at the same time, this was the first criminal activity that I had ever knowingly witnessed. He saw something he wanted and just took it, and nothing bad happened!
I began shoplifting small things, like candy, or gum, chapstick; really just anything I could quickly slip into my pockets. It wasn’t that I had a need for these things, or that I didn’t have money to get something. I was doing this for the excitement now, for the rush. Stealing was my first high.
I took this practice with me into high school, and one day when I should have been in class, I was instead being led out of the Smithaven Mall in handcuffs. I finally got caught, my first encounter with the police, my first criminal charge.
On the day that I should have been receiving my High School Diploma, I was instead appearing before the judge to answer for my petit larceny charges.