chapter  9
15 Pages

A twenty-first Century Look at Gender, Drug Use and Theft

Many readers will recall the celebrity shoplifting case of actress Winona Ryder. To review, Ryder was arrested in Beverly Hills on December 12, 2001 for stealing US $5,000 of merchandise from the retail store Saks 5th Avenue. At the time, the beautiful and promising actress was part of the Hollywood elite, having just received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (2000) for several Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations and wins for films from the 1990s. For those unfamiliar with the case, Rachel Shteir’s (2011) new book The Steal: A Cultural History of Shoplifting, will reacquaint them with the details and offer additional glamorous portrayals of women and shoplifting – a major form of property crime in our society today. But are the Ryder case, or the dumpster divers, professional boosters, and social anarchists profiled in Shteir’s book, a complete or even typical picture of women shoplifters in society today?