Store puts teens caught shoplifting to work instead of pressing charges

Palmetto Moon says they wanted a lesson to come out of the incident
Shoplifting Turned Positive
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 4:21 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2023 at 6:51 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - When a pair of teenagers shoplifted from a store in Haywood Mall, the business decided they wanted to turn it into a learning experience - and a chance to give back to the community.

Detectives with the Greenville Police Department have been working to identify two people caught on surveillance video stealing from Palmetto Moon on Mar. 13. The brand’s president Amber Dube said when Palmetto Moon learned they were teenagers, they wanted to find a way to work with the families to rectify the issue instead of pressing charges.

“I think this is a situation where teenagers do stupid things and we know that,” said Dube, who is a mom herself. “So I think it’s important for us to think about what they did and really judge on the merits of who they are and what they can contribute back to the community.”

She said their parents were very involved in coming up with a solution. The teens came into the store to return the merchandise, apologize for their behavior, and pay for the items.

“These kids are smart kids, they’re athletes, they have a strong future,” she said. “So we wanted to make sure that they learned a lesson and they were held accountable for their actions, and felt that this was the best way for them to learn their lesson and also to give back to the community.”

The boys will work in the back of Palmetto Moon to learn what the team goes through to get the store ready for customers. They will donate the wages they would receive to Greenville Police and will also volunteer time with the department.

“I’m hoping really that this is a message of community, of giving back, of partnership in a parent’s involvement,” Dube said. “I’m hoping that this message is really resonating with the community to say, we’re all in this together and we can make our communities much better and more positive.”

Palmetto Moon was founded in Charleston in 2002 but now operates dozens of locations across the South.