Last Tuesday, The Ninja and a friend decided to go shopping at the mall.
Without any money.
The two 14-year-old knuckleheads sauntered around, throwing two pairs of sneakers and earbud headphones in a backpack.
Until Ninja got caught sticking a wallet in his pocket in Big Well-Known Department Store.
I got a call from Ninja about 3 pm. "Mom......." Then a staff security member came on and explained what had happened. I charged down to the mall.
By the time the friend's mother and I got there, Friend was sobbing. Ninja was sitting nonchalantly, looking unconcerned. Friend was upset and promising he'd never do it again. Ninja said he'd just go out and do it again.
Big Well-Known Department Store was willing to release the boys to our custody, without law enforcement involvement. Friend's mother took him home, promising that family friends who are police officers would be giving him a strongly worded talk.
Due to the bravado and the attitude, we decided to lower the boom on the Ninja. Waited for a police officer to arrive. During the wait, Ninja started to seem upset, sitting on a bench with his head in his hands.
Officer arrived. Gave Ninja a talking-to while taking down information and writing an appearance ticket. Put Ninja in handcuffs and took him to the precinct. L. and I followed. More talking-to, from a detective and another office, took place. We signed for him and took him home.
He has a court date on Tuesday. We have engaged an attorney who is a family friend. Attorney says that what will probably happen, due to Ninja's age, is supervised probation, attendance at a StopLift program, and sealing of the records if he stays out of trouble for a period of time.
Earlier in the week, Ninja said to me that he's never going to shoplift again. This morning, he said that he doesn't know whether he will or not. I feel sick to my stomach.
Any advice, encouragement or words of wisdom, anyone?