Arrested for Coupons?

I’m going to stand on my “soapbox” or tape box if you will for a minute… And, actually, it’s my Honey standing on it, but I didn’t have a box at home to do it myself 🙂

What would you do?  You see a big pile of Sunday papers on the doorstep of a store.  You look at the date.  “My oh my,” you say, “these are over a week old!!  No one would mind if I took them home with me right?  I just want the coupons in them!  Such amazing deals to be had, what with a coupon or two” (or 100).  No one gets hurt, right?

Well, according to the police in Springdale Arkansas, it IS hurting someone!  And an extreme couponer has the mug shoot to prove it.  Click here to read the whole story!

Are you a fan of FREE newspapers?  I know I am!!  I know Mavis is too!  However, we do it the RIGHT way!!  ASK permission!!  Get them from a friend or grandma (that’s me!!).  AND NEVER, EVER, EVER even THINK about taking a newspaper without permission!  What would you do if your child took a piece of candy without paying for it?  Would you make them take it back, apologize, and then pay for it (or work off the money YOU had to pay for it?)  It’s the same concept.

Do you want to get a bunch of newspapers? 

The LEGAL way?

Click here!!

We have all kinds of frugal deals for you from all over the place!


  • Deja

    I am thinking….about the time this happened to me twice last month. I went out of town and forgot to put my newspaper on hold because I was coming home late that evening and all four of my paid subscriptions had been taken from our porch (two different weekends in the month of July). It makes me sad that someone needed to steal from thy neighbor but maybe they needed it more than me. It is a matter of ethics!

    • kay

      happened to me just this past weekend. We were gone on Fri & Sat came back Sun morning and NO PAPERS! I couldn’t believe someone would steal my papers! What is wrong with the moral compass of these people? All I can do is shake my head and think “WOW”! Makes couponing not so fun anymore knowing there are thieves I am shopping with!

  • it’s no different then the loser THIEVES who take the inserts out of papers they haven’t paid for!! (example is newspaper machines…you pay for EACH paper, the next person comes along and innocently buys their paper and the inserts were stolen!)

    I have been couponing for over 25 years and it has only been these past 3-4 years that people have used, abused, stolen, ‘money made off cashiers errors’, the list goes on…

    couponing is a PRIVILEGE it’s NOT a right! and as close as I myself have gotten to ‘extreme couopning’ over the years, trust me, what you see on tv is an entire set up…

    morals, character, honesty….people have tossed these things to the wayside and have abused this ‘help’ we get from companies….one day, because of the ones who have ruined a way of life for people like me (LONG BEFORE THE FREAKIN INTERNET!), we may not have this option in the future!

    • lacey

      Totally in agreement with MaryAnne. Couponing is a ‘ Privilege ‘ not a right. Beautifully said. Lets be ethical about the use of coupons so that everyone can enjoy them.

  • keegan

    The way I interpret the article, she was taking them from “boxes”, which is pretty dumb. No Duh it’s theft! If they were free papers you wouldn’t need to insurt change to get the door to open. She’s trying to play dumb and nobodies buying it.

    • Susan

      Keegan, she didn’t take the papers from a vending box. A store put the unsold newspapers outside to be picked up by the carrier.

      Standard procedure in newspaper distribution is that unsold papers must be returned. It was wrong of the woman to take them, and it was wrong of the store employee to tell her that she could. Of course you should ask permission, like Becky said, but this just goes to show that you need to be very careful about who you ask permission from.

      If your relative, friend, neighbor, or whoever buys a paper and gives you the coupons, that’s fine. If a restaurant, hair salon, nursing home, or whatever buys them for the customers to read and then gives them to you instead of tossing them, that’s fine too, I think. But it is not legal to take an unsold newspaper from a store. It’s as illegal as shoplifting.

      There’s a more detailed article here, with links to the full police report and the statement from the woman’s attorney.

      I just shake my head. It’s just so unfortunate that couponing has come to this.

  • Norman @ Chicago Daily Deal

    The Denton Record-Chronicle reports that a woman in Texas was arrested for buying just one newspaper from the vending machine but then taking all the coupon inserts from all the newspapers inside.

    • Elaine

      It’s impossible to get a newspaper with the inserts still inside if I don’t get to either Safeway or Albertsons first thing Sunday. I’ve bought numerous Seattle times from both locations in my town (Wenatchee, WA) and the inserts have ALWAYS been stolen. So ridiculous.

      • Kandace

        Elaine, I’ve found that the best place to get papers in the Seattle area is from Safeway. They keep their papers at Customer Service and have the paper all week long. However, Fred Meyer also keeps their newspaper at customer service and never have inserts. Its maddening. My husband thinks I need to stop paying for papers and start dumpster diving the newspaper recycle bin at my child’s elementary school. I told him he could go right ahead but I will just get the few inserts from the store legally.

      • Ember

        It’s ridiculous to have to do it, but I take all my papers up to where an employee can see me and thumb through every copy I buy before paying to ensure the inserts are intact. Sometimes even that isn’t enough though. I’ve purchased papers that looked like the inserts were all there, but when going through the inserts at home I found that 3 of 4 papers had 1 page from one of the inserts removed. The highest value coupon of the week of course.

  • Deanna

    She was shocked that the newspaper went public and pressed charges? Really? I am glad they did. People need to know that if you steal there are consequences. I was getting two paid subscriptions then had the brilliant idea to send an email at work asking for unused coupons. I have 7 people regularly giving me their coupons. I cancelled one of my papers. I don’t need that many coupons.

  • Andrea A.

    She’s like the Barry Bonds of Couponing.

  • Anne

    wow.. this really pisses me off. This poor lady was arrested for this stupid misunderstanding over freaking coupons? There are murders and rapists and psychos running around our Country free and this lady is being arrested, what the hell is wrong with this country. From what i read, the papers where on top of a trash can and she asked more than one employee if she could take them and after being told she was stealing she wanted to pay for the papers. This is not something i would ever do, but i could understand how she didnt know she was actually stealing. This just seems like a misunderstanding that just exploded into an outrageous ending.

  • CathyB

    Before I ever started couponing I used to pick up those stray “Wednesday papers” that they deliver to non-subscribers while I was walking. They would always end up out in the sidewalk or street after being run over a few times and so I used to pick up any that had strayed out into the street or sidewalk after two or three days. I would just dump them in the recycling bin. To me at the time it was like picking up trash and making the neighborhood look nicer. But after I started couponing I realized that they might have value and so left them alone. Now that couponing has become popular there do seem to be more cases of deliberate stealing going on; however I just think back on myself to remember that not every case may be intentional.

  • cARMEN

    I think extreme couponing encourages you to get all that you can including not only merchandise but papers to get more coupons, it’s a rat race, grab all you can or else the next extreme couponer will take it for sure. It is sad the hoarding and greediness that this crazy has caused.

  • Sarah H

    In the woman’s defense, according to this article she had gotten permission from the store employees. Too bad they didn’t know what the deal was either.

    From A Thrifty Mom: “Please be aware that inserts that are not sold must be returned to the publishing company that makes them. That is the newspapers and publishing companies agreements – nationwide.So no matter what a store employee tells you – or what the guy at the back loading dock tells you – NO you can not take the extra inserts that are waiting to be picked up. ”

    Let’s educate people on this, but not vilify this woman when we don’t know the whole situation.

  • pam

    All this extreme couponing is hurting us all, pretty sad. Here in Mtn. home we haven’t recieved any coupons in a few weeks. I have been couponing for 20 years, I have 5 kids and coupons save me money at the store each month, I’m a stay at home mom and I live for coupons to help us get by and the good old newspaper will not supple us with coupons. I’m waiting for the day when we will not be able to use coupons because of all this extreme stuff going on, gee I thought the faze would have been over by now but I guess not. I feel like I’m waisting my money I buy the paper and get extra on sunday only to find we don’t ever get any and the newspaper will not refund us or warn us so we can put it on hold. Pretty sad, I sure would love to see my coupons come back, it’s really hurting me and my family who have lived on them all our marriage life. I don’t even want to go shopping this month it’s going to be a killer!

    • Susan

      Pam, if it helps, I’ve heard that if you are in an area where the Red Plum insert is not provided to the local newspaper, you can have it mailed to you. Only one copy though.

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