Coupon Bandits- I Hope You Save Enough To Pay Your Bail

I never would have thought anyone in their right mind would want to steal coupons. No Really! I am sure it has happened before Extreme Couponing hit TLC but now it is a major issue! People so desperate to get $1000 worth of groceries for a few bucks are going off the deep end and resorting to stealing news papers for coupons.

Just in our little itty bitty town coupon inserts are being stolen from paper stands and in stores! I spoke to a local paper man last week and he told me out of 25 Sunday papers from his machine he only had $4.00 in the machine. He also told me that his papers go out at 3am and by 6 am every single machine has been empty the last 4 weeks! With our papers $2 each, that means 23 were stolen! Not to mention the gas stations and stores having to pull the papers and put them behind the counter in an attempt to stop the coupon bandits.

This has become a major problem! Do the idiots stealing coupons not realize that they are hurting everyone who not only pays for a paper but also everyone who would also like the chance at saving a few bucks? Not to mention- the cost of bail to get out of jail if they get caught? I’m pretty sure that they could be changed with a few crimes aside from larceny. Since the coupons are stolen and used- I’m sure that would make each one used some kind of fraud?

So I decided to write up a nice note and post over town.

Dear Coupon Thief,

I hope you enjoy using the coupons you are so eagerly stealing each and every Sunday (well before dawn). I sure hope that your children are not along for the ride while you scout paper machines across the county in your effort to commit a crime.

Perhaps if you spent this much energy in finding a job and working you would no longer have the need to steal. It is a crime you know? Not to mention- it really pisses me off to buy a paper and the coupons already be in your purse!

If you will resort to stealing coupons what else will you steal? Your pathetic!

PS: Visit my website and find some tips on extreme couponing without stealing!


One Pissed Off Consumer

About The Shopping Mom


  1. Frugalapolis says:

    I feel your pain and am odds of how to deal with it. I encourage people to avoid buying coupons from clippers because I suspect they are emptying the paper boxes. But I’m not sure they can be convicted of stealing coupons since they have no cash value, but certainly it is theft to steal the paper. I can’t wait for the newbies to give it up with frustration.

    • Tara V., TheFabShoppingMom says:

      Hi Frugalapolis, Thanks for the feedback. I always wondered how the clippers got sooo many copies of inserts. The term “Theft” is defined as “In criminal law, theft is the illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s freely-given consent. ” So by someone taking news papers or even just coupons from a newspaper is considered theft since the news paper or carrier did not give consent for them to be taken.

  2. Niki Hampton says:

    I buy 5 papers every Sunday, but BUY is the operative word. I have to stand there and go through each one to make sure the inserts are actually in there. I’ve been couponing for awhile and people actually act mean to because I do and assume I’m doing something wrong. I was incredibly insulted by a cashier this Sunday when I was BUYING newspapers. The show has shown people dumpster diving for newspapers and taking them from the driveways of foreclosed houses. While, those papers may have been disposed of I think they open the door for people justifying stealing them. I love the show and watch it for the tips and it shows me how generous stores in the midwest are (not so much in the Pacific). It’s took bad that people are acting this way. It ruins it for everyone and makes couponing look like a bad thing. I have a job and my husband is medically unable to work. My couponing keeps diapers in the house when we don’t have money.

    • Tara V., TheFabShoppingMom says:

      Hi Niki, I agree, when people do those things it makes it look bad. I normally purchase 3 papers, which I have not been able to do in weeks because they are all gone or all the inserts are gone. I only buy the Sunday paper for the coupons. I have never stolen a coupon or paper for that matter. While I am no pro couponer I have learned a lot in a short amount of time on ways to find coupons online. It saddens me that people stealing coupons could cause the papers to just pull them.

  3. Tiffany Daniels says:

    When I was a little girl, a long, long time ago….I lived in an apartment complex. One of the families that moved in had 3 kids the same age as me and the rest of the neighborhood kids. This particular family and their relatives owned several small grocery stores throughout the town, every weekend and I think it was Wednesdays, when the coupons came out in the newspaper, this couple would pay all of the kids in the neighborhood to get all of the coupons they could find, plus they would buy 100’s of newspapers and have us kids go through all of the papers. We(meaning me and the other kids) had no idea what we were doing was wrong, we just wanted to make a couple of bucks, we were like 10 or 11 years old, needless to say, these people were taking the coupons and turning them into the manufacturer’s by the 1000’s and making a fortune… In the end they were busted and went to jail, this happened in New Orleans in the late 70’s or early 80’s so this has been going on a long time, although it had a different twist since it was the store owner’s cashing in.

  4. Miss Lissy says:

    I totally hear your pain. If you think people stealing them from the stores is bad enough, I get the newspaper to our apartment. I have to get up really early (practically as soon as it gets here) to get it from my own apartment building or someone else steals it. From my apartment building when it’s clearly labeled with our apartment number.

  5. Rebecca Weinstein says:

    I buy 5 copies of the Sunday paper, for the coupons, every week. I buy 5 because that’s enough to get enough stock to last us about two months. We’re not greedy, we don’t buy things we don’t use just because they’re cheap or free. That being said, I was shocked this Sunday when I sent my husband to get the papers, I told him to check to make sure the coupons were all there, and he sent me a text saying that another customer yelled at him, “Why don’t you leave some for somebody else?” Clearly he was purchasing all of them, and clearly the store doesn’t care who buys 5 copies, as long as they get the money for those 5…it could be 5 different people or one person buying 5. I wish I’d been there, because I’d have concocted a story to make her feel like sh*t! So, he left with only 4. I went by later and got the last one. Would you know it…when I got there, the clerks told me that people had been stealing the coupons! They’d been buying 1 paper and shoving in extra coupon booklets!! I managed to scrape together 2 of the 3 booklets into one paper. So when I got home, I checked all of our papers, and of 5 papers, there were 5 Smartsource, 4 Redplum, and 3 Proctor and Gamble inserts. I can’t believe the audacity of some people! It’s theft and fraud through and through.


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