High-style five-finger discount  FEB 18 2009

An interesting profile of Kevahn Thorpe, who started shoplifting high fashion items when he was 16 years old and couldn't manage to stop.

Kevahn, meanwhile, was arrested over and over -- always at department stores, he emphasizes, "never in no label stores," like Prada, where the staff is perhaps more sensitive to the possibility that a young black kid drifting among the merchandise might be an up-and-coming entertainer or a rich private-schooler and not necessarily a thief. And by then, he was dressing for the occasion. As helpful salesclerks retrieved sneakers from the stockroom, he whisked the ones he wanted under a couch and played a kind of shell game with display models and shoeboxes. When he was caught, he pleaded down the petit-larceny charges to disorderly conduct, until a judge finally got fed up and sent him to Rikers Island for the first time, on a ten-day sentence.

Perhaps it's easy to laugh Kevahn off as just being obsessed with fashion, but he's also gotten caught stealing iPods and using stolen credit cards.

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