One Woman Steals From Another, But Who’s the Victim?

This story involves two women: a woman who works in a restaurant, and the woman who stole her tip money.

The primary woman in this story is Alicia Stange. She works at Anthony's Mediterranean Cuisine on Eureka Way.

Alicia Stange photo from Facebook.

First, about the restaurant. I'm a fan of Anthony's Mediterranean Cuisine. The food is good, and the lamb is especially excellent. I'm quite fond of the lamb kabobs, the pita, hummus and the lamb gyros. This is a good time for a little pronunciation lesson on how to say gyro. It's YEE-row, not GUY-row.

Anthony's Mediterranean Cuisine is colorful and eclectic, with an ice cream freezer that displays various frozen treats, like Häagen-Dazs bars, and one counter that holds a rack of candy bars and another counter that holds a fountain machine for self-service sodas and iced tea. Food is presented inside either paper-lined red plastic baskets or on plastic plates accompanied by plastic utensils. Diners are encouraged to stack their baskets, plates and cups near the garbage by the door before they leave. Handwritten neon lettering on black light boards displays the menu.

You may recall that A News Cafe.com's own Femme de Joie wrote a favorable review of Anthony's in February of 2016.

I have eaten a lot at Anthony's, because not only do I love the food, but I like the people who work there, and I feel comfortable with the atmosphere. Plus, a huge bonus for me is that it's a short walk from my new/old house, which makes me feel citified. It's the kind of restaurant that's super casual and almost has a sort of "Cheers" impression, because a lot of customers are regulars. Sometimes there are as many as two people working - usually women. But I'd say that about eight times out of 10 when I visit Anthony's, Alicia Stange is the only person there.

She's small, confident and has a direct gaze from bright blue eyes accented with black eyeliner.

Regular customers at Anthony's Mediterranean Cuisine have come to recognize and appreciate Alicia Stange, who's worked at the  Eureka Way restaurant for two years.

Alicia Stange photo from Facebook.

She's often the person who takes my order, prepares my food and either brings it to my table or wraps it up in a plastic to-go sack.

Alicia's easy to like.  She's always moving, and she talks a little while she works. Not a lot. Friendly but not overly familiar. Smart and efficient. She cracks deadpan jokes and makes wry observations, such as the fact I always order lamb.

Inside the restaurant on the front counter the little sign taped to the tip jar always cracks me up.

"PITA spelled backwards is A TIP :)"

That tip jar is where we meet the second woman, Deb. I won't print her last name, and won't show a photo of her face, although she's been a trending topic on various Redding Facebook pages all week with lots of exposure of her name and photos, including posts written by her and her mother on some Redding Facebook crime pages.

This story began last week when Alicia wrote a Facebook post in which she explained what happened that night at work.

To summarize, in case you can't read the small screen-shot print: The woman ordered four gyros to go, paid for them and then asked for some hot sauce. When Alicia turned her back to get the sauce, the woman quickly removed Alicia's tips from the flower pot and stashed the money in her purse.

Alicia and the restaurant's owner knew exactly what happened because the restaurant has a camera pointed down from the ceiling toward the register, to the left of the "order here" sign.

There's even a sign on the wall that says, "Smile, you're on camera,"  to encourage customers to be on their best behavior.

Things derailed after Alicia's Facebook post, which was shared many times by people who demanded justice and basically said, "Do you know this woman? She just ripped off Alicia's tips."

Of course, Redding being the smallest town of more than 90,000 people in the world, the woman was quickly identified by name. People chose sides. Insults and opinions swirled. Many of the commenters blasted the tip-taking woman. A few shared their negative experiences with her. The predominant sentiment was justified public humiliation. One particularly creative guy even designed a pair of T-shirts with an image of Deb's face (from the security camera screen grab) and catchy slogans. Some Facebookers offered to buy the shirts.

Soon after, Alicia spoke to the tip-taking woman on the phone, who initially feigned ignorance. But when informed that the whole theft was captured on camera, eventually Deb admitted it, but not without various excuses, like she was tired, she was stressed, she felt justified in taking the tips because she believed the price of the gyros was excessive, and finally, she couldn't explain why she did it because she didn't even need the money.

The tip-taker asked Alicia to please remove the Facebook post, because she said it was making her life miserable. Alicia refused.

The Facebook mosh pit churned. People took sides. The tip-taking woman's mother got involved with a post of her own in defense of her daughter that ended with her expression of pride in her daughter.

For the record, I spoke with Alicia last night at Anthony's where I ordered dinner. She said that so far, she's received no money from Deb. But Alicia added that at this point, even if Deb came in and tried to return the money, Alicia wouldn't accept it.

"All I want from her is for her to come in and apologize to me," Alicia said during a slow spell at Anthony's as I ate my lamb kabob.

I went home and looked on Facebook. I found Alicia's page and photos of her and her adorable child. I saw Deb's page, and saw photos of her cute kids. I learned Deb professes to be a Christian lady, someone who likes alternative Christian music. She and I have many Facebook friends in common.

One might have thought that the sheer embarrassment of the whole ordeal would have caused the woman to just return the money, apologize, slink quietly off into the sunset, keep a low profile, and for goodness sake, stay a million miles away from Facebook.

But no. This is what else I found on Facebook, posted by Deb herself. I've blocked out her name, as well as the photo she used of herself in the post, which happens to be a still shot from Anthony's video camera footage that Alicia posted on Facebook. I don't intend to help the woman harm herself any more than she already has.

Here's Deb's post, in case you can't read the screen shot:

"I wanted to tell this group thank you and I want to personally thank Alicia Because of this video I have gotten lots of support, and People reaching out to me from all over offering me money and Christmas presents for my children. I heard the same is happening for Alicia. Also a home restoration company has reached out to me and offered to finish our restorations. And as for Anthony's Restaurant I heard they are getting lots of publicity. YOUR WELCOME!!"

Alicia, the victim, is flummoxed by the strange turn of events. She laughed and shook her head "no" when I asked if it was true; that people were also showering her with money and Christmas presents, as Deb said.

Alicia said that not only has nothing like that happening, but she didn't expect it. In fact, she said it would feel weird.

But what feels even more strange to Alicia is that, if we believe Deb's post, this same woman who stole from Alicia has actually somehow benefited from the theft; from cash and presents to even home-restoration help. The final straw was that Deb took credit for potentially driving business to the very place she ripped off.

"YOUR WELCOME!!"

What the what?

Clearly, Deb-the-tip-taker has some serious issues that extend beyond the tip-jar incident. Because of that, on some level I feel for her. She must be suffering.

However, what about Alicia?

She's still at Anthony's Mediterranean Cuisine where she typically works more than 30 hours a week. And despite Deb's Facebook claim that all her inadvertent "publicity" helped increase business at Anthony's, Alicia says things are about the same, even the tip jar location, which is still on the front counter.

Perhaps the biggest change for Alicia is the realization of how easy it is to misjudge someone. Alicia said she never would have guessed that the attractive, well-dressed young woman who ordered four gyros, someone who laughed and talked with Alicia -- who even suggested that the woman should try Gyro Wednesdays, when gyros are only $5.99 -- would steal her tips.

"Her mom and her husband are backing her up 100 percent," Alicia said. "Some people feel sorry for her and say she has mental issues, and she has a sick kid. OK.  But does that give someone the right to steal?"

Alicia said that if she could change anything about her original Facebook post, Alicia would have omitted the part where she described herself as a single parent, and that it was a few weeks before Christmas.

"I don't like to make a big deal about it, but when she took that money she didn't know if I was a single mom, or if I had a sick kid, or anything about me," she said.

"It's really not about the money. It just bothers me that someone could do that and get away with it."

Doni Chamberlain
Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke of the Czech Republic. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.
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125 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    I am appalled at the number of people who think it was no big deal – that stealing small amounts is somehow OK. And at others who think mental illness absolves all blame (would they have let Jeffrey Dahmer go free?).

    I get that some folks are close to the edge, but if you’re in that situation maybe you should stop ordering out to eat before resorting to stealing from tip jars…

    • Well, just for clarification, the tip-taker told Alicia that she really didn’t even need the money.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      You’re the first to post here, so I assume you’re talking about FB posts.

      The degree to which mental illness absolves someone of blame depends on the nature of the mental illness. One of my colleagues in grad school was a schizophrenic, and it blew up full-tilt prior to his oral exams. He ended up thereafter wandering around campus in a beige three-piece suit and as many pairs of socks as he could fit on his feet—no shoes. (He had his reasons—they were crazy.) He dropped into our office every now and then to ask in a rambling, mostly incoherent way if his “neural implant” was ready yet—he saw this fictitious brain implant as his cure. Along the way he broke some laws and rules (trying to live in Shields Library, for example), but he was so far gone that understanding right from wrong regarding these petty crimes was extremely doubtful.

      Deb no doubt understands that stealing is “wrong” in the sense that it’s illegal and you don’t want to get caught doing it or you’ll suffer the consequences. But people with certain mental disorders *only* understand “wrong” in the currency of consequences. It’s wrong if you’re caught stealing—you’ll be embarrassed and possibly punished. These people have poorly developed internal senses of right and wrong. The sense of guilt that you and I would feel for stealing something that belongs to another person is mostly or totally absent.

      True, that sort of person is making a choice, but the mental calculus is all about the probability of getting caught. It’s a different internal dynamic than the person who feels guilt, but overcomes it and steals anyway to get what they need (or just want). Imagine how difficult it would be to do the right thing consistently if you absolutely lacked an internal sense of guilt because of how you’re wired. If your only touchstone is fear of getting caught, it would be a real challenge to be good.

      If history suggests that are no consequences to getting caught, the fear of getting caught would diminish. (This is where enablers do damage.)

      • Steve, I hate to even venture the question about what happened to your friend.

        I can always count on you for an educated, informative explanation of so many things, even mental illness.

        And yes, enablers can exacerbate problems.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          The schizo guy in grad school wasn’t really a friend. I shared an office with a fellow grad student who had been around for a few years when I was just starting out. I briefly got acquainted with the schizo guy when he was still on the rails by virtue of having the same advisor (along with my office mate).

          My office mate was also the department’s IT/computer expert, so it made sense that the schizo guy later visited him semi-regularly to inquire about progress on the “neural implant.” He was there because of that, not because he knew me. I don’t know what happened to him in the long run.

        • Michelle says:

          Very insightful comment.

      • Tim says:

        Steve,

        I would not blame someone who did not understand what they were doing was wrong, but this is not that case. If you watch the video ( https://m.facebook.com/groups/1605037369747615?view=permalink&id=1921815148069834&ref=content_filter&notif_t=group_activity
        ), you’ll see Deb waits until Alicia leaves the area before taking the money. Her arm motions are low & understated. Her expression is a triumphant smirk. Then she looks up, sees the camera, and her eyes widen in horror before quickly looking away.

        All of these strongly suggest she knew what she was doing was wrong and she was getting off on it. Kleptomaniacs get a short-lived dopamine rush just like a drug addict.

        But having a predisposition does not give someone license. Child molestors are usually, if not always, predisposed to it, but you don’t hear anyone trying to get Dr. Shettell released from jail…

        I will say that this would not have been a week long story on facebook if it wasn’t for her responses (reaponses which seem consistent with your diagnosis of BPD): After failing to get the post & video removed, she doubled down. It wasn’t her fault she stole, she has a sick child. Then later: it wasn’t her fault she stole, she didn’t get to pay the Wednesday price for gyros. Then later: it wasn’t her fault she stole, she was exhausted, suffering from depression, and went off her meds…

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          If you read my comments below, you’ll see that I agree that she knows in a sense that what she’s doing is wrong.

          People with BPD understand that they’re doing something wrong in the sense that others disapprove, but they don’t internally *feel* that it’s wrong. That’s in part because they have a tenuous sense of self—without that, there’s no “self” to hold accountable, or to feel guilt. That’s how they’re different from sociopaths, who have a very strong sense of self, sans the guilt.

          Sociopath: “It’s all about me. Gimme, gimme, gimme.”

          BPD: “Who am I supposed to be? Will *this* make me happy? Why are people so mean to me? Don’t they understand how hard it is to be me?”

          • Tim says:

            I get that, but are you suggesting they should have a different set of rules or punishments? If so, what?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Well…it’s almost a trick question, because I think the “punishments” should be different for nearly everyone. Biblical retribution is overrated, but Americans love it. We have by far the highest per-capita prison incarceration rate in the world. How’s that workin’ out for us?

          • Tim says:

            It was working fine until we let em out…

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            “Working fine” is relative, and it’s hard to look around the world and concluded that our criminal justice system works better than any other alternative.

            But of course, this is ‘Murica. We can’t bring ourselves to look around the world to see if anyone else is doing it better. We can’t bring ourselves to emphasize rehabilitation over punishment. We can’t bring ourselves to face the consequences of having a sizable proportion of the population living in desperation. We can’t bring ourselves to ask if there are things we could do better. We’re ‘Muricans. We’re #1.

          • Tim says:

            I’m not saying it can’t be improved. I’m all for reforming bail practices to reflect the risk placed on society by releasing someone pretrial. And I’m all for letting out people convicted of victimless crimes. But don’t release folks who were convicted of property & violent crime until we have good reason to believe they won’t do it again.

            That isn’t retribution; it is ensuring society’s participants generally stay within the rule of law…

  2. Beverly Stafford says:

    From the outside looking in, Deb and her mother appear to personify the multi-generation ME, ME, ME concept of “I’m a victim; I’m not responsible for my actions; I deserve sympathy and hand-outs; you have it, I want it, gimme.” Plus they seem to know how to play the system. Thanks, Doni, for this Thursday morning eye-opener. Merry Christmas, Deb, your Mama, and the horse you came in on. Bah, humbug.

    I’ve been wanting to try Anthony’s, but my timing in Redding just hasn’t made it possible. Soon for sure.

    • Anita L Brady says:

      As I read Deb’s post and her mother’s, I was reminded of a twitter account that sounds a lot like their comments of justification, me-ism and non-apology apology: Donald Trump.

  3. I really can’t speak to anything about Deb and/or her mother, because I don’t know them.

    For me, it was interesting to see how the person who took the money managed to turn things around to make it something beneficial for her, that she actually thanked Alicia for posting about the theft because it brought an outpouring of support to her, someone who told Alicia she didn’t even need the money. But of course, people’s assumption is someone taking tips must be in dire need of the money. And generally, people are good and compassionate and want to help.

    The reason Alicia posted the information on FB in the first place was to locate the person who’d stolen the money; hoping for some justice and consequences.

    I can’t see the benefit in having Deb arrested or prosecuted for what’s technically a petty crime, but it would be nice if Deb could do something that would benefit Alicia, starting with an in-person apology.

    • Karen Ball says:

      I totally side with Alicia..nut she knew who this woman was she said on fn she had her name on tbe credit receipt..but regardless i think a little social justice was warranted. I think Deb is probably a compulsive liar…and even believes the crap she makes up…that makes her a danger to herself and others

  4. Do we know that Deb really has received an outpouring of support, including a home remodel? She hasn’t offered reliable testimony about very much so far. She was wrong about Alicia receiving donations from the community. Deb seems to be what we call in the fiction world an ‘unreliable narrator’.

  5. cheyenne says:

    What the tip taker, Deb, doesn’t realize is that in the new digital age checking Facebook is part of any background check. She may find that her “petty crime” that she defends may cost her a future job, house or car loan, even renting.

  6. Well, that’s a good point. And granted, this was an opinion column, not a news story where I gathered information from both sides. Rather, this was told from Alicia’s perspective, because for me, she was the sympathetic subject.

    But regarding potential untruths, that’s why I included such phrases as, “…if we believe Deb’s post…” It would be interesting to hear whether or not Deb really did benefit.

    It’s just a weird little story with some unexpected twists for something so seemingly straightforward.

  7. Richard Christoph says:

    Thanks for this tale of gross injustice, feeble attempts at justification by the perpetrator and her enabler, and corroboration of the truism that “the apple does not fall far from the tree.”

    Though we have not yet tried Anthony’s we surely will, thanks to you and NOT to Deb.

    • Perfect summary, Richard.

      And yes, you must try Anthony’s!

      • Richard Christoph says:

        Just home for a walk over the Sundial and around the Arboretum to work off our very nice lunch at Anthony’s. We shared a lamb gyro wrap, a falafel wrap, and a cheese manakeesh which were all excellent, and though Alicia was not there today, we left something for her along with the reason for doing so.

        Thanks for the story, Doni. You helped to correct an injustice and also alerted your readers to another fine local eatery.

  8. Patricia Bay says:

    I want to start my comment by stating how much I love the food and the people at Anthony’s Restaurant. They are awesome and a wonderful, healthy place to eat. It’s great to have a restaurant like this on the West side of town. In my life experiences, both professionally and personally, I have seen people’s destructive choices, driven by mental illness, create huge harm to others. Mental illness does not eliminate culpability nor the responsibility for restitution. It is my opinion, that if “Deb The Tip Taker” accepts responsibility for her illness and the problems SHE creates, she will offer a heart-felt apology and monetary restitution. ($10.00 ??!!! … That is a joke for the mental anguish she caused for Alicia…It should be at least $100.00 if not more.)

  9. Eleanor says:

    As ever, Doni, you are very fair/even-handed on this. I agree with Richard’s words ‘perpetrator and enabler’ pure and simple. Yucky and icky, Deb, whoever you are, get more help if that’s what you need (of the mental not the financial kind) and maybe stay out of places where your ‘Kleptomania’ is going to hurt other people. This was flat out a horrible, nasty thing to do.

  10. Bob Higgins says:

    I frequent more restaurants than I should admit to. And when I do I try and sit where I’m served by a single mom (don’t go sideways here). I appreciate single moms (my kid for one) and I tip in the area of 30%. I know the struggle involved and usually there’s bum of a father somewhere unwilling to help. That said, I would never, NEVER!, leave a tip in anybody’s “tip jar”. Like a community type of thing. No, I’ll leave it on the table or hand it to the server. Get rid of that jar and just collect your tips from the table or counter. You take the temptation out of the equation, Just sayin’….

    • Beverly Stafford says:

      Many good points, Bob. However, at many self-serve type places – pizza parlors, taco places – where there is no service other than an order taker and cashier, I leave money in a tip jar, but many of those places have covered jars that would be difficult to steal from. The Debs of the world would be hard pressed to have sticky fingers with those types of containers. But isn’t it a damn shame that we have to come up with these solutions?

      Doni, are you going to post this column on Facebook? Maybe Deb will see it and realize that she’s not receiving any sympathy from your readers.

      • Oh, yeah. I re-post everything from A News Cafe.com onto FB. 🙂 (I know. You don’t do FB. That’s OK. You’re here.)

        And yes, it is a shame we have to find creative ways to keep people from ripping us off.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      That’s a nice thought. Alas, if a place has a communal tip jar, I think it’s customary for the server to take a tip left at the table or handed to her, and stuff it in the jar. There’s an understanding that all tips get split up at the end of the shift.

      My daughter worked her way through college as a server at a country club—she worked her tail off. Not everyone did. The communal tip thing—split with managers and everyone else—used to drive me nuts. That probably comes off as an inconsistent point of view to people who regard me as something of a commie. La de da. I think individual effort should be rewarded.

    • I like the way you tip, Bob. I know those employees appreciate it very much.

    • Edith Luney Frey says:

      I So Agree With You Bob Higgins In Today’s World You Just Can’t Trust People

  11. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is an awful mental illness—extremely difficult to deal with. People with BPD can sometimes maintain a thin facade of normalcy, but usually not with people close to them. They can experience intense episodes of anger, depression, and anxiety that can last from hours to days. People with BPD may have mood swings and display uncertainty about how they see themselves and their role in the world. As a result, their interests and values can change quickly. They tend to view things in extremes—how you treat them is all good or all bad. A person who is seen as an ally one day may be viewed as an enemy or traitor the next. These shifting feelings lead to unstable relationships. BPD sufferers tend to have victim mentalities, and get belligerent quickly. I know a psychologist who, for her own sake, will only treat one BPD patent at a time because she says they are “emotional vampires.”

    There aren’t really any effective medications for it, and the treatment that seems most effective is cognitive therapy—basically, you try to teach the person with BPD how to fake being normal. Often, they’re not really interested.

    It’s not their fault—it’s a real mental illness—but it’s especially pernicious because it’s tempting to write off the people who have it as assholes. They tend to come off that way. They don’t garner much sympathy—mostly the opposite.

    So yeah, BPD would be my educated guess. And it’s an educated guess because I grew up with it in my nuclear family.

    • Greg greenberg Greg greenberg says:

      Steve, I had the same thought, her actions and responses scream personality disorder, likely borderline.

      I disagree with her not being responsible for her actions. Do we then say that someone with antisocial personality disorder who steals or punches someone in the face for looking at them is not responsible? Even with a personality disorder, we are all responsible for our actions and their consequences.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        Greg, my intended meaning was that it’s not their fault they have BPD—it’s not something they chose. I didn’t mean to imply that they aren’t responsible for their actions.

        They have volition and a sense of what’s expected of them by other people. They make decisions that are ultimately their responsibility. But they don’t possess the full set of tools that you and I have for making those decisions—it’s harder for them. So I do feel a bit of sympathy for people with BPD……and that sympathy is hard to maintain, because in general they tend to be awful.

        They are responsible for their decisions. They don’t choose to be mentally ill.

    • Common Sense says:

      Spot on Steve! BPD is a real roller coaster ride for those involved with the folks suffering from it!…They can not admit they are wrong….on Anything….certainly gaslighting goes on…..they turn everything around to make it the other persons fault….they can attack the other person and try to demean them…after all….they are the “Enemy”…..its a black or white game for them…..they are right….or you are the enemy!

      The odds of the perp being showered with gifts and attention are all part of the Pathology….none of that happened…other than in th perps mind!…It’s the shaming of the victim……Even being shown the evidence “the video tape:” there will be numerous defenses of ” its something I can’t control…..its not my fault……Or as Fox News said a while back…..Is it really that big of a deal if He Did Collude?”…..

      From the Macrocosm to the MicroCosm…….

      The Scary thing is….many of the folks walking around with this disorder are Above Average in IQ’s!….that’s how they select and execute their plan….out thinking their opponents.

      In a relationship situation, they start chipping away at their other….making them think they are crazy……demeaning them….gaslighting them…..wearing them down……Its a game to them….they have to win….at all costs…..and it keeps going on….victim…to next victim….it’s how they “Survive”……..in this case….as she said….it’s not about the Money!!!

    • I just have to say that your comment here, Steve, is an example of why I love the conversations here at A News Cafe.com. The dialogue is informative, engaging and predominantly civilized.

      There are so many smart readers who share so many deep, insightful comments that sometimes my brain feels like it’s running to catch up.

      But to your point. Thanks for sharing so much information about BPD, Steve. I’m sorry for the person in your family who suffers from this affliction, and your family, but I’m especially sorry for her kids.

  12. Deb says:

    On behalf of all the Debs who do NOT steal, I just want to say that I wish I could go have some gyros and *add* to the tip jar, not take from it. Alicia sounds lovely and hard-working, and it’s lousy that anyone would think it was okay to steal any amount from her. I don’t think it has ever even occurred to me to steal tips, whether out of a tip jar or from a table. Anyone who thinks that’s okay needs a big reality check.

    Message to Deb: Stop giving the rest of us Debs a bad name!

    Message to Alicia: I hope that you have a good Christmas, and don’t let one bad apple ruin it for you.

    • Deb, I confess that as I was writing this I winced a little whenever I wrote the name “Deb” – because I thought of you.

      YOU give Debs a good name!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      “Wait….what? There are good witches, too?”

      (The first time I encountered “Glinda, the Good Witch of the North” while watching “The Wizard of Oz” when I was about 5 years old.)

  13. Beverly Stafford says:

    Wow, Steve. Leave it to you to have an eloquent and thought-provoking comment. Thanks for a possible diagnosis. Very difficult to be sympathetic, though.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      It’s extremely difficult to be sympathetic. The person in my family with BPD puts far more value on her relationship with possessions than people—including her own two kids, who haven’t had contact with her in well over a decade. When she worked she was good at her job, but she had no problem justifying stealing from employers. And she’s been arrested multiple times for shoplifting. If we try to help her, any conditions are met with extreme belligerence—she want’s money, but you get your head chewed off if you try to attach any strings.

      BPD is an ugly disorder, because the people who have it come off as choosing to be as they are. But they’re generally absolutely miserable (unlike, say, sociopaths who can be quite happy in their “me first” worlds). Sociopaths have a strong sense of self that BPT suffers lack.

  14. Bizarre – sounds like the thief is creating her own version of reality on social media — which is the sad fashion these days. I sincerely doubt her story. But I LOVE Anthony’s — it’s 7 AM and I’m now craving a gyro with extra tzatziki. Wishing Alicia a very Merry Christmas.

  15. Denise O says:

    I had stumbled across this saga on FB. It’s packed with a few lessons for anyone who has that tendency to steal:

    There’s cameras, people. Everywhere.

    Shame will be piled on liberally.

    Redemption is alive and well, however it comes with a beating all the same. Especially after you had to be outed to go for redemption.

    Learn to take that beating after ‘fessing up and just hush. There’s nothing you can say to make this better.

  16. You’d think someone who professes to be a Christian would be aware that God is WATCHING US ALL THE TIME. He puts tip jars in our path just to mess with us. As for Deb’s positive spin on her thievery, it sounds like typical millennial behavior to me. Everyone’s a winner!

    • Anita L Brady says:

      Bologna on the millennial bashing. I think you painting that group with “everyone’s a winner” and pro-thievery is uncalled for. Deb and her mother are a case made by their own actions. Shame on you for maligning many of our children (and my former students of the northstate) by assuming and suggesting they would EVER do such a thing.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      You damned millennials! Git off my lawn! (I’m taking that as tongue-in-cheek.)

      I like millennials—my kids’ generation. Us boomers ran up the nation’s credit cards and left them with the tab, but most of them soldier on, trying to make the best of things. They’re generally nicer to each other than we were in my generation. I don’t think they believe everyone’s a winner. More like everyone’s a loser—thanks boomers!—so might as well enjoy a sense of camaraderie in that. Let’s have a picnic at the beach this weekend!

      • K. Beck says:

        As you well know I am against generation bashing. It is the Millennial’s world now, they are free to make of it what they will. Blaming a whole generation for the bad behavior of a few is simply silly.

        We are all in this world together, we should be trying to make it better for everyone instead of blaming a whole generation of people for everything that goes wrong.

      • Amy says:

        It was really the Boomers who began the “if you just try hard enough and work at it, you can have/be ANYTHING you want to be, honey!” mantra with their kids. Millenials (my daughter) seem to me to be more like what Steve describes. With a dose of “I don’t want your stinkin’ tchotchkes and your collections of Beatles records.”

    • …He sees you when you’re stealing … 🙂

    • I only single out millennials because they’ve been shaped more by social media echo chambers than us older folks. Rather than a personality disorder, perhaps Deb simply believes her own positive spin of events, and apparently the people in her circle are validating this belief. It makes her feel good, and the madder people get, the better she feels.

  17. Rocky Slaughter says:

    Were there ever any larceny charges filed?

    I understand how mental illness can alter one’s sense of what’s wrong and right, but I also don’t see how excusing criminal conduct would be sympathetic to the perpetrator. If Deb needs psychiatric help, it seems a doctor would have a stronger inclination to diagnose and treat her if she has a ongoing record of misfeasance.

    • Justin says:

      Larceny charges? Seriously? the cops don’t have time for this…

      • roman hruska says:

        Yeah, somehow i doubt someone who survives on tips has the bribe money to get the police to show up for anything less than a murder.

    • Common Sense says:

      Rocky I agree…justice must be served. You have to remember in Deb’s case….she probably doesn’t think she needs any help. It wouldn’t surprise me to see her start lashing out at the victim if this continues….all to get the attention off of her “Wrong”…..

      • Mia Em says:

        She did.. from her husband and daughter’s accounts in the New Redding Crime group. The audacity is amazing.

        • Beverly Stafford says:

          Could you elaborate on that?

          • Jennifer says:

            There were two posts in defense of Deb in the New Redding Crime Group last night. One under her husband’s account (the exact post is on here in the comments under his name). Then another one from her 14 year old daughter’s account. Most people are thinking it was Deb posting under both accounts, which is disturbing. What is even more disturbing is that she is bringing her children into her BS drama.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I don’t think the criminal justice system has much of a role when the pattern of behavior is a daily grind of antisocial/low-level criminal behavior. It’s on the family to try to steer the person into cognitive therapy, or at least hold them accountable for unacceptable behavior.

      I get the impression that Deb instead has enablers in her life who defend her and make excuses. Based on what people are saying is on her FB page, there doesn’t seem to be anyone telling her where the side-rails are located.

  18. None says:

    Don’t be a Deb

  19. Raymond Karr says:

    If only you could sell those tee shirts, you could donate some of the proceed to Alicia she deserves it.

  20. Amanda says:

    I don’t know this Deb personally but I did get a friend request from her a while back. I accepted and quickly realized all she ever did was ask for everything for free due to her having a sick infant.

    Normally I would offer whatever I have that could help her situation but this was different. I was surprised (fascinated really) to see she had zero qualms about asking for things like haircuts and color jobs for her kids, meals and using pictures of her sweet sick baby to ask for hardwood floors.

    Her posts just had a scent to them.

    I do believe her child was ill and I’m sure it was very hard for her family. For that reason, I do feel bad for her.

    I did unfriend her shortly after accepting. Too many requests and pictures that tugged at your heartstrings. I reminded myself that my sister is a single mom with two jobs and could use the help herself. This Deb seemed to have an extensive support system, church family and husband to help her. Plus, she WAS getting stuff for free in every post! I was not surprised by her actions and subsequent reactions on her social media.

  21. Jennifer says:

    I had pretty much the same experience as Amanda…I friended her after I came across her in a Moms group on Facebook- she was asking about services for her sick baby. I have a son with very similar medical issues as hers so I sent her a request.
    Pretty much all the posts I saw from that point on were asking for free handouts; asking for clothes, haircuts, Starbucks (??) and one post of a picture of one of those little red pull wagons for kids and asked if anyone could “gift” her one of those so she could take her baby out for a walk. All this plus a couple of Go Fund me accounts which have since been taken down or deactivated.
    She preys on other people’s sympathy and has no remorse for her actions, as evidenced by her “You’re Welcome” post on Facebook.
    If you come across this woman, please, please, please don’t enable her anymore!!

  22. Nicole says:

    She claimed (among her group of excuses ) that she is a kleptomaniac because she is on Zoloft. C’mon! Ridiculous!

  23. Nicole says:

    I hope everyone goes in to visit Alicia, and be a hero while buying a gyro. Leave a $10 tip. I would love to see 25 or more people do this 🙂

  24. Eva says:

    I’ve heard other accounts similar to Amanda and Jennifer’s. I find it fitting that the tool (Facebook) Deb used for sympathy and personal gain has outed her true character.

  25. Scott says:

    Woot woot thanks for the shout out.
    – creative t-shirt guy

  26. Deb Curry says:

    I want to make it clear I spoke with Alicia on the phone the night of the incident. I apologized and explained that I did not intentionally wrong her, and I wanted to make it right. She refused to let me come to the restaurant since they were already closed. Alicia told me she was not working the next day and I asked her how I could come and make it right she hung up on me . I Facebooked her an apology that’s the only way I was able to find to do so and made a payment to her of $10. Double what she accused me of stealing. I did reply to the post several times making several excuses I wasn’t in the right of frame of mind obviously. I’d been suffering from extreme exhaustion, and stress. I’ve been caring for my Medically fragile son on my own at night since there is shortage of nurses and currently no nursing care available to us. My baby it’s on a ventilator and he needs 24 hour monitoring. I want to make it clear I’m not using my son as an excuse for my actions.
    I was concerned that my mental illnesse which I was previously diagnosed with when I was 12 was coming out due to my exhaustion. Again I apologize and tried to make it right when’s enough enough? She even states she would not take my apology or my money. This continued harassment needs to stop. When someone’s going through a rough time it’s not OK to keep picking at them. Thankfully with gods grace,and the continued support of my family and friends I am strong enough not to let this bother me emotionally. I hate to think what this could do to someone without the support I have. Is 5$ really worth someone’s life? Thank you again to all those who continue to support me and my family.

    • Rose says:

      Deb….I would not want you coming back to the restaurant either. Regardless of your intentions or not. I am glad you apologized but what you did was more than take money. You made someone feel vulnerable. The $5:00 is not the point. You took away something more…. someone’s feeling of security. I understand you have apologized…but do just that Apologize without one excuse attached. Apologize for what you did…period.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Some unsolicited advice.

      For Deb: Go back to Antony’s while Alicia is working. Put a sum of money that feels right in the tip jar. If Alicia says she doesn’t want it, don’t argue, and don’t take it back. Instead tell her you’re sorry, briefly and sincerely, without going into your own troubles (making amends is not about making excuses). If Alicia wants to argue or lecture, just repeat your apology, even more briefly. Leave. Seek help for what you acknowledge may be a mental health issue.

      For Alicia: Be gracious. Don’t argue or scold. Don’t worry about the amount of money. Accept Deb’s apology whether or not you think it’s sincere.

    • Sheryl says:

      A very telling choice of words Deb….”accused me” of stealing. If you were truly owning up to this… you would say “the money I stole”.

    • Sheryl says:

      You use the phrase “she accused me of stealing”. Are you saying it’s just an accusation? Didn’t you steal? The amount doesn’t matter. There are many people with stressful things going on in their lives, and they don’t steal. No one is trying to “ruin your life” except you.

    • Alicia says:

      I didn’t tell you that I didn’t work the next day because I – for sure – was at work. I’m there pretty much everyday. It’s not about the money anymore. It’s the simple fact that you didn’t find it necessary to come in to my face and apologize in person. You called me and said sorry after you had already hung up on me when I tried to confront you, before the post. And once you’d seen the post on Facebook you decided to call me back. Yes, I said I had to go, because I had a customer and I was closing the place down so I could get home to my daughter. I don’t need an apology that is given just because you want a post removed. I wanted a sorry that you actually meant, one that showed that realize you are in the wrong. But instead you thank me for what I did because you’re benefiting from it. It’s a shame!

    • Christine says:

      Deb Curry it may be “just $5.00” to you but to a single hard working mother it could mean the difference between your child eating or not. It means you have less to pay bills with or buy Christmas gifts. Not only did you steal from this innocent woman you stole from a child. If this happened to you you would be equally mad. I would suggest you apologize with just “I am sorry. ” and nothing else. No excuses because there are non that justify stealing. Then go get your self in to counseling. You are not the only one with a sob story but you are the only one I know who stole. Oh and if you don’t like the price of something how about you don’t go there and buy their stuff. Not that hard to do. I get this feeling from you that you feel you are entitled to free things but you are not. You have a sick kid. Well guess what a lot of people have sick kids but they don’t steal. You are down to one income. So are a lot of people but they don’t steal. They just cut out things like eating out to make ends meat. You know who does steal? Druggies, some homeless people, and criminals.

  27. Alicia says:

    There was never a time I said I won’t accept the apology; just that I will not accept it over social media.

  28. Rea says:

    The fact is your response on facebook Deb has continued this. For you to flip this and tell Anthonys you’re welcome for the publicity and increase in there revenue and the fact that now your reviving free stuff only made you look more of a fool. Your response, if you were really sorry, would have ended with a sincere apology, not a reversal. I feel so sorry for your family’s embarrassment of you’re continued rude comments. I hope you find closure for you’re family’s sake and take accountability.

  29. Beverly Stafford says:

    I wonder how much of Deb Curry’s post can be believed. Did she really go back to Anthony’s and apologize to Alicia? Did she really offer to pay back the money she stole? Did Alicia really hang up on her? I question all of her explanations since some of her comments (example: she accused me of stealing) appear to be justification. Only Alicia can answer these questions.

  30. Elaine Bell says:

    I do not see the thief as a victim at all. Unless she is completely mentally incompetent she is not the victim here. Any suffering she experiences from this incident is a result of the decision she made to take what did not belong to her.
    Let’s point out some realities.
    1) She knows what she did was wrong
    2) She employed deception to get what did not belong to her
    3) Her ‘you’re welcome’ post betrays that she blames the real victim for her current difficulties
    4) She employed falsehood in her own defense (referring to the victim getting offers of help and gifts).
    5) She does have self control. She employed it when she REFRAINED from stealing because she was being personally observed.
    Perhaps she really is mentally ill.
    Or maybe she just doesn’t want to grow up and take responsibility for her actions. Frankly, her mother is not helping her. Absolutely everyone in life has difficulties and some of them are beyond my capability of understanding.
    I do not condemn her. But observing from a distance and based only on what I have read here, this is not a victim. It is a thief. She might need counseling, but what she really needs to do is repent. Old-fashioned word, but perfectly apt.

  31. conservative says:

    Theft is a huge problem in Redding. Before I left my dog and I walked around the Crown Motors lot. Every car came with Lojack, the anti-theft device. The cost of installing that is paid by every car buyer. Someone I know bought a car and told me that the buyer has to pay another $1,000 to activate it. Lojack vehicle recovery operates while the car is on the lot and is cancelled when the car is sold. They were stealing cars right on the dealer’s lot.

  32. Sam Allen says:

    Years ago when I had a small retail store a wonderful woman , pastors wife, three small children, shopped and spent quite a bit of money. She always took her purchases to her car and then had a little “extra time” to just look a little more. I couldn’t figure out where some rather expensive merchandise would dissapear. When I finally saw in her purse a flash of our merchandise, I took her to the back and sat her down and told her I knew what she had been doing. Through the tears she told of her problem and I was returned a huge box of merchandise. I had her promise If she sought help I would not tell her husband. I never knew what became of the woman. She never came back. Deb in this story has suffered enough for her misdeeds! Whatever her issues are are not for us to judge. In the court of public opinion, she has suffered enough even if it appears not. There is not one person that has not done something they are not proud of. Maybe they just never got caught and put on social media to be condemned. If we all bought one Gyro from Alicia and left $1.00 tip I think we all could get back to the things that are truly important.

    • Rhonda says:

      Once is understandable but did you not read about her doing this all the time ? She had so many go fund me pages and begs on social media for free stuff! She’s been banned from one store already. So no she needs to be stopped .

  33. Rhonda says:

    Gods children don’t rely on asking everyone for a handout, they trust in God to meet their needs. And if she is a Klepto like she says then maybe she should try falling in love with God so he can take her worldly desires away and replace it with heavenly desires. Again making herself look decent with lame excuses. NO!! Admit your wrong and go to her like a Christian and ask forgiveness for you offending her. This is biblical advice , you quote biblical scriptures well use Gods advice and follow his commands. I pray that God shows you the errors of your way. And stop expecting the world to carry you!! Where’s your faith in God? It’s obvious you have no peace and no remorse … may God deal with you accordingly .

    • Kelly says:

      My concern is with her mental illness…. Are these children safe in this home? It’s my understanding from her mom’s statement that she is of her meds.

  34. Joanne Lobeski Snyder says:

    This was a great piece. I really enjoyed your reader’s responses. Thank you for a great article Doni.

  35. cheyenne says:

    Does Deb have a mental illness? She could be gaming the system by claiming she has mental illness. When I worked at the Redding schools there were a few times where parents had their children act rowdy because they would then be placed in special classes and the parent would get all kinds of free aid. Gaming the system for free stuff, which has many more choices in the digital era, is like holding up a cardboard sign asking for help. My wife said she is really sick of the people who get on Facebook and ask for free stuff because they are hurting. I wouldn’t call lazy a mental condition. As far as off/on meds, check out CS’s drug links for the real story on meds.

    • Jennifer says:

      Cheyenne, Deb has claimed mental illness (among other things) to excuse her behavior. How much truth there is to that I have no idea. Good point about gaming the system…I am sure She knows how to…she has played many people in the past and now it’s caught up to her.

  36. name says:

    She (the thief) knows exactly what she is doing. She got caught, and now that a ton of people know about it she is trying to play the victim/sympathy card. Stress, sick kids, lack of money, etc. – perfect setup for scamming money and goods from others using Facebook. If she has money issues, why is she eating at that restaurant (where the food is very good, BTW)? I hope that this gets out to more people and businesses around town, and that they all shut her down on her manipulative behavior! Lets see how the thief likes being ostracized.

  37. Common Sense says:

    Approximately 23 Million Americans have NPD or BPD….so that’s approx 1 in 14 or so? Here is a link that helps explain what its like to deal with a person like that. It might also help explain not only a presidency….but many that voted for him?

    http://www.urbo.com/content/tactics-used-by-narcissists-to-silence-you

  38. Thomas Curry says:

    When I first saw this video of Deb, allegedly stealing from a tip jar at Anthony’s restaurant, I was appalled and disgusted like many of you. I asked Deb why she would steal from someone’s tip jar. That is absolutely ridiculous. How could you do that? She said I didn’t take anything, I said well it sure looks like you did. Deb doesn’t realize a lot of times what she does or doesn’t do. She is not a kleptomaniac but she is stressed out a lot and suffers from extreme exhaustion from countless sleepless nights taking care of my son. Deb worries about how people perceive her and she always wants to correct the situation as soon as possible. That is why she makes excuse after excuse after excuse to try and take the attention off of her, in hopes that the situation would just go away. She received some advice from someone, and that someone told her to admit that she did it and to offer the money back, which she did, and sent the money through Facebook. Alicia has yet to except the money and has hung up on her repeatedly. Obviously Alicia did not really want the money. At this point I still thought she had taken money from a tip jar. And then I saw this article from Donnie Chamberlain. Donnie had posted a picture of the tip jar at Anthony’s, and I remembered going in there months ago reading the tip jar, and what it said. Pita spelled backwards is a tip. I thought that was cute and funny. And as I was looking at this tip jar, I got to thinking about the video that I saw. In the video I see Deb’s hand and forearm on the counter and I see her arm move forward, grab something with her fingertips and slide it off the counter and into her purse. And looking at this tip jar, it looks like it’s at least six or seven inches off of the countertop. That means Deb would’ve had to lift her arm off of the counter, reach into this flower pot, pull out money and then put it into her purse. That is obviously not what I see in the video. So what does this all mean. To me, it means she did not stick your hand into the cookie jar and she did not take the tips, but I think it also means that someone is lying to me and to all of you. But why would Alicia lie about Debra taking her tips? Maybe it’s because Alicia and her friends do not like my wife and had found the perfect video to humiliate her. Alicia knew who my wife was when she walked into the store. Deb had called in the order prior gave her name and number. Alicia didn’t take the money from Deb because she had one reason for not taking the money, and that was to humiliate her publicly. That is why this was not taken to the police and no charges were filed. Now, I am appalled and disgusted, not with my wife, but with Alicia, Anthony’s restaurant, members of this site and Doni Chamberlain for their actions. You should all be very ashamed of what you have done. This is not an explanation or excuse this is only based on a fact that someone cannot remove money from a flowerpot without reaching inside of that flowerpot.

    • Tim says:

      Wow, there is a whole family of enablers!

      2 seconds in, she has empty hands. She then moves them over the counter.
      4 seconds in we can see the back of her hand is at about the same height as her stack of to-go containers.
      5 seconds in, her hand goes downward relative to the containers.
      5-6 seconds in her hand is flexing as if blindly rooting around while she looks elsewhere trying to be inconspicuous.
      7 seconds in, her hand comes up, back to the level of the stack of to-go containers.
      8 seconds in, her hands are back in full view and she is putting cash into her purse.

      Where did that cash come from? She paid by credit card!

      PS: Call me paranoid, but I wouldn’t accept an electronic transfer of funds from a thief either…

      • Beverly Stafford says:

        Nice sleuthing, Tim. My question is, if this woman is under so much stress that she must resort to her inner kleptomania, what is her husband doing – besides defending her actions – to help her? Likewise her mother. Husband and mother appear to be saying that she needs to be less stressed; so why don’t they hire someone to take care of the child for a few hours a day and let Deb decompress. If money is a problem, perhaps husband and mother could barter services with a babysitter.

        Steve, Common Sense, and Dr. Greenberg all suspect BPD. It sounds like a horrible disease/syndrome/disorder, but Deb appears to have enablers covering for her. Of the current 114 comments, the only ones supporting Deb are from herself, her mother, and her husband – at length, I might add. Perhaps they should move away from the keyboard and find some mental health assistance for all three of them.

    • Common Sense says:

      Trump’s Ghost writer right here!

    • Amanda says:

      Wow. She will never get the help she needs and now I’m really worried for the future of their kids.
      Excuses..denial..blame.
      This is sad. Doesn’t anyone love Deb enough to hold her accountable and get her the help she needs?

  39. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    From Deb’s husband: ” She is not a kleptomaniac but she is stressed out a lot . . . ”

    From Deb’s mother: ” . . . my daughter has been dealing with Anxiety and Depression since she was 12 and yes kleptomania.”

    Hm.

  40. K. Beck says:

    I had a friend, someone I had known for decades, who was bi-polar. I had NO idea!!! Then, I guess she went off her meds. YIKES! What a mess. I went to visit her in the psych ward, police had to go to her house and take her away. First visit she was drugged out and barely coherent. Second visit they had her stabilized and she could go outside the locked door. We went to the hospital cafeteria. She told me as soon as she got out of the hospital she was going off the drugs. They “flattened her out” too much. She liked the high of the manic piece of the puzzle. Maybe I am a bad friend, but I told her in no uncertain language that she had scared the s**t out of all of us (she had been going down her address book list, calling everyone she knew; my phone call arrived around 9 AM; I got lucky others were called at 2 AM) and she did NOT have the right to do that; she needed to stay on her meds; otherwise she should take my name and phone number out of her address book. I have a job and cannot have people calling me at all hours of the morning. Well, that was a waste of time. She did exactly what she said she was going to do. I was out of the picture, but mutual friends told me all the horror stories. She lost her job, wrecked her car, got behind in her mortgage payments and lost her condo. Eventually her brother in NY took her in. She would send me letters asking for money. One time she was going to buy some family property on the east coast and open a resort. Then she was going to run for governor of NY. I don’t know what finally became of her. I moved to Redding and got out of the loop. It was a very sad story, but I simply had to get out of there. I could see the futility of sticking around. She was a wonderful person when she was on her meds. Maybe they need to invent a time released implant of some sort? I know you all are dumping on that family and perhaps they are all enablers, but if you are in the middle of something like this it is really quite impossible.

  41. Vi Lan says:

    Go to Anthony’s! Dine on their tasty food! I love, love their Greek Salad! Hand Alicia a big tip! Let the Debs of this world and their crazy actions be forgotten. No need to focus any more attention on Deb’s sad, twisted, attention-grasping thieving event!

  42. Vi Lam says:

    Order up @ Anthony’s & enjoy their yummy food with deep delight! And tip Alicia big time in the Holiday Spirit!

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