A lieutenant colonel said because he suffers from kleptomania he should not be court-martialed for shoplifting last year at Fort Benning, Ga.
Lt. Col. Rodney Page, a 28-year Army veteran, admits to stealing $37 worth of challenge coins at the post exchange, but he blames the Army for mistakenly reducing medication he takes to curb his urge to steal.
“That impulse is so strong that it just overrides your common sense,” said Page, 58, recalling the theft. “I am ethical, even though I have this problem. I’ve never taken anything from anyone I know. You can leave money on the table; I’m never going to touch it.”
Army medical records supplied by Page’s attorney confirm that the incident led to the diagnosis that Page was a kleptomaniac. Kleptomania is a rare and embarrassing impulse control disorder characterized by the theft of items regardless of value, with little or no premeditation. There is a sense of guilt or shame associated with the thefts.
I have posted before about honest people who shoplift and why they might do that. I’m not sure the prior blog would explain this particular case, but here is a link back to it anyway — shoplifting. For me this has come up recently with a couple of “inquiries.” Here is an article about PTSD and shoplifting, Did Iraq veteran’s PTSD spark his shoplifting charge? In the post I referenced a resource I have used in the past in shoplifting cases.
Will Cupchik, Why Honest People Shoplift or Commit Crimes of Theft (Revised), Tagami Comms., 2002. Here is a link to The Cupchik Center for the Assessment and Treatment of Atypical Theft Offenders.