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All the baskets have been stolen!

After getting my heart broken, I needed some chocolate. On my way home from work I stopped off at the Albertson's at Maryland Parkway and Silverado Ranch for a short solo shopping trip.

But there were no baskets in sight. I stopped a passing clerk, who informed me that they had all been stolen.

"It's the five-finger discount," said the clerk, who asked that her name be withheld. "It's bad. People just don't have money. It's getting bolder and bolder. They steal right in front of your face if they can."

Petty thievery has always existed, but the clerk said it has gotten much worse in the past year as the economy has continued to disintegrate. Folks come in, grab a basket, do their shopping and then just walk right out holding tonight’s dinner or a few bottles of booze, bypassing the registers completely.

"They don't even try to hide it,” the clerk added. “They just take and we can't do anything about it."

Of course, we’re nowhere near red alert anarchy, but when a broken-hearted girl can’t find a basket to buy some chocolate at a neighborhood grocery store it’s a clear sign of the very dire times.

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Jennifer Grafiada

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