In the movie we can see that Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes shop is big and packed with people and things. There are just two of them, they can't see everything. Supposedly they won't have cameras or anti-theft gates like Muggle shops do. Are there some kind of spells placed on the shop so that they would know if someone didn't pay?

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    With the shop being as successful as it was do you honestly think that they did not have other employees to help them out? You may not see them in the movie because they did not matter to the plot.
    – Joe W
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 14:27
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    Possibly some variation on the anti-theft charm; harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Anti-theft_charm. If ownership can be derived magically, identifying thieves (and prosecuting them) should be easy.
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 14:55
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    It may also stagger you to learn that part of being a shopkeeper is keeping an eye on the stock. Most stores don't have anti-theft gates, just vigilant staff and managers
    – Valorum
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 14:56
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    @Discovery - Three average teenagers?
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 8:01
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    Don't know if there is anything but speculation but you might also want to remember who you're thinking about: Fred and George the masters at jokes and pranks (think of what they did at Hogwarts - not just the disaster they left but all the other creations). They might very well have numerous ways to detect theft (and I do want to say they say something about someone who looks like he might steal though I'm unsure of that exactly). Best not to steal from them in any case; definitely not who you want to cross.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 19:07

2 Answers 2


Certain spells are used to stop theft.

Dumbledore warns readers not to read Quidditch Through the Ages without buying it for too long, otherwise they're going to experience a Thief's Curse.

“By buying this book — and I would advise you to buy it, because if you read it too long without handing over money you will find yourself the object of a Thief’s Curse — you too will be contributing to this magical mission.” - Quidditch Through the Ages

Fred and George could have placed the Thief's Curse or a similar spell on their products. In addition, there could be other spells to prevent theft that were just never mentioned in the story. Stopping theft with the aid of magic would likely be fairly easy, since theft would be a common problem for shop owners, and they've likely developed spells or charms to use against it.

In addition, Fred and George did have staff - it wasn't just the two of them.

Fred and George were the owners of Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes, but they weren't the only staff. We see at least one other staff member.

“A young witch with short blonde hair poked her head round the curtain; Harry saw that she too was wearing magenta staff robes.

‘There’s a customer out here looking for a joke cauldron, Mr Weasley and Mr Weasley,’ she said.” - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 6 (Draco's Detour)

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    Is it ever explained what a Thief's Curse actually entails, or do we just have this one reference?
    – David K
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 12:28
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    @DavidK - I doubt that. The name is quite evocative, and your imagination is liable to supply the rest just as well as a whole mess of words from the author would (if not better).
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 13:40
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    @can-ned_food It proves that there are spells that prevent theft. There's no specific mention of if Fred and George did use these spells, but it shows that there are things they could have done.
    – Obsidia
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:37
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    I would add that it would exactly fit the kind of product sold by the brothers..
    – dna
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 14:40
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    For what the thief curse do, i would go with the telltale curse from OotP (the one created by Hermione for cursing whoever betrays the Dumbledore army). It's so close in activation condition (break a tacite contract) that it would make sense that Hermione used the thief curse as a basis for her own curse.
    – dna
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 15:06

From Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, chapter 3, "Draco's Detour", it is clear that Fred and George keep an eye on the goings-on of the customers in the shop, as muggle shopkeepers would do.

" That's three Galleons, nine Sickles, and a Knut,” said Fred, examining the many boxes in Ron’s arms. “Cough up.”

"I’m your brother!”

“And that’s our stuff you’re nicking. Three Galleons, nine Sickles. I’ll knock off the Knut.”

“But I haven’t got three Galleons, nine Sickles!”

"You’d better put it back then, and mind you put it on the right shelves.”

Also, earlier in the chapter:

"Giving him the tour? Come through the back, Harry, that’s where we’re making the real money—pocket anything, you, and you’ll pay in more than Galleons!” he added warningly to a small boy who hastily whipped his hand out of the tub labeled EDIBLE DARK MARKS—THEY’LL MAKE ANYONE SICK!"

So, presumably, this displays the presence of anti-theft curses and/or spells that could curse anyone who stole merchandise.

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    Excellent examples. I'm not sure the 2nd example indicates magic consequences though - to me sounds more like a threat to tan the boy's backside the old-fashioned, non-magical way if they caught him shoplifting.
    – brichins
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 17:35
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    @brichins - or in an old-fashioned magical way, similar to the way Mrs Weasley animated kitchen implements to help her with cooking. Except with more smacking power. (In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Fred and George learned how to do it by paying attention when Mrs Weasley was using it on them!)
    – davidbak
    Commented Oct 16, 2017 at 22:18

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