Archive for the ‘Shoplifting’ Category

15 years for shoplifting while hungry

October 5, 2009

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — A Bartow homeless man with a long criminal record received a 15-year sentence for stealing a box of cereal and a can of evaporated milk.

Mark Anthony Griffin was sentenced as a “prison release re-offender,” which stiffens penalties for defendants convicted within three years of prison release.

Griffin has more than 50 prior convictions — most on minor charges like trespassing, disorderly intoxication and petit theft.

He rejected a plea deal that would’ve given him 3 years in prison and 2 years of probation.

At the Sept. 25 sentencing, Griffin’s brother said his record came from a long history of alcohol abuse.

While out of jail awaiting trial in the cereal case, Griffin picked up four additional charges of trespassing and disorderly conduct.

Um, Ok, maybe this judge just got tired of seeing this homeless guy over, and over, and over again. So, he sentences him to 15 years in State prison for a multitude of victimless crimes that have been committed over many years.  Maybe this judge figures that he won’t see the guy again in his courtroom  until after the judge retires. But, judge, the State prisons are at capacity. They can’t take any more non-violent offenders. So, maybe all of us in Florida should try something different.


Swamped under

September 10, 2009

Dr. Susan MacManus was commissioned to do a poll in our county. The poll asked various questions about what residents and voters felt about various topics. Obviously, the number one overriding issue was the economy and jobs. But was interesting to me is that crime was 3rd from the bottom at 3% and nearly 50% of respondents said that they absolutely did not favor a temporary tax increase for a new jail even though the current facility is at capacity.

During a recession as severe as this one, you might expect that violent crime would go through the roof. More people without money means more robbing, stealing, and gun play because people are frustrated over their situations. However, this isn’t happening. Overall crime in Charlotte County was down 27.4 percent. Its unemployment rate is 12.1 percent.

What is happening, however, is that our jail is filled with non-violent, victimless crime “offenders” who either can not extricate themselves from the “system” or have just said the heck with it at least I can get medical care and food here at the jail. We have turned our local jail into a debtor’s prison. Something the House of Burgesses did away with in 1619.

The system is not going to get any more money to build more jail space, so they have to deal with it.  This is what should be done.

What the State Attorney should do immediately is inform law enforcement that he will not prosecute <20 grams of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia arrests. These are both minor misdemeanors and this would certainly lighten the load on the court and the jail.

Shoplifting prosecutions under $100 should be suspended and a seminar should be done with store managers to educate them how to deal with this issue internally.

Also something has to be done with the innumerable arrests for no or suspended DL’s. I haven’t got an answer for this yet, but the fine, suspend, arrest, fine, arrest for contempt, fine and no collections on these “crimes” is idiotic.

I could do…..

September 9, 2009

a blog on just shoplifting.

More shoplifting crap. A&F wouldn’t let two girls into a fitting room because they were afraid of shoppers stealing from them. My question is, if you are in the selling business, why are you afraid that people are going to steal from you? Is everyone is a potential thief? Why not just try to sell as much as you possibly can and don’t worry so much about the thief here and there? This cost A & F 115K. How much stuff could teenagers shoplift before you could get to 115k? You people are a bunch of bozos.  Here is the story::

Abercrombie & Fitch was fined $115,264 for refusing to let an Apple Valley teen help her autistic sister try on clothes.

Molly Maxson, then 14, was with her older sister on a back-to-school shopping trip in August 2005 when a store employee told them they couldn’t both enter the fitting room because of store policy aimed at preventing shoplifting. The store refused to relent even after the sister, and later the girls’ mother, explained that Molly couldn’t be alone because of her disability.

The confrontation humiliated the girl, who testified that the incident made her feel like a “misfit.”

“She was singled out and required to hear her sister and mother repeatedly ask for accommodations based on her disability, in front of a long line of customers, at a store that markets itself to young people as a purveyor of a particularly desirable ‘look,'” administrative law judge Kathleen D. Sheehy declared in her ruling.

When several complaints to the company were ignored, the girl’s mother, Beth Maxson of Apple Valley, took the case to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

Death penalty for shoplifting

September 8, 2009

BEIJING – Two employees of a Wal-Mart store in eastern China were arrested after a woman was beaten outside the store on suspicion of being a shoplifter and died, a state-owned newspaper reported Tuesday.

The China Daily said Yu Xiaochun died 500 yards (meters) from the store in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province.

Local police said in a notice posted on their Web site that the 37-year old Yu was going home Aug. 30 when she was surrounded by five Wal-Mart employees — four men and one woman, all in their 20s — who accused her of shoplifting.

This was in China, so we can’t get too worked up about this, but this craziness over apprehending shoplifters has got to stop. Every single person who is detained over a “suspicion” of shoplifting here in the US should sue the store for violation of civil rights in federal court. If a store employee stops you because the sensormatic beeps, ask to to speak to the manager and inform him that you will be hiring a lawyer to seek damages against the store for a violation of your civil rights because they are violating your protection against unreasonable seizure and search guaranteed by the 4th amendment. If you are leaving a store like Wal-Mart and they ask to see your receipt to verify an item that you purchased, they are seizing you and searching you without probable cause.

If store managers are held accountable, these extreme cases, like the one in the above paragraph, are unlikely to happen.

More shoplifting

August 16, 2009

bildeNow, here is a police officer who is employed by the store to deter shoplifting. Who’s doing the shoplifting? Right. The employee. The police officer.

We had a case in our store, a major electronics retailer, where a professional team came into the store and were stealing laptop computers from the display. The only problem with this is that the laptop computers are all bolted and locked to display. It turns out that the guy who was the head of our loss prevention was unlocking the computers on the display, (seen on the surveillance video) and the thieves would come by later and take the computers and go out the door past the “guard”. This was probably one of the dumbest criminal events of all time as the head of LP had control over the cameras. If he had just turned the tape off for a few minutes, nobody would have known. Management wasn’t sure how much these people got away with but it was in the 5 to 6 figures.

In this case of the police officer stealing, there wasn’t  even an apprehension. Is a store security guard going to try to arrest a uniformed police officer? But the big question is, how much more did the guy get away with? Probably, hundreds of dollars worth of stuff. This is the way it is with employees who steal.

Apparently, after 29 years of being a police officer this guy was making 113k a year? And now he loses his job and is branded a thief for the rest of his life over a CD and a bottle of canola oil. Read Emerson’s essay on Compensation.

Publix sued for more than 25K over $4.90.

August 13, 2009

MIAMI – A man filed a lawsuit against a Publix supermarket after he says he was strip-searched because a guard thought he was shoplifting, WSVN-Ch. 7 reports.

On Jan. 26, Nathaniel Cruz went to the Publix on 57th Avenue and Northwest Seventh Street for tuna and some crackers. A store security guard thought he was shoplifting some eye drops, so he took him to a back room, Cruz told WSVN.

“The gentleman said take everything in your pocket out, and I put the bag on the floor first, and then I started taking my cell phone, my wallet, my keys,” Cruz said.

Cruz said he was forced to take off his clothes. He says the search turned up nothing.

Cruz said he received an apology and the eye drops were eventually found in an aisle.

Cruz has hired an attorney and on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Publix.

Publix officials said they cannot comment because they have not seen the lawsuit.

Apprehension of shoplifters is a pet peeve of mine, if you have read some of my other posts ( you will understand why. Publix needs to pay this man a lot of money. Florida law gives security guards in the stores the right to detain a suspect of shoplifting until law enforcement arrives. The key here is they have to wait for the Leo.  In store guards can also apprehend suspects of shoplifting by chasing them, tackling them and putting handcuffs on the suspect.

However, the “theft” better be on the video surveillance because without the evidence of this deliberate movement, the in store security doesn’t have probable cause to detain the shopper. And just because the checkpoint sensormatic beeps, this is not probable cause because the damn things mal-function so often.

Under no circumstances do they have the right to strip search a suspect. Even Leos cannot strip search a suspect of a misdemeanor, traffic violation or municipal ordinance. Publix is going to end up paying thousands of dollars over a $4.90 bottle of eye drops. Is this stupid or what? Dear Mr. Publix, ever heard of the 4th Amendment?