Direct link between crime and retailers closing stores.

Discussion in 'Political Discussions' started by Lerner, May 19, 2023.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Took me about three - but I've never even seen or read ONE episode. Wiki and Google.... didn't even know who Peter and MJ referred to, before today. I ended up here:
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2023
  2. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    Now that we have determined the direct link, have we determined the why?
    Do people know that stealing is wrong?
    Do people sell the stuff online?
    Are those that steal addicted to drugs and sell stolen goods to feed their addiction?
    Can those that steal not afford the merchandise and steal it instead of purchasing the merchandise?

    Remember when?
    March 15, 2000 5:00am
    “Film critic Rex Reed, charged with shoplifting three CDs from the Lincoln Center Tower Records store, refused a plea deal yesterday, insisting he is guilty of “stupidity” — not thievery.

    Reed gave bad reviews to Manhattan prosecutors, who offered a no-jail deal if he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for getting nabbed leaving the store last month with unpaid-for CDs by Peggy Lee, Carmen McCrea and Mel Tormé.

    Prosecutors say two CDs were in his jacket pocket, and one was in the “rear waistband” of his pants.

    The 61-year-old Reed — who has said he suffered a “senior moment” in forgetting to pay for the CDs — refused to plead guilty, saying, “I’m not guilty of anything but stupidity.”

    “If I have to go to shoplifting class, fine,” he quipped. “I’ll review their movie.”

    Reed also said he has received a sympathetic letter from Lee, who regretted that his love of her music unwittingly landed him in the hoosegow.

    “It made me cry,” Reed said.
    A spokeswoman from Tower, Louise Solomon, said the company is cooperating with the prosecution. Reed faces up to a year in jail.”
  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A lot of shoplifting is related to psychological / emotional difficulties. Years ago, this was covered in my college psych. classes. This article on shoplifting covers those and quite a few other causes. A quote:

    "Psychological disorders lead some people to shoplift. They include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and kleptomania. These disorders can influence anyone to steal, regardless of what they look like, their demographic, or their salary bracket."

    Whole thing here:
    SweetSecret and MaceWindu like this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Over the years, a few people I have known have been charged at one time or another with shoplifting and have been found guilty. ALL were working, all had an income that was at least liveable - or better - and were "respectable," one might say. Most were married. Both men and women in the mix. Ages 20s to 50s.

    Most I knew personally were white-collar workers, as I was. To me, this lends credence to the psychological / emotional roots of shoplifting. Absolutely NONE of the people I knew who were involved in shoplifting NEEDED to steal anything. Pretty well all were as middle-class, middle-income as it gets. A couple were at the upper end of middle class.

    Professional shoplifting gangs are different. Members view shoplifting as their vocation. It pays. They don't need another job. If they had a professional association, I've no doubt many would join it. Come to think of it, that's what their gang affiliation is, basically...
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2023
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Gobblin' up that Green.
  6. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

    "Do not place a stumbling block before the blind." Leviticus isn't referring to playing pranks on the disabled. Rather, it means that we must not lure the weak and unsuspecting into transgression. I shouldn't leave cash lying around where someone might take it. Similarly the current tendency in retail to reduce employees and have people check themselves out poses great temptations to theft.
    SweetSecret and Suss like this.
  7. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Or temptation to shop elsewhere -- like Amazon. I will NEVER use a self-checkout. Job killers - and I shop at the store - I'm not an unpaid worker.
    SweetSecret likes this.
  8. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I love self-checkout. In, out, done. The only thing I'd like better is if stores had special express lanes for people who are actually good at self-checkout.
  9. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    I like self checkout as well. It is probably faster sometimes to go to a regular checkout. The checkout clerks seem to have the location of the UPC tags on the product memorized and the UPC codes memorized for most of the fresh produce. So if I have a large number of products, I'll go to the regular checkout line.
  10. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    You win.
    SteveFoerster likes this.
  11. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Yet, everyone keeps voting for the same people and policies. Then they complain and act surprised that it's not working.
    Part of the problem is with voters who elect unqualified candidates only because of the political party they're affiliated with.
    These same voters will move out of the state only to vote for these same type of candidates thus ruining another fine American city or state.
    In cities such as San Francisco continue to face store closures as major retailers are leaving the once bustling city.
    The loss of businesses is the city's latest obstacle alongside issues of drugs and homelessness.
    It’s not safe, residents are losing essential services.
    Folks are afraid to go downtown. Human waste on the public thoroughfares and in front of businesses.
    Shoplifting decriminalized. Corporations no longer want to convention there.
    I once worked for a company in the Financial District and what was once the vibrant West Coast financial center on the west coast is now a ghost town.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2023
  12. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I had to read that 2-3 times. I thought you said "Levicoff isn't referring...." :)
  13. MaceWindu

    MaceWindu Active Member

    Thanks! Good gravy! Bet the retailers do not know about that link?
  14. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    A lot of people in retail probably know about the causes of shoplifting - I think it's fairly common knowledge. I don't see why it should matter to retailers, though, except as a matter of interest. Theft is theft - and every thief they catch is charged and prosecuted accordingly - whatever their motive.

    The rest of the link - how to prevent and spot shoplifting - you BET retailers know. And train employees accordingly. From WAY back. 60+ years ago, in my last couple of years of high school I worked part-time for a retailer -- and everybody got lessons. This was a five-floor downtown department store -- that knowledge came in very handy.

    This knowledge of shoplifting causes may be of interest to the courts - and when it applies, I'm sure it will be made known to them by the defendant's counsel. But to retailers - not really necessary. They just need to know how to spot shoplifters - not how to read their minds.
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2023
    MaceWindu and Rich Douglas like this.
  15. Suss

    Suss Member

    The word "crime" is a trigger word, and retail corporations would rather use plausibly deniable euphemisms ("shrinkage" is another one) than use a strong, direct word that could affect their stock price negatively. So a word like performance is used instead of crime--especially if at least some of the crimes are perpetrated or aided by their own employees.

    The confinement of COVID lockdown (and trauma/grief from losses) might have increased shoplifting tendencies among those inclined to do that under stress.
    nosborne48 likes this.
  16. nosborne48

    nosborne48 Well-Known Member

  17. SweetSecret

    SweetSecret Well-Known Member

    This is very much correct. Where I am we see people who are unsheltered or precariously sheltered who view theft as work. They go around the neighborhoods (usually in groups of two or three people) with notebooks asking everyone they know what they need often down to specific details i.e. red cotton t-shirt size medium possibly even the brand. No one discusses prices and the thieves usually return a few days later with the item(s) and collect payment (less than retail price) from the person who "placed" the order. It's surprisingly organized and basically the street-based equivalent of ordering from Amazon.

    Another thing we see is people who make their living by stealing and "returning" items. They will steal something and then either return the item themselves without the receipt for cash or store credit. Or, because many stores now limit the number of returns in a year, they will ask a friend to return the item. The friend may also get a portion of the financial return.

    The theft has gotten so bad here that many of the products are locked up. I can't even walk into a store and buy disposable razors most of time without having to wait 20 minutes for someone to come unlock the case. That's led to me placing orders online from big box stores... admittedly an advantage I have. That's what the stores prefer though so they can have warehouses which drastically decrease the potential for outside theft. The problem is this is also causing stores to close down in neighborhoods experiencing high crime which are often the same neighborhoods experiencing poverty. People in those areas are often unbanked or under-banked and don't have the luxury of a credit card, debit card, or safe delivery address so placing online orders is not an option for them.

    I know there are some people hear who may disagree but I do think universal basic income is needed. It would allow people stable income without needing to fight for scraps. While it would not fully eliminate theft it would likely decrease it. Stable income also allows people to budget easier, save, and move to safer areas. Much of the problems seem to come when there are too many people struggling in one area which leads to situations like gangs and organized crime.
  18. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    I won't disappoint you. A UBI of just $1,000 per month would cost $4 trillion per year, nearly doubling the federal budget. It would triple the deficit. And that's before you add the cost of administering such a huge program. What that would do to the economy would make current problems look like a cakewalk.
  19. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Well, at least Mr. Reed had decent musical tastes, in my book. But yeah, he should have paid.:)
    MaceWindu likes this.
  20. Bill Huffman

    Bill Huffman Well-Known Member

    quote (from Google search):
    "How much is UBI per month?
    The gross cost of providing a UBI of $1,000 per month to every person in the United States would be $4 trillion per year; limiting to adults would cost $3.1 trillion."

    It wouldn't make sense to give it to every person in the USA. Not even just to all adults makes much sense to me. There would have to be some rule about not making more than some fixed amount. Even that would be insufficient, IMHO, because retired folks with large nest eggs shouldn't be eligible either. I'm not really arguing for UBI just arguing against an implementation such as this.

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