The changing world of retail shopping in California - Shoplifting is just one of several criminal enterprises that need scrutiny



By D.A. Gougherty | 

For time immemorial, there has been shoplifting. Who doesn't know a kid, maybe yourself, who hasn't tried to swipe a piece of candy?

Of course, most kids who get caught, or those who don't, learn that stealing is wrong. Naturally, some continue to steal, many of whom graduate to grand-scale schemes - think of Bernie Madoff, Wall Street-types who ripoff consumers to worldwide online fraudsters.

There is no aspect of modern life where people are not subject to robbers or fraudsters. The most visible type of thieves is shoplifters.  

We've all heard of the organized shoplifter gangs pulling heists in high-end retailers in San Francisco. We've heard reports that retailers staying in Downtown San Francisco have resorted to hiring armed retired and off-duty police officers to monitor activities in their establishments.

Recently, we ventured into the local Walmart for the first time in a couple of years to purchase items needed immediately. Now admittedly, most of our purchases were made online outside of groceries during the pandemic, so the changes we observed may have been implemented for some time.

Considering the rash of California shoplifting, it was not surprising to find high-value items under lock and key. What was surprising was seeing some relatively low priced softgoods under lock and key.

For example, men's underwear was under lock and key. After summoning a store employee, we made our selection, and the employee took it to the checkout while we continued shopping.

While most large chains are loath to call the police to apprehend shoplifters, who often leave stores without concealing their stolen goods, these new steps are being taken to limit losses.  

Such is the state of loss prevention for California retailers. 

News about shoplifters understandably gets ample media attention. It is something that is visible and easy to grasp.

Naturally, some politicians will exploit retail shoplifting for their purposes. We agree shoplifting is a problem that should be dealt with if for no other reason than to protect retail employees whose safety is under threat.

Aside from dealing with the shoplifters and the penalties, we hope these elected officials have the same zeal to protect consumers from polluters, major financial institutions, and groups like payday lenders, among the many businesses that legally exploit our society. 
  

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3 comments

Kearney Zzyzwicz said...

As Tuddy said in Goodfellas while his brother, Paulie, was being arrested, "Why don't you go down to Wall Street and arrest some real criminals"

Renegade said...

so it's ok to steal from stores? It just makes everyone's costs escalate to compensate for the stolen merch. I don't want to pay higher prices, do you? How apathetic! ( unless you of course one of the pilferers, then you'd just be a crimimnal).

Kearney Zzyzwicz said...

Absolutely not okay with it, just any chance I can fit in a Goodfellas quote in daily life, I seize the opportunity! I'll quote another movie - The Big Short. When referring to all the major fraud and extreme risk that takes place on Wall Street, Mark Baum said - "... At the end of the day, the regular people pay for it. They always, always do."

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