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jca2's avatar

What, if anything, do you think should be done about organized retail theft in cities across the US?

Asked by jca2 (15912points) 2 months ago

It was just announced that a bunch of Target stores in major US cities (NY, Seattle, Portland, SF) are going to close because of organized retail theft. The company issued a statement that it’s not safe for workers and customers, and it’s no longer sustainable for the stores to be open in those cities (meaning they’re losing too much $$).

It’s not uncommon on the news to see videos of teams of thieves going into stores and malls and grabbing armfuls of merchandise before running out of the stores. It’s too overwhelming for a security guard and I don’t think police feel it’s worthy of their time because by the time they arrive, the thieves are gone. A lot of the stores are fancy handbags and jewelry, or high end sneakers. Tonight on the news they had a video of 200 teens in Philly who raided and looted a mall.

Friends who work in retail (major big box stores) tell me it’s their employers’ policies for workers not to confront or chase thieves because it’s too dangerous, and therefore a liability for the stores. They tell me stories about people just walking out the door with big amounts of clothing, comforters or tools.

A relative lives in NYC and she tells me the drug stores like CVS have either closed, have reduced hours or have everything behind acrylic with locks, where you have to ask a worker to come unlock the merchandise. Sometimes the thieves will saw off the locks. Grocery stores in NYC have thieves stealing shelves full of beer, meat and other expensive foods. They just dump piles of stuff into carts or bags and walk out (it’s on YouTube videos and it’s frequently on the news).

What, if anything, do you think should be done about this issue?

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53 Answers

JLeslie's avatar

It’s horrible! When I worked for Bloomingdale’s in the 90’s this was going on. Not 200 thieves, I hadn’t heard that before, but we would have 3–10 come in at once and grab piles of clothes and run out. One time about ten of them came in with a tarp, and pushed bunches of clothing onto it and they dragged it across the floor out the door.

We also were told never to confront a thief, we were to call store security.

At my mall the stores worked together. We would call Saks when we spotted the known thieves so we could hover around them and not give them an easy chance, but some were just outright bold and didn’t care.

We put cement pylons in front of the doors so getaway cars couldn’t pull up close to the doors, but they still could get pretty close.

I think still internal theft we lost more, but it all adds up.

They have to put these people in jail and keep them there! What else can you do? Fund The Police! Massive surveillance until they see it won’t be tolerated. Go after the ring leaders. It’s some sort of gang or mafia probably organizing it.

I guess closing stores is the other way.

Oh, and making life better for people so stealing isn’t attractive.

Really sad.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Private security…
Hate to do it to the guys who would have to do the work, but they should primarily be unarmed. I know the thefts are relevant, but I prefer those to shootouts across towns…

This type of shit, kind of makes me laugh.

If it wasn’t for our the wealth gap, I believe such things would be almost nonexistent…

This subject, plus a shit-tonne of violent crime, are OBVIOUS signs that the US is an unhealthy country. The only solution for ANYTHING so far, has been more guns for civilians, and militarization of our law enforcement departments…

The rich get richer, when things are worse for the majority. The absolute wealthiest, typically saw exponential profits, as a result of Covid 19.
The wealthy profit from war, disease, resource shortages, logistics problems, less pollution control, and conflicts in foreign countries.
So. We just so happen to be in constant chaos…

America has ALWAYS been getting robbed. We just don’t have cameras inside of the Oval office, or in nosebleed buildings on Wall Street, or 5 star golf clubs…Where the REAL theft is happening…

flutherother's avatar

In the UK there has been a big increase in retail theft since Covid and it is reaching levels never seen before. Costs are passed on to the honest customers who have to foot the bill.

There is an idea among some that goods on display are there for the taking and not having the money to pay for them is a mere detail.

I think placing high-definition security cameras in the store and the car park would at least be a deterrent. I don’t know why CCTV pictures are always colourless and grainy. My mobile phone takes better pictures.

jca2's avatar

@flutherother Here in the US, a lot of times the thieves wear masks (Covid masks) and so they’re not easy to find.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Guess the cities where this happens most should have thought twice before they ostracized and gutted their police departments and let a flood of Fentanyl onto their streets. Stores are right to close. They pay taxes to those communities and expect a certain level of service and safety. Cities reach these tipping points because politicians are often not pragmatic, they’re either ideological, corrupt, or both.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Let them eat cake right?
Regular Americans are struggling so perhaps our government should take notice and act accordingly.

gorillapaws's avatar

This is organized crime. The obvious solution is to infiltrate the groups with undercover agents/confidential informants and go after the leaders. This can be attacked from either the theft side or from the resale of stolen good side.

JLeslie's avatar

@Blackwater_Park Is that what happened? I half jokingly wrote fund the police, but this crime is not happening because funds were taken from police forces around the US. Most cities funding is the same or has increased in the last several years. What cities are you talking about where funding is lower and crime is higher?

Defund The Police was an outcry put out by a far-ish left group, and some Democrats picked on it to explain that some situations can be handled better than just sending in police, but most Democrats never supported reducing funds to police forces or reducing patrolling in places that warrant patrolling.

elbanditoroso's avatar

1) most of these are armed robberies. Take away guns.

2) quite doing stupid arrests like low level drug stuff, and put the police on track of crimes like burglary and theft.

The Saudi way of dealing with thieves is to cut off the person’s right hand. Not a bad idea. The guy won’t steal again.

jca2's avatar

@elbanditoroso I don’t think most of these are armed robberies in NYC. The thieves go in and walk out with the stuff. No arms needed. Other times it’s smash and grab like at a jewelry store, which are less often then the other shoplifting and then the smash and grab they may have guns.

jca2's avatar

Here’s the NYC crime stats, right from their site. I don’t have time to look at it now but it’s very extensive. A lot of the thefts are not going to be listed under arrests because there are no arrests, and a lot of the armed robberies are probably not apprehended yet, either so I am not sure how they record those stats:

KNOWITALL's avatar

The new policy, even here in my red state, is merchandise is not worth your life. People now know they will not be pursued and take sodas, food or whatever. Some in masks in broad daylight.

JLeslie's avatar

@KNOWITALL In all of the years I worked retail, 1982 to 2005 that has been the case. If an employee got hurt or killed trying to stop a theft, first everyone would feel horrible, but second, the amount of money to pay for health care for the individual or to the family if they were killed would be huge compared to the amount being stolen. Especially if there was a law suit on top of regular costs.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

These are not armed robberies. They’re strong arm smash and grab flash mobs put together by organized crime using a huge supply of drug addicts and vulnerable youth. This is happening in cities with a large homeless population and a weakened police force. I did not say defund the police did this, but there is certainly some blame to be shared there. People tried to explain away what “defund” meant by saying it was more of police reform but we all know that did not happen and the result was that many police departments were demoralized and generally became more strapped for resources. A wave of early retirements and a recruiting crisis followed. Who blames people for not wanting to be in the police now? Some politicians took defunding quite literally and cut budgets. All this right when there is a fentanyl crisis that makes crack look like candy.

kritiper's avatar

Alarm activated locking portcullises.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper Seems risky, although on its face it sounds good. It would put employees more at risk to be hurt probably.

seawulf575's avatar

The easy answer is to vote out the Democrats. In all the cities where this is happening, you have Democrats running the city. They are Mayors, City Councilpersons, Aldermen, DA’s, etc. They have all instituted policies that have hampered police (cutting numbers, removing equipment, hamstringing any policies that might make them effective), cut back on bail or done away with it entirely, publicly announced that they will not prosecute cases of theft, and other policies that embolden the thieves, keep them from punishment, and thereby punishing those that want to make an honest living.

I’d say just do away with the policies, but that has been said over and over and over again and the leaders in these cities continue to make even more destructive policies in response.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t see how Democrats have anything to do with it. There are plenty of Democrat run cities that have very low crime rates.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

There is plenty of crime in red areas, it just tends to be more spread out. High crime concentrated areas tend to be big cities and big cities tend to have democrats for leaders. Some of that’s a coincidence, some of it is policy. IMO neither the red or blue tainted politicians and leaders know how to deal with this.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf575 Nah its a trend in red states, too. The employees just let them because 1 thats policy and 2 they dont make enough to care.

seawulf575's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes, it happens in red states, but the criminals get punished for it. Look at the cities listed in the OP: NYC, Portland, Seattle, SF. All bastions of uber-liberalism, all finding themselves without stores because of the theft. I know in our area, If I walked into a store and just walked out with a bunch of stuff, I could easily get arrested and would be prosecuted. SF has made it policy that theft below a certain dollar value will not be prosecuted. The problem with that policy is that nobody actually cares how much it is. So far more than that dollar value is routinely stolen. And so the stores close. There have been areas that now have no grocery stores because of too much theft. And now the people are complaining that they have to drive a good way to just get food. And still nothing is changing with the policies.

And be honest: when the left first started pushing to defund the police, this was an obvious result of that idea. Defund the police, do away with the police, let people self-police…all these are things the left has pushed. Police are put in place to ensure the laws are followed in our societies. When you take away the police or make every effort to make their jobs impossible, you set up a situation where people become either takers or victims. Businesses will close because staying open just to lose money every month is no way to run a business. So they close and move or just close. That makes more victims as the people that actually were still trying to follow the “law” now have nowhere to get their goods.

And you do realize that the next step is going to be vigilante law, right? People will get fed up with being victims and, realizing the police do nothing, will take matters into their own hands. And anyone that believes that is the right answer is nuts. But it is where the law suppressing policies are leading.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would do what “Consumers Distributing” did in the 80’s. Put everything in behind the counters, and select what you want from a book.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@seawulf575 Okay true, our cops will fond them. That’s crazy not to prosecute, that encourages it.

kevbo1's avatar

New Mexico changed its laws so that many small thefts could be added together to count as one big theft and explicitly criminalized “organized retail crime.”

gondwanalon's avatar

I like the idea of only registered customers being allowed into a story. When they are in the store they can select anything they want and walk out and the things that are taken are automatically billed to the customer’s credit or debit card. Shoplifters would have to forces their way past a heavily guarded security area.

jca2's avatar

I put in some random cities and found theft all over.

Oklahoma City:

and this from Oklahoma:

Las Vegas, I had so many choices on Google I didn’t know what to pick.

I put in “Miami retail theft” and got a bunch, including this:

I chose Oklahoma City because it’s just a midwest city, and Las Vegas because I know traditionally they’ve not been soft on crime, yet it’s a busy city.

Zaku's avatar

Oklahoma and Miami aren’t exactly liberal bastions, are they?

I find it hard to believe this is happening the way you characterize it exactly.

Let’s see, you: ”...(NY, Seattle, Portland, SF) are going to close because of organized retail theft. The company issued a statement that it’s not safe for workers and customers, and it’s no longer sustainable for the stores to be open in those cities…”
As if all stores had to close in that cities.

Target web site:

“New York City Market:
Harlem: 517 E 117th Street
96 stores remain open in the New York City market, employing more than 20,000 team members.”

“Seattle Market:
Seattle University Way: 4535 University Way NE
Seattle Ballard: 1448 NW Market St, Ste 100
22 stores remain open in the Seattle market, employing nearly 4,000 team members.”

“Portland Market:
Portland Galleria: 939 SW Morrison St
Portland Powell: 3031 SE Powell Blvd
Portland Hollywood: 4030 NE Halsey St
15 stores remain open in the Portland market

“San Francisco/Oakland Market:
SF Folsom and 13th St: 1690 Folsom St
Oakland Broadway & 27th: 2650 Broadway
Pittsburg: 4301 Century Blvd
32 stores remain open in the San Francisco/Oakland market

Which is 10 stores closed, out of 175, in those cities.

filmfann's avatar

Charge them under RICO statutes. Combine the total value of stolen merchandise, which will make it a felony.

jca2's avatar

@Zaku I chose those cities (Miami and Ok City) specifically because they’re not liberal bastions, because some people (above) were saying the increased theft is due to those cities where the stores are closing being liberal cities.

As for the words about “unsustainable,” it’s not my wording, it’s from Target. The statement from Target, in full, is ”“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” Target said in a news release.

“We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all.”

Target, which has nearly 2,000 stores in the U.S., has been outspoken about organized retail crime at its stores. It has said theft has driven higher levels of shrink, an industry term used to describe losses from goods that were damaged, misplaced or stolen.”

I looked at the site to see their other NYC locations and there are none in Harlem. NYC downtown, midtown, Bergen (NJ, across the river), Brooklyn, yes but nothing else in Harlem.

I am not sure where you get your news from but my nightly news is NYC news and all the time they’re showing large gangs stealing, and most recently, Philly, 200 teens raiding a mall. Do you think I’m making it up? That’s why I posted the Florida and OK City articles, and Las Vegas, to show it’s not just NYC, Portland, etc.

The Today Show is doing a piece on organized retail theft around the country this morning (Thursday). I just saw the tease.

seawulf575's avatar

So let me get this straight…those of you that feel the Democrat policies have nothing to do with the issue: You agree with putting out public statements that theft will not be prosecuted? That you agree with doing away with police? That you agree with doing away with bail? That these things don’t actually encourage crime? Is that what you are saying?

JLeslie's avatar

@seawulf575 What cities was all that done?

jca2's avatar

@Zaku I checked the Target site for stores in New York state and there are probably 96. Definitely there are not 96 in the NYC area, as you stated.. Probably 10 in the NYC area (as I listed above):

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie That’s why I said “alarm activated.” Employees would vacate the area when hoodlums struck, then activate the alarm.

seawulf575's avatar

@JLeslie SF did several of those. But they are ideas that have all been pushed and voted on in a variety of Democrat run cities. So the question remains: are these ideas you think are reasonable? Do you think they would deter crime? OR would these sorts of ideas embolden criminals?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Gee , I should have known it’s all the democrats fault.
Not the fact that minimum wage is pathetic, gas prices are ridiculous, inflation is out of control. But let’s keep blaming the democrats, you need the Republicans back in with more huge tax cuts for the rich, more environmental deregulation, and less gun control now that will fix everything.

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Since Trump left office and Biden took control, inflation went out of control, gas prices skyrocketed, our country is no longer energy independent, taxes are up, cost of living is up, and generally, life for everyone that isn’t rich has taken a nose dive. But hey, let’s send another couple billion dollars to Ukraine to keep a war going…one of many examples of craziness in the world that didn’t exist until Biden took office. And for God’s sake let’s make sure we give China everything they need. These are all good things, right? Don’t you have another Nazi to cheer in your government?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Good God wulfie the war in Ukraine is what actually started this downhill ride, Putin got Russian oil sanctioned which started gas prices going insane,this drove inflation up.As for China most wealthy industries look at China for cheaper ways of making their goods,not democrats.
But again let’s just keep blaming the democrats.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

What’s your stance just let Putin have Ukraine?
Sorta like Hitler did with Poland?

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 And yet none of these things happened while Trump was in office. Wasn’t it you that always said how much of a puppet Trump was to Putin? That they worked together? If that is the case, why didn’t Putin invade Ukraine until AFTER Biden was in office? Please. Your efforts at dancing are pitiful. Besides, you have conveniently dropped all your claims about our economy since, well, they point to, once again, Democrats screwing things up. Face it: Biden inherited an economy that was on the bounce back from Covid, he inherited gas prices that we haven’t seen since he took office. On 12/31/2020 the average price per gal in the US was $2.19. About 6 months later, Biden’s efforts took gas prices up to $3.00. A year after that they were at $4.99. So how exactly is this not the fault of Biden and the Dems and their policies? Take a look at the chart of inflation of All Items v Core Items. As you can see, inflation was fairly consistent from 2013 all the way to about Jan 2021. In fact inflation took a big drop in May of 2020 (Trump was still president). Yet in Jan 2021, when Biden took over, inflation went skyrocketing. The cost of living went out the roof. That impacts the poor and middle class the most. So how is this not the fault of the policies of Biden and the Dems?

This question was about organized retail theft in the US and 4 cities that were used as examples were ALL uber-left cities that had enacted policies that hampered police and encouraged criminals. Again…how is this not the Democrats? Are you, like JLeslie, trying to say that telling people that theft will not be prosecuted, that bail is going away, that cops are being hampered/reduced/defunded are all things that will help reduce crime? Are you really that naive?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

So Russian oil getting sanctioned because of Putin going into Ukraine had nothing to do with gas prices?
And starting the inflation disaster?
It’s just the democrats fault?
As for Police forces getting defunded, can you actually show where this has happened?

seawulf575's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 Getting rid or or hindering our own oil production is what changed us to being more dependent on foreign oil, including Russian oil. So when Biden started putting us at the mercy of other oil producers, we are just that…at the mercy of them. And here’s a clue, since you seem to be short on them: Biden put the sanctions in place. So yes, the Democrat/Biden policy of squelching US production and then sanctioning foreign oil did indeed raise prices in gas and started the inflation disaster. So yes, it is just the Democrat’s fault.

As for police forces getting defunded, I suspect you could do your own internet searches if you cared to. It always amazes me how one of you folks will ask me to show you where something happened. When I do, you immediately try to deflect or attack the source or whatever. This seems like a typical tactic you have played in the past. But it is easy enough to find these things

This one I particularly found ironic. A Minnesota Democrat/Farm/Labor party vice chairwoman has campaigned on dismantling the entire police department. She has been very vocal about this. She got attacked in her driveway by car jackers. Now she suddenly feels that cops should do more.

Zaku's avatar

@jca2 My quote is from the Target press release about them closing stores. Mainly it seemed to me like the way you were writing was as if Target couldn’t operate any stores in those cities any more. Really, it’s a fairly small fraction of stores. And whatever their press release says, I’m sure the choice is about profitability as well, and yes of course if they have a big theft problem, that’s going to be a part of it, and they may also care about their employees and customers, and the liability and image of their brand if bands of thieves keep hitting them.

I spent most of my life in Seattle, and I’m familiar with Portland. I have never seen any sign that the so-called “liberal” administrations and/or culture there means the police can’t or don’t respond in force where needed. Overall, I’d say the effect is that the police have rarely been needed to do a whole lot, because for the most place, those places are pretty chill and civilized, unlike the attitudes I’ve seen in Chicago or the East or South & Texas, where there seem to be much more confrontational and sleazy attitudes about many things. Now, Seattle HAS changed a lot since 2019, mostly due to ridiculous housing prices and Covid etc, but the narrative that liberal cities are terrible crime pits where the police can’t or won’t do anything seems to me nothing like my experience or anything I’ve heard from anyone who’s not just following a right-wing political conversation.

jca2's avatar

@Zaku I never made any comments on this thread about liberal cities being crime pits. You will not hear me talking like that. I am a Democrat so why would I talk like that?

I purposely posted the links to articles about FL, OK City and Las Vegas and explained why I posted them (above). I specified in my explanation that it was to show people that it’s not JUST Democratic cities, it’s all across the US. My statement about “unsustainable” was right from Target. I didn’t make it up. Yes, it’s because they’re losing money and yes, it’s also because it’s not safe for them to operate those locations. Yes, if there are ten stores in the NYC area and one is closed, 1 out of 10 is a “small fraction” although one could argue that it’s 10%, and for someone who lives in Harlem to have to take a train down to midtown, and then back carrying possibly heavy and multiple bags, it’s no longer that easy for them to pop into Target.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

And remember @jca2 it’s all Biden and the Democrats fault remember when good ole Trump was God everything was well just cops shooting unarmed blackmen, and the COVID death count going through the roof.

Zaku's avatar

@jca2 My apologies if I’m mis-reading you, but the part you wrote that I put in bold in my first post, to me read like you were saying all Targets were closing (they’re not) due to a sensational wave of theft making it impossible for them to operate in (again, your list in your OP) Seattle, NYC, Portland, and SF, which is why I simply quoted Target’s own press release, highlighting the actual numbers of their stores closing.

I watched that Today Show clip, and my response was, “OH MY GODDESSES, THIS is why I do not watch The Today Show or most network TV : it’s BY IDIOTS, FOR IDIOTS, and is irresponsible and stupid exaggerated sensationalism, with an obvious job of pushing a corporate narrative.”

They emphasize numbers like 88% of stores reporting . . . but what are they reporting? “Some” rise in theft, and the theft being more brazen and violent. The actual increase in theft? 0.2% They emphasize 88%; I would emphasize the ZERO in 0.2%, where %, is hundredths.

I think this is mainly 1) looking to sell a distracting news story, to divert attention away from actual major problems, 2) looking to gain sympathy for retail businesses for various reasons, and a bit of 3) fear-mongering and trying to stir sympathy, as well as 4) fueling that culture war BS narrative that we see in this thread about “the liberals” “defunding the police”, being “soft on crime”, being responsible for chaos and crime (see fear-mongering), etc.

As for what should be done? The stores should put in cameras, and work with security and police, and/or consider publishing video that identifies the thieves. And file insurance reports for losses. I think the trend will tend to slow when there are punishments published that go viral, and the conversation spreads that it’s really dumb and will ruin thieves (and other innocent people’s) lives, which is not cool. Probably various people could be participating in social media by effectively pointing that out. It’s a conversation that needs shifting, and that’s how conversations shift – by saying new things.

MrGrimm888's avatar

@seawulf575 .
You declared (like 40 posts ago,) that Biden is essentially to blame for inflation. Putting aside the oversimplification, wasn’t that a combination of Covid, and America’s collective agreed sacrifice for supporting Ukraine/western civilisation?..

I hated Trump as POTUS. Regardless, I gave some him slack when it came to Covid. Even puttig aside my belief that Trump got people killed, in part because of his weaponization of the vaccines, I still have the same opinion. That is, ANY president, and indeed ultimately ALL world leaders were caught with their pants down…
To me, it’s hard for anyone to say that Hillary would have done better or worse. There were too many unknown variables, and the world’s individual countries all contributed to the chaos…

In my lifetime, I have seen republican leaders create problems that democratic leaders have been left to deal with. Then Republicans decide that the dem is to blame.
Happened with Bill, Obama, and now Biden…

Obama took over a dumpster fire of wars/conflicts, debt, economic crises, etc…

Biden grabbed the wheel in the midst of a global pandemic hangover.

Does anyone seriously think Trump would have the world in better shape?..

To the subject at hand.
I feel it relevant to note that penalties/punishment, have rarely had an affect on crime.
There are kids with missing hands, in some places in this world. Your local prisons likely have a shocking amount of people who are there for life, or on death row. Might I add, prison rape is a real thing. And no, it’s clearly not a matter of importance in America…

Why on Earth would people commit crimes, if there are so many bad things that happen?
The answer is “desperation.”
Not in EVERY case. But most.

A child in a country that keeps it’s children fed, doesn’t have to chip off hands for stealing apples…

A person who is addicted to the hard stuff, is as desperate as you get. They WILL become slowly, violently ill, with each passing minute from their last fix. Drugs are a inevitable side effect of the impoverished. (I won’t bend on that.)

The wealthy commit crimes too. But they aren’t starving, or dope sick. Their drug is power. And just like the guys smashing windows for their drug, the wealthy are smashing the poor for their’s…

SQUEEKY2's avatar

But @MrGrimm888 it’s far easier to just blame the opposition than work at truly trying to fix the problem.

seawulf575's avatar

@MrGrimm888 No, I wouldn’t say that was an oversimplification. Trump put policies in place that helped make us energy independent. We were not at the mercy of the Middle East, Russia, and/or Venezuela. When Biden was elected and sworn in, one of his first actions was to undo those policies…because they were Trump’s, obviously. If you go back up a few of my comments, where I was talking to @SQUEEKY2 and showed him the link with the graph of gas prices and another with tends of inflation, gas prices were basically the driving force of the spike in inflation. Now, add to that the $77B we have sent to Ukraine that wasn’t in the budget and you are now driving up the debt and pushing deficit spending, both of which help drive the value of the dollar down (inflation up).

What Biden inherited was an economy that was basically stable and getting better. Almost immediately after taking office that all changed. And it changed drastically. Now you can try to say it is all Trump’s fault and that Republicans always leave the shitshow for Dems to get blamed for, but go back and look. What policies did Trump have in place that were setting the table for the economy to crash, starting in Jan 2021? He didn’t have any. And why would he? He wanted to have another term. No, this is all on Biden.

As for the rise in crime, again, you can try to come up with justification that it isn’t real. Yet stores are REALLY closing their doors in some cities. If it was really just bad reporting, stores wouldn’t be closing. Why would they? They make more money staying open. And the stores that are closing are also telling. If some store that was already on shaky ground started closing branches in areas that weren’t doing well I’d understand it. But a lot of the stores are not on shaky ground. I have seen stories of Cracker Barrel restaurants closing in some areas. I’ve seen grocery stores closing up in other areas. The reasons given involve theft and threat to employees. These are not reasons given if the whole thing is just made up and there is no problem. When Grocery Stores close up (or Walmarts) you know they are basically profitable enterprises…unless people are just walking in and walking out with carts full on a daily basis (or more often).

Blackberry's avatar

There unfortunately isn’t a real solution in our lifetime.

This is probably a multi-century old problem of systemic wealth gaps, and how poverty affects people, sprinkle in a dash of lack of hope due to being poor and realizing how far behind you are all those middle class and upper middle class people.

We know the real truth deep down from observing history:

If you want something, you take it by force. If every person of status and significance in the past used manifest destiny to steal, then everyone else can use the same excuse.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

Welp, this is not people stealing because of any wealth gap or need for said items. It’s opportunistic, thrill-seeking and/or organized crime directing these flash mob smash and grabs. There is a breakdown of respect in a consequence vacuum.

Blackberry's avatar

Some of them have to be selling these items though.
Might as well get paid if you’re going to commit a crime.

If not, then at least you save money by stealing an item to use it.

MrGrimm888's avatar

Firstly. I never opined about crime rates not being high. Maybe I misspoke, or you’re thinking of someone else.

I agree. Crime is worse. This mob smash n grab crap is just a opportunity discovered by people who do this type of stuff.
To me, this weakness has been around for years.
Others mentioned that policies in most retail environments is not to engage people stealing.
I’ve been unfortunate enough to work part-time in some bigbox sporting goods stores. Theft was rampant. Still is. It is a factor, in a store’s bottom line.
But this is just a symptom, not the disease.
According to what I have read about restaurants like Craker Barrels is that they have not gotten baby boomers to come back, after Covid restrictions lifted. I’ve read that about several restaurant chains. Same with network TV. That’s why the NFL is trying to move on to streaming. Younger people watch streaming stuff and YouTube.
In addition. Food delivery services have played a massive role in stopping people from going out. It’s NOT the crime. In most locations, that shuts anything down. Liquor stores, McDonald’s, “dollar stores,” Church’s Chicken, family owned chinese restaurants, etc all thrive in our countries most dangerous places… (you could have said TARGET.)..
But. They are dying of the side effects of capitalism… I’ll weep for them…

By far my personal largest problem with Trump, is two-fold.

1. He gave the wealthy WAY too much tax relief. The wealthy just took American money, in front of the world. The smaller fish were given crumbs to keep them quiet. Shit like that, is not ok with me.

2. He doesn’t give a rat’s ass about any part of the republican agenda that doesn’t personally benefit him. But he’s OK with helping the current attempted takeover of America by Christians, which is the republican strategy. (appointed lots of conservative judges.)....

There is a sick/sleezy symbiotic relationship with Trump and the GOP. I’ve witnessed conservatives voice their frustration with this fact…

To clarify Wulf, I am not justifying these crimes. I just know they wouldn’t happen if America put more money into it’s own population. It’s entire population. Everyone else in the world should be second.

Yes. It’s it a lot of money.
However. Before sanctions did what we were afraid of, we all seemed to understand that helping Ukraine would mean that things would get more expensive. We were told this would happen. It did…
The war is now an investment by the US. At this point, we are clearly involved pretty heavily. I feel like we have no choice but to tush push Ukraine to victory.

Many analysts are learning a lot from this new type of warfare. In some ways, America is using this war to test some of our equipment against Russian shit. Especially air defense systems, from both side’s limitations.
☆Make no mistake. Right now, the west is fighting Russia in Ukraine. The west clearly has to take this collectively. I hate the inflation. But. If it keeps the war there, that’s realistically going to keep our guys off the ground there I am ok with paying more for stuff. I guess…

Thanks for your response as always. Hope doing well Wulf.

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