No Minister

Deck The Halls with Chutzpah

You really do have to see it to believe it as four people recently conducted their own type of Christmas shopping in a Chicago store…

This was not some bad part of my old home town either. No, this was Marshalls – one of the iconic stores of the city – and in Lincoln Park, one of the more expensive hipster locales.

Theft – with Panache

The men simply walk past the check-out lines one-by-one with piles of winter coats. As you can see, the second thief in line has so many coats in his arms that he can barely see over the top of the stack.

The third guy shows real panache as he keeps his stash of about a dozen coats neatly arranged on their hangers while trundling out the doors.

But wait! There’s more.

All of this was captured on phone video by a store “customer” and Facebook user named “Binky GZ“, who clearly thought the whole thing was cool with comments such:

“They walked out this bitch with hella coats.”
“They [Marshalls] just got dey dumb ass got”

You can also briefly see a stunned store worker trailing along behind, seemingly helpless to do anything about it. And he is:

“These the boosters that gne beat yo ass if yu touch them”

Well yes.

But he’s also helpless because as it turns out, Marshalls would not bother signing a complaint even if the store workers had called the police – which makes calling the cops a waste of time. And this is a standard policy now with most such stores in the Chicago area, especially the mall chain stores who are terrified of being the next Starbucks, guilty of racism. As one CPD cop noted:

Last week a unit responded to a H-and-M store in the South Loop when an employee, who saw a regular [shoplifting] crew in the store again stealing anything they could, called 911. Once on scene the officers observed the manager scolding the employee for calling the police as they were told by the store’s corporate headquarters that “H-and-M will no longer prosecute shoplifters because of prior incidents in the stores”.

And the cops are in the firing line as well. Responding opens up officers and taxpayers to potentially big payouts due to accidents, excessive force allegations and property damage claims.

If all this sounds insane you should understand that Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx,  after taking office, raised the felony threshold for theft from $300 to $1,000, instructing her attorneys to reject felony-level retail theft charges unless a person is accused of stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise at a single event and already had ten felony convictions.

So far this year, Foxx’s office has rejected 69% of Chicago police officers’ requests for felony retail theft charges, according to data released by her office. And that only applies to those situations where the store signed a complaint. As noted above, that increasingly does not happen in the Chicago area.

Is it any wonder that reports of shoplifting increased by 20% in 2019. And since those are only reports it’s a fair bet that the increase in shoplifting itself is well above that figure.

I note that Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot recently fired the CPD Chief, Eddie Johnson. Unfortunately that wasn’t for being a useless Chief of Police.

Turns out that he lied to her about an incident where a police patrol found him asleep at the wheel of his parked, but still-running car in the downtown area. Realising who they had, the cops that found him bucked the problem as far up the chain as possible that night, but the story still got out. After a couple of weeks of various fibs about medical conditions and pills it turned out that Eddie had been having a few with some mistress of his.

Equally unfortunate is that Lightfoot has no similar power over Foxx, who is appointed at the State level. However, given her history on crime and punishment, it’s doubtful if the mayor sees things much differently than Foxx.

I wonder how they’d do under the British programme for rehabilitating criminals: Learning Together? Although admittedly that’s for criminals who’ve actually been convicted. The Chicago shoplifters are just laughing at the entire system of law and order.

The thing is that this is not just about such utilitarian factors as shoplifting and increases in such crime and potential losses of customers followed by loss of stores and the Detroitification of a city. It’s about an overall attitude in a society. There have always been, and always will be, criminals – but when they become this blatant and unpunished how long can a society hold together?

Written by Tom Hunter

December 27, 2019 at 1:36 am

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