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Great Rip-Off

Shoplifter Shoplifting
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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Karol Markowicz calls it “America’s Great Rip-off.” What she is talking about is the rising tide of shoplifting in this country. Although it may be easy to dismiss shoplifting as insignificant, she reminds us that it hurts everyone. We pay for it economically with increased prices, and we pay for it culturally with a further decline and degradation in society’s standards.

How bad is the problem? Anyone with a little bit of discernment should question the latest statistics. A liberal group estimating the impact of shoplifting is minimal if you exclude New York City. But that same group found a whopping 64% increase in shoplifting in the city.

The same group reports San Francisco had a decline in shoplifting even though businesses are leaving that city. Target is closing three stores in the area, citing “theft and organized retail crime . . . threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.”

She also makes the same case that a state senator on my radio program recently made. Smaller crimes lead to bigger crimes. “A black market emerges for the stolen goods, violence becomes more likely when theft continues unchecked, and an atmosphere of danger permeates the areas where people are stealing and suffering no consequences.”

We are left, she concludes, with a “feeling of helplessness — that no one is in charge and rules don’t matter — leads directly to societal decay. When security isn’t an expectation, antisocial behavior increases.”

There are solutions, but those must first begin with law enforcement and a district attorney that will prosecute criminal behavior. This next election is an opportunity to replace those who won’t do their job.viewpoints new web version

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