Last week when I wrote about Pickpockets and Purse and Chain snatchers, I heard from a lot of folks who told me their personal stories of victimization. It's actually a felony to steal from the person of another in Illinois and most States. However in recent years across the nation with the seemingly new tolerance towards non violent criminals, getting the felony charge approved would most likely entail picking the pocket of the Mayor or the States Attorney herself. For those who are blurred by statistics let be throw a soft one at you. This year in Chicago there has been a monster surge in Pickpocket and theft victims while traveling on the CTA. Couple that with the two major shopping areas of the City, the Downtown area and the Toney Magnificent Mile, which both have seen unprecedented surges in thefts of all kinds, including phones, wallets, Sunglasses, you name it they will steal it. Do ya think the thieves know about the new tolerance which most of us in Law Enforcement call "Soft On Crime." where the victims become less important then the criminals?
The next area I'm moving into is not as it appears, by that I mean not a victimless crime, although the victims are not individuals but retail establishments of all sorts, from big department stores to sprawling malls, and of course "Mom and Pop' stores as well. The "Shoplifter." It is estimated that the CRIME of shoplifting costs retailers across America on average of $42 BILLION dollars yearly. One guess, who ultimately pays for the sins of shoplifters? You guessed right, if you answered YOU.
Im going to stay local here but it's pretty much the norm all across the country in the last 5 years or so. On her first week in office, newly elected Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx announced a new position in regards to shoplifters that dramatically raised the bar for charging Shoplifters with a felony crime. Her position calls for all retail theft charges to remain misdemeanors unless the value of stolen goods exceeds a $ 1,000 dollars, up from $300 dollars OR the alleged shoplifter has 10, YES 10, PRIOR felony convictions for shoplifting. Al Capone and Larry King Hoover would have made the cut under those circumstances. I don't do TWITTER but if I did, I would be a good TWIT WIT trying to make sense of that.
Although Illinois and especially Chicago politicians in General have a much lower priority for Ethics then they do for acquiring, say, wealth, fame, and grabbing power to tolerate whats happening to a once great city, is a low that is immensely unattractive for luring any type of economic growth. We lost the Olympics, we lost Amazon, we lost Google, businesses are fleeing in record numbers and the entire State and City is loosing thousands of fed up residents, and crime and the enormous taxes are the targeted reasons.
There is a new saying across the nation the last year or so, two words that kinda says it all for a new burgeoning type of thief "THE PORCH PIRATE." A new age theft has blossomed mightily. The United States Postal Service this year estimates that they will deliver 900 million packages to American homes and businesses across the Country, this and over 15 billion pieces of mail. UPS (United Parcel Service) for those of you who lived in a cave in Bhuto, will deliver 15.8 million packages a day, while FED X averages 3.4 million packages daily. On December 20th of this year UPS has announced that 28 million packages will be delivered Country wide. A new world record. Brown will be the color of the day. A veteran UPS executive recently told me that if someone would have told him 15 years ago his company would need a fleet of 104,926 package trucks, vans, tractors and motorcycles including over 7,000 alternate fuel vehicles he would have thought the person insane.
One can readily see the opportunities for the professional thieves among us, including seasonal thieves, and opportunity thieves, just lurking to cash in on your deliveries. The birth of the PORCH PIRATE has arrived in full force. Communities all over America are being victimized more and more with the onslaught in increased deliveries and the calls to the Police have become epidemic all over America. Even NASA has entered the fray. NASA engineer Mark Rober has become an internet sensation with his clever invention called the "Stinky Glitter Bomb" which releases thousands of stinky glitter every five seconds after the thief has opened his stolen booty. People have loaded up phony boxes with dog poop and other nauseous contents to try and thwart the culprits, all kinda satisfactory revenge, but nowhere near solving the problem.
There are several ways for consumers to protect themselves. UPS and the Postal Service have web sights that can take you through some of the steps you will need to take to protect your packages . One of the better ones is to have a neighbor who is at home during your delivery cycle to watch out for your delivery or actually have the package delivered to them, or a business close bye, where you can pick it up at your leisure.
One more tip I would like to pass on is more for the Women shoppers. Another growing arena for thieves is the Supermarkets or any store where you have to push a cart. These folks work in pairs mostly. While shoppers are concentrating on the isles and picking products, there is a tendency to be distracted from your purse placed in the cart which many shoppers are guilty of. While you are concentrating on products they will drop your unattended purse in the middle of a loaded cart and move quickly to the next isle where a cohort is waiting, in seconds your purse is then wheeled away and out of the store under a jacket or coat. Even if you suspect the person in the store and it's on camera, it is much to late. Hope this provided some help. Happy Holidays to you all. Be alert be smart.
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