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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:26 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I think this must be what mgidm86 was referring to:

https://www.foxnews.com/us/repeated-...curity-experts



Honestly, I think that's an ok law, especially for a first offense. Maybe 950 is too high, but petty theft should not be a felony.


However, this wave of thefts over this weekend wasn't petty theft. I just hope prosecutors and police see what a danger this is, and really bring the hammer down as best they can. The individuals caught should be charged with whatever the prosecutors think they can make stick, and a lot of effort should be put into tracking down participants who think that as long as they get off the property without being nabbed they are safe. These incidents spell major trouble, and the authorities really need to make sure they are stopped as soon as possible.
Perhaps, though these incidents are self-evidently not relevant to those changes.
Plus severity of punishment is fairly unrelated to deterrent effect.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:32 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Plus severity of punishment is fairly unrelated to deterrent effect.
Yes, I've read that studies were done and the conclusion was that it's the probability of punishment, not the severity of punishment, that does the most to deter crime. That a 95% probability of getting a year in jail is a greater deterrant than a 5% probability of getting the death penalty.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:52 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yes, I've read that studies were done and the conclusion was that it's the probability of punishment, not the severity of punishment, that does the most to deter crime. That a 95% probability of getting a year in jail is a greater deterrant than a 5% probability of getting the death penalty.
Yep,exactly. There have been numerous such studies. But that isn't appealing to those panicked by the USA's supposed crime rates and the Republican party's "lower taxes, brutalise criminals and rule you like a king" message.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:56 AM   #44
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
In California, showing intent to shoplift is considered a felony, "commercial burglary". Like hooks sewn inside your coat. But having a driver waiting in a get away car? I bet the thieves were wearing Covid masks, but cars have license plates.



I wish the authorities would dig into the BLM "conspiracy to commit" as they did for the "Capital Insurrection". Conspiring to block traffic is a felony too. Lots of evidence in emails I bet.
I've followed a lot of BLM activity. BLM doesn't do much in the way of direct action. They hold community meetings in churches and candlelight vigils in parks. Lots of "talking it out"/trauma recovery type activity.

What a bunch of 20-somethings in black hoodies do hours after BLM is back in their hotel rooms is another matter. Wearing clothing with BLM logos (probably purchased from a 3rd party who make vague promises to donate to a PoC charity) doesn't make one an official staff member of BLM.

Having attended and documented numerous actions across a range of issues, it is typical for their to be a big rift between the "we're a peaceful protest" types and the "let's burn it down" types. Once things start to turn nasty, the participation numbers plummet. The media continue to use the number of maximum crowd size when discussing the violence, but I've never seen less than 2/3rds or so of a protest disappear once the stupidity begins.

ETA: some more recent actions, especially counter-protests of proud boys, et al, are exceptions, but generally because there's a high chance of violence to begin with.

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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:58 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm curious about the shoplifting economy. What happens to the goods stolen? Do they get sold at flea markets? Or only to the shoplifters' own acquaintances? Is there a network of fences? Do they target specific goods, or just grab what they can and hope it sells? Do they get advance orders like "I'm looking to buy fifty pairs of flowered capri pants, get 'em for me"? Does anyone keep track of what's selling, and for what prices, and plan acquisitions accordingly?
I imagine Craig's List gives you the fastest turnaround. The thieves probably know ahead of time what is in demand. eBay has gotten pretty good at catching stolen and counterfeit merch. At least from US sellers.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:15 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
Yes, I've read that studies were done and the conclusion was that it's the probability of punishment, not the severity of punishment, that does the most to deter crime. That a 95% probability of getting a year in jail is a greater deterrant than a 5% probability of getting the death penalty.
I think that's likely. I've been saying things like "throw the book at them" and prosecute them as serious crimes and such, but the really important thing is just to catch them. Don't let them get away.

I think the technology exists to track down at least a portion of this mob. Do so.


Err....these mobs. But I'll bet there's some overlap in participants.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:42 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
80 people is a lot to coordinate..
Maybe there is an app we haven't heard about, or is it a Facebook group?

" LetsGoGetStuff"
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:54 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Hey, I live in a 'No ******* Way Will We Issue' State. No gun shops for 20 miles of me, and that's only because there happens to be a Dick's and Bass Pro in the shopping centers. San Fran can actually carry, if not particularly easily.
Technically is not actually. Unless you are a mayor. I remember Feinstein taking an anti hand gun stance, and turning in her 22 cal pistol. But she kept her .357.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:54 AM   #49
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I thought there were a big string of these types of incidents roughly five to ten years ago. When the whole idea of flash mobs was gaining ground. There were regular flash mobs, sure. But some of them involved large groups suddenly appearing at retail stores, smashing and stealing. There were also racial ones in Milwaukee (my hometown), where giant mobs of black youths appeared as a flash mob and attacked and beat white people.

The shoplifting ones weren’t quite as well organized and focused as the recent ones, but pretty close. I remember thinking “how will this trend ever end?” - and then they just faded away.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 01:13 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by zooterkin View Post
How did that work out?
Xenophon eventually got home.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 01:52 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
more importantly: the punishment doesn't happens so long after the offense that there is no connect anymore.
and it allows you to get out for less if you just admit you did it.
Connecting the punishment and the crime in the mind of the perpetrator is vital. It's the same approach to children to associate certain actions with unpleasant consequences.

It costs approximately ten times more money to send someone to prison for ten years than it does one year, but a ten-year sentence is not ten times more effective.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 02:10 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by sir drinks-a-lot View Post
Defund the police!

We're getting a lot of brazen crimes in SF these days. For example, car break ins in broad daylight right in front of tables of people outside eating brunch. If anyone tries to take video, shots are fired.
Like pretty much everywhere in the US, the SFPD's budget has steadily increased for 30+ years. Even the proposed budget cuts aren't that steep and generally apply to administrative services.

Also, violent crime is at a 30 year low in San Francisco.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 02:14 PM   #53
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I think the resale site you're looking for is Poshmark.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 05:19 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm curious about the shoplifting economy. What happens to the goods stolen? Do they get sold at flea markets? Or only to the shoplifters' own acquaintances? Is there a network of fences? Do they target specific goods, or just grab what they can and hope it sells? Do they get advance orders like "I'm looking to buy fifty pairs of flowered capri pants, get 'em for me"? Does anyone keep track of what's selling, and for what prices, and plan acquisitions accordingly?
I think they set up shop in someone’s house for random items. Otherwise they grab what someone told them to go steal
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Old 22nd November 2021, 06:54 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm curious about the shoplifting economy. What happens to the goods stolen? Do they get sold at flea markets? Or only to the shoplifters' own acquaintances? Is there a network of fences? Do they target specific goods, or just grab what they can and hope it sells? Do they get advance orders like "I'm looking to buy fifty pairs of flowered capri pants, get 'em for me"? Does anyone keep track of what's selling, and for what prices, and plan acquisitions accordingly?
Nah. Thinking flash mobs like this are targeting specific items to fill "orders" for some higher organization is kind of straying into conspiracy territory. Getting as much as you can and getting out in time to escape precludes the possibility of being too selective beyond the broad category of whatever section of the store you decide to grab all your stuff in, if you think about it.

They get everything home and take a look at it. If it's something they want to keep, they keep it. If it's something they don't have a need or use for, they give it or sell it to family or friends, or Ebay it.

People stealing packages off peoples' porches work basically the same way. There's no way of knowing with any certainty what's in the package until you get it home and open it. You have to make your decision about what to do with it then.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 08:40 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
I'm curious about the shoplifting economy. What happens to the goods stolen? Do they get sold at flea markets? Or only to the shoplifters' own acquaintances? Is there a network of fences? Do they target specific goods, or just grab what they can and hope it sells? Do they get advance orders like "I'm looking to buy fifty pairs of flowered capri pants, get 'em for me"? Does anyone keep track of what's selling, and for what prices, and plan acquisitions accordingly?
It isn't just retail theft - It's home and auto burglaries combined with good ol' fashioned muggings. One fencing ring busted here -

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/ar...n-14902841.php

https://abc7news.com/san-mateo-count...k-ins/5877023/

Just the tip of the iceberg.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 08:48 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by TJM View Post
It isn't just retail theft - It's home and auto burglaries combined with good ol' fashioned muggings. One fencing ring busted here -

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/ar...n-14902841.php

https://abc7news.com/san-mateo-count...k-ins/5877023/

Just the tip of the iceberg.
Why would anyone steal an iceberg?
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Old 22nd November 2021, 08:49 PM   #58
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They didn't. Just the tip.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 08:50 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Nah. Thinking flash mobs like this are targeting specific items to fill "orders" for some higher organization is kind of straying into conspiracy territory. Getting as much as you can and getting out in time to escape precludes the possibility of being too selective beyond the broad category of whatever section of the store you decide to grab all your stuff in, if you think about it.

They get everything home and take a look at it. If it's something they want to keep, they keep it. If it's something they don't have a need or use for, they give it or sell it to family or friends, or Ebay it.

People stealing packages off peoples' porches work basically the same way. There's no way of knowing with any certainty what's in the package until you get it home and open it. You have to make your decision about what to do with it then.
I think that gangs have been doing this kind of thing for over a century. Its quite organized. I just read about this kind of thing being done in the early 20th century being run from a female gang. Gangs are a lot bigger than people who don't realize. I wouldn't be surprised if there are gangs in San Francisco that run into the 10's of thousands of people. Its a big business that owns property people etc.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 09:45 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by TJM View Post
It isn't just retail theft - It's home and auto burglaries combined with good ol' fashioned muggings. One fencing ring busted here -

https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/ar...n-14902841.php

https://abc7news.com/san-mateo-count...k-ins/5877023/

Just the tip of the iceberg.
Those schemes don't seem to have involved flash-mobbing; or at least, the articles don't say anything like that.

And it doesn't make sense that they would. If you're trying to steal items in bulk to resell, you don't get your stock by running into the store and grabbing the four or five units of the item that the store has on the shelf; you steal it from delivery trucks, or pay store employees to smuggle unopened boxes of the product out to your people.

I've seen a video someone posted on social media of one of these big flash-mob robberies from a day or two ago. People were running out with armfuls of random clothes, not sets of the same item.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:14 PM   #61
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I remember a couple of stories about flash mob robberies a couple of years ago, but it wasn't nearly on this scale. If memory serves correctly, it was a group of kids pillaging convenience stores and mostly making off with a lot of Doritos.

Which is pretty bad, considering it might have been a mom and pop sort of store, but I don't remember anything comparable to what happened in California over the weekend.
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:16 PM   #62
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Old 22nd November 2021, 10:31 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I remember a couple of stories about flash mob robberies a couple of years ago, but it wasn't nearly on this scale. If memory serves correctly, it was a group of kids pillaging convenience stores and mostly making off with a lot of Doritos.

Which is pretty bad, considering it might have been a mom and pop sort of store, but I don't remember anything comparable to what happened in California over the weekend.
Check out this or this.

I think what i was remembering was seeing things like this video on the news.

You're right in that none of this is quite as bad or as organized as the recent ones. I saw a video of the one inn Union Square on Twitter that I can no longer find. It showed a group of hooded thieves running out fo the store and getting into a Mustang. The car was immediately blocked in by police cars, swarmed by officers, the windows were smashed and the people were dragged out. So they at least caught some of them. It will be interesting to see if that leads to anything else.

I also heard (Twitter, so grain of salt required) that they were punching and spraying mace on people while looting the store. Local news is reporting that traffic is being heavily monitored in the Union Square area since the incident. We've been having a problem with sideshows in the nearby areas, and I can't help but wonder if they're somewhat related, given the flash mob nature of both.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 02:31 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
Surely this is a felony, for at least some of the people, depending on how much they stole?



Actually, come to think of it, it shouldn't matter. Even if one of the looters stole a misdemeanor amount, they were engaged in a conspiracy to commit some seriously large scale theft, hence a felony.





And yes, I saw the story about the Union Square attacks the night before.



This is some seriously bad stuff going down. I would hope the law enforcement agencies are going to treat this as something a bit more serious than shoplifiting.
What did they steal each? A TV and a microwave? Blankets and sheets? These aren't career criminals out to retire on a tropical island.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 06:01 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by catsmate View Post
Plus severity of punishment is fairly unrelated to deterrent effect.
Indeed. Flash mob thefts happen because people correctly identify that these stores are vulnerable to large crowds. They might have clerks, loss prevention, or even a cop or two milling around willing to confront a shoplifter, but there's really no way for them to respond effectively to a large group doing a smash and grab. Maybe a couple get nabbed and suffer consequences but the vast majority get away. The risk to reward ratio is favorable.

There's nothing novel about this phenomena, but right wingers will usually cherry pick some example if it suits their political hobby horse, be it crying about "defund the police" (SF has not defunded their police) or BLM protests (nothing to indicate this is politically motivated) or whatever else Tucker Carlson tells them to care about on a given day.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 06:10 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by a_unique_person View Post
What did they steal each? A TV and a microwave? Blankets and sheets? These aren't career criminals out to retire on a tropical island.
It's so much worse than that: they stole yoga pants. Right now, somewhere out there in the wild, are dozens of improperly obtained yoga pants.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 06:21 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I remember a couple of stories about flash mob robberies a couple of years ago, but it wasn't nearly on this scale. If memory serves correctly, it was a group of kids pillaging convenience stores and mostly making off with a lot of Doritos.

I wonder if any of these kids have grown up in the last few years.

No, there's no way those earlier robberies could have been learning experiences for them.

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Old 23rd November 2021, 08:16 AM   #68
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I checked out google news today. There have been some copy-cat incidents.

Twenty people at an LA Nordstrom. A high end consignment store in Palo Alto. Miscellaneous others.


It's easy to shrug and say no big deal, and if it remains confined to a small group of incidents, that's right. If it becomes a trend, though, it puts retail out of business. Drive more business to Amazon.

In reading about this incident, I read about shoplifting as a particular problem in San Francisco. Walgreens closed five outlets in the city, specifically citing shoplifting as the cause. That hurts everyone. It's a big deal.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 08:28 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
If it becomes a trend, though, it puts retail out of business. Drive more business to Amazon.
Amazon is now posting a lot of job ads, specifying "running and grabbing ability". I'm sure it's just for their warehouses. 90% sure.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 08:46 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
I checked out google news today. There have been some copy-cat incidents.

Twenty people at an LA Nordstrom. A high end consignment store in Palo Alto. Miscellaneous others.


It's easy to shrug and say no big deal, and if it remains confined to a small group of incidents, that's right. If it becomes a trend, though, it puts retail out of business. Drive more business to Amazon.

In reading about this incident, I read about shoplifting as a particular problem in San Francisco. Walgreens closed five outlets in the city, specifically citing shoplifting as the cause. That hurts everyone. It's a big deal.
You seem to think that this is a novel incident. Large group smash-and-grab robberies are not new.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 09:07 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
You seem to think that this is a novel incident. Large group smash-and-grab robberies are not new.
Sadly, that's true.

Although I do think the scale of the weekend activity does make it a rather worrisome incident.

In searching for previous incidents, the vast majority that I encountered were convenience stores beset by mobs of unruly teens. There was one North Face store ransacked a few years ago, and the BART mass mugging was something I would consider even more serious than the weekend San Francisco area incidents, but most were almost like large scale pranks than anything else.

We'll see what develops. What happened over the weekend at Nordstrom and elsewhere isn't normal. If it becomes normal, we're in trouble.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 09:50 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Meadmaker View Post
In reading about this incident, I read about shoplifting as a particular problem in San Francisco. Walgreens closed five outlets in the city, specifically citing shoplifting as the cause. That hurts everyone. It's a big deal.
Walgreen's said that, but it's a lie. They have been scaling back their brick-and-mortar stores for a few years now. The SF closures were already planned.

I agree with the idea that this is an old concept given a new dimension with technology. It isn't about defunding the police or BLM. Police were rarely able to stop this sort of thing.

I bet they saw another incident where some central figure put out a blast to a bunch of loosely affiliated people and groups over social media to convene at a specific location on a specific day and pointed them to a location where that central figure wanted a riot to take place. Can anyone think of an event like that?
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Old 23rd November 2021, 10:02 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Indeed. Flash mob thefts happen because people correctly identify that these stores are vulnerable to large crowds. They might have clerks, loss prevention, or even a cop or two milling around willing to confront a shoplifter, but there's really no way for them to respond effectively to a large group doing a smash and grab. Maybe a couple get nabbed and suffer consequences but the vast majority get away. The risk to reward ratio is favorable.
I had a Saturday job in retail in London back in the late 1980s and this was very much a thing for a while then, so much so that we were given specific training on what to do. Which was basically to get out of the way and let them get on with it. Our role in the organisation was to help people buy stuff, not risk getting hurt doing heroics.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 10:35 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Walgreen's said that, but it's a lie. They have been scaling back their brick-and-mortar stores for a few years now. The SF closures were already planned.
Planned since when?

The change in the law which made shoplifting a lesser crime dates back to 2014, and they've been dealing with the increase in shoplifting for years now. Yes, Walgreens has been scaling back across the country, but they've scaled back in SF much more than their average. And they've closed a lot more than 5 stores, that's just the latest round.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 10:41 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Donal View Post
Walgreen's said that, but it's a lie. They have been scaling back their brick-and-mortar stores for a few years now. The SF closures were already planned.

I agree with the idea that this is an old concept given a new dimension with technology. It isn't about defunding the police or BLM. Police were rarely able to stop this sort of thing.

I bet they saw another incident where some central figure put out a blast to a bunch of loosely affiliated people and groups over social media to convene at a specific location on a specific day and pointed them to a location where that central figure wanted a riot to take place. Can anyone think of an event like that?
It's curious what crimes and thefts get coverage.

Quote:
Last summer there were 330 media reports about a single shoplifting event in SF—incl. coverage in SK, Mexico, UK, France. millions of FB shares. If you dont see this & the 1000s of breathless “Walgreens Closing!” stories as a foaming reactionary mob narrative not sure what to say

Does anyone think this coverage is healthy or proportionate? Walgreens settled a $4.5M California wage theft lawsuit in Dec 2020 and it received one (1) mainstream media mention. Does this seem like a media environment genuinely concerned the needs of working and poor people?
https://twitter.com/adamjohnsonnyc/s...72640679403521

I suppose Walgreens systematically stealing from their employees isn't as easy to capture for a viral video.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 11:45 AM   #76
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LA Nordstrom hit last night, and lots of activity extending into last weekend there.

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2021...-at-the-grove/


The prime attack featured in the article above was different than the flash mob attack in the bay area, in that the store was actually closed at the time.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 01:06 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
It's curious what crimes and thefts get coverage.



https://twitter.com/adamjohnsonnyc/s...72640679403521

I suppose Walgreens systematically stealing from their employees isn't as easy to capture for a viral video.
Obviously, the answer to systematically stealing from their employees, is to just steal back from them..

I'm sure they will change their corporate policies going forward..
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Old 23rd November 2021, 01:12 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Obviously, the answer to systematically stealing from their employees, is to just steal back from them..

I'm sure they will change their corporate policies going forward..
I think you missed the point. The media needs to invent this story about a secret society of thieves and Walgreens took advantage of this to drum up some PR to cover up for their planned store closings and distract from the fact they have stolen way more than these thieves.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 01:18 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Skeptical Greg View Post
Obviously, the answer to systematically stealing from their employees, is to just steal back from them..

I'm sure they will change their corporate policies going forward..
A friend's parents owned two sweatshops in Taiwan Greater China. To increase worker productivity, they decided to remove the toilet paper for most of the day. Workers retaliated by wiping their asses with the product (which included purses, I believe). His parents reluctantly returned the toilet paper.
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Old 23rd November 2021, 01:48 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Oh noes property damage, one of the things that make trolls suddenly remember society has rules. Better have the police murder some more black people in the streets to even it out.

Speaking of trolling...
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