Uphill battle

I haven't set foot in a Fred Meyer store in nearly two years, but those who do may notice some increased rent-a-cop presence, and some kind of receipt-checking at the door, in the near future. The Kroger people made an announcement about it yesterday, dutifully covered here, with the mayor, Dud Wheeler, and the police chief, Chuck Love L, in attendance in front of the produce. "Partnership," blah blah blah. 

The problem, of course, is that there aren't enough cops in Portland to deal with something like shoplifting, and the Boy Wonder D.A. has no interest whatsoever in property crime. And so I'm not sure what the private security guards are going to do when some lowlife pushes past the receipt-checkers and heads for their car with a bunch of unpaid-for stuff.

Does the news of a tougher stance by the store give you a better sense of security? I won't ever know for sure, since I don't shop there, but hypothetically speaking, it wouldn't make me feel a whole lot safer.


  1. I can just see it now. The security guards will be armed with zucchini’s from said produce department. But in weird Portland that would likely not be a deterrent, but would be an enticement.

  2. A few years ago I was paying the bill at the check out stand at Hollywood Fred Meyers, when a young man run out through the exit doors carrying several cartons of cigarettes. When I mentioned “obviously a shoplifter”. The cashier said “we aren’t allowed to chase them”. Then she said “that guy was in my high school class.”

    1. I don't want to be around when the chasing starts.

  3. The shoplifters can add a little to their haul when they sue the security guards for "assaulting them" as they try to run out the door. There is good money in that in PDX.

  4. It's called EQUITY baby. We fostered the notion that I'm entitled to steal because I was dealt a bad hand. That's why you can't lay your "hand" on them.

  5. I totally get what Freddies is doing regarding shoplifting.
    Let's say it's employee (Bill) tackles a guy (John) who is running out with a $20 -- case of water. The police come; two hours later, they've interviewed Bill--who's now struting like a peacock for stopping a thief--and other employees who witnessed the event; the store decides to press charges and John is arrested.
    In the course of tackling John, Bill bruised and his skin was abraded. Bill goes to the doctor; and expects to be paid for the time he spends on the doctor visit takes and the medical bills; Freddies also reports the employee's injury to the state.
    The DA decides to prosecute; he interviews the Bill and the other employees again and the store employees eventually testify on behalf of the store--the employees expect Freddies to pay for the time they spend providing testimony. John is eventually found guilty, ordered to pay restitution and sent to jail for three months.
    The theft is $20 (yeah, I know it is likely to be repeated) but prosecuting every crime indicates lack of prioritization. Prosecuting this likely costs Freddies a lot of money in employee wages--and it's fortunate that Bill's injuries were minor (and as another commentor suggested that Freddies will have to defend a suit over any injuries he sustained in his theft). Freddies generally saves money by almost NEVER pressing charges. Freddies' low-cost theft prevention option is rent-a-cops who can identify and prevent John from entering the store, employees checking receipts and warning their employees that any employee who tries to prevent (arrest) thieves will be fired (which another commenter bemoaned).
    Prosecution drags a few citizens away from their normal work to sit on a jury (they receive paying next to nothing for their service and lose any wages they would have earned if they' were working). They don't get a choice.
    Then there are the costs I pay for (through taxes) to prosecute this $20 crime--police, attorneys and judge time spent on the case followed by providing John with indigent housing (jail). That leaves me wondering why law enforcement isn't doing an even better job of prioritizing our scarce resources (my tax dollars) on crimes of more consequence such as preventing and prosecuting violent and white-collar crime and thefts from the 'little' guys who (unlike Freddies) don't have the resources to protect themselves. I'm amazed at those who think every crime ought to be prosecuted and who are outraged by prioritization in use of resources and the search for lower cost alternatives. An example extraordinarily bad prioritization is Texas' prioritization of prosecuting the parents of transgender kids (they have nothing better to do with their child welfare/protective services money?).
    I'll get off my soapbox.

    1. I’ll get on my soapbox and bet the “shoplifter John” grew up in a home where the adults weren’t “parents “.


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