Are the ever-growing state government subsidies for the retail
corporations that authorize 37c civil demand letters for punitive
money damages to be sent to apprehended and arrested or ticketed
shoplifters responsible for the ever-growing incidence of death and
injury to suspected shoplifters outside of the stores on the sidewalks
or in the private parking lots of the private retail stores?
There were practically no deaths or injuries to suspected shoplifters
when shoplifting was treated as an attempt to steal and suspected
shoplifters were apprehended WITHIN the retail stores. However, when
the laws were changed through new case law over the past 30 years to
render apprehended shoplifting a completed larceny, it became
necessary for LP personnel (licensed police agents of the cities) to
stop and detain shoplifting suspects OUTSIDE of the stores after they
passed final checkouts. Also, the concept of civil recovery and civil
demand law would not have been possible if apprehended shoplifting
remained an attempt to steal. It must appear that the retailer has
suffered an actual loss from the shoplifting suspect even though there
is generally no loss whatsoever to the retailer in apprehended
shoplifting because the merchandise is recovered and ususally in
merchantable condition. The suspects are not allowed to
pay for the merchandise once they have departed the store without
paying for the merchandise.
LP personnel systematically stop and detain OUTSIDE of the stores to
establish a completed larceny for which the city police will have
"probable cause" to arrest or ticket the suspect for "stealing",
misdemeanor or felony larceny. Most "first-time-never-before arrested"
suspected shoplifters are diverted from the court into rehab or
diverted into plea bargains for a lesser offense that is not a crime
and avoid criminal records. The business of erasing arrest records,
however, has increased.
The city, then, and not the retail store is responsible for the arrest
and prosecution or disposition of the matter and the corporate
retailer is protected.
The arrest and ticket, however, makes it possible and cost effective
for the retail corporation to send the 37c letters to the criminal
suspects (regardless of the outcome of the criminal case) demanding
statutory damages as set by law and promising not to prosecute the
shoplifting event under the civil law if the money damages are
remitted within a certain time period.
This certainly looks like legalized extortion on behalf of a special
interest group. When the criminal law and the civil law were changed
and manipulated to allow this practice, the "people" were told that
this was for the public good because shoplifting increased the costs
of merchandise to the public and therefore the public should bear the
costs of deterring and preventing and punishing shoplifting to protect
the profits of the retailers.
How many Americans have been killed or injured OUTSIDE of the private
retail stores in the last thirty years on behalf of this subsidy for
the retailers? I don't think it is possible to research this question
using the public records because I have tried.
I don't think it is possible to research how much money the American
Retail Corporations have recovered from OUT OF COURT demand letters to
arrested and ticketed suspected shoplifters over the past 30 years.
But, arrest records are supposed to be public records and there must
be some federal requirement that these be maintained. I do know,
however, that arrests for "stealing" in the area in which I live range
from almost half to over half on a constant basis. This is perhaps
the only record that is available to the public and to the IRS who we
hope is collective taxes on these civil demands for punitive damages.