A Different Kind Of Mob Crime

The other week I was watching Turner Classic Movies with my girlfriend when a Depression-era movie came on. At one point in the show, a mob of street kids took advantage of a distracted grocer to steal a good number of item off his shelves. Apparently, life may be imitating art these days in the American “recovery.” From the local CBS news affiliate in Chicago, Channel 2, on January 20:

Eleven teenagers have been arrested after they allegedly shoplifted merchandise from three stores on North Michigan Avenue on Wednesday.

Five girls – between the ages of 14 and 16 – and six boys – between 15 and 17 – were arrested at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday near 10 E. Pearson St., police said. All 11 were charged as juveniles with retail theft.

Police said the group shoplifted at three stores along Michigan Avenue’s Magnificent Mile on Wednesday.

Employees at The North Face, 875 N. Michigan Av.; AX Armani Exchange, 520 N. Michigan Av., and Filene’s Basement, 830 N. Michigan Av., identified the teens as a large group of people who took several items off of store shelves, then ran out without paying.

In all, they stole more than $5,000 worth of merchandise, police said.

The inventory from North Face was worth $2,719.99; the items taken from Filene’s were worth $279.99; and merchandise stolen from Armani Exchange was valued at $2,247, according to a police report.

By the way, around the Windy City juveniles have been used by criminal gangs to carry out dirty deeds with hopes of leniency should they get busted. I can’t help but think of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist in this instance. However, that’s not to say kids haven’t been striking out on their own these days. And just outside the city limits, the Chicago Sun-Times reported on January 21:

A mother who may have bitten off more than she could chew Saturday left a north suburban Chuck E. Cheese holding most of her party’s bill, Pioneer Press is reporting.

The woman, described as between 25 and 30, had put down a $30 cash deposit four days before the birthday party for her child. She had chosen a party package that would serve five to celebrate the event, according to a Skokie police report.

She even left her phone number so the restaurant, at 7142 Carpenter Rd., could confirm the celebration that Saturday afternoon.

However, by the time the group arrived, it had somehow ballooned to a total of 15 children and adults, according to the report. They spent more than two hours dining on pizza, sipping soft drinks and playing games.

But when the woman was presented with a bill for $65.68 — in excess of the $30 she had already paid — she balked. She allegedly said the additional amount was “too much,” according to the report.

When Chuck E. Cheese personnel threatened to call police if she didn’t pay it, she said she didn’t care “because they wouldn’t do anything anyway,” the report said.

I have an idea local law enforcement found some inspiration from that last comment. Anyway, no word yet if the alleged Ms. Dinah N. Dash and her posse have been apprehended.

Going back to that story about the group of kids allegedly shoplifting on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, I came across two comments that I found interesting in that they seem to nicely-portray the two sides of the debate as to how juvenile delinquents should be dealt with in our society:

Thinker!

CPD, I THINK FELONIES FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES IS A LITTLE TOO HARSH! NO DOUBT THEY SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE, BUT THEY ARE STILL CHILDREN, AND A MISTAKE THEY MADE WHILE YOUNG AND DUMB SHOULD NOT CARRY ON WITH THEM FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES! PETTY FELONIOUS BACKGROUNDS DO NOTHING BUT MAKE “UNPRODUCTIVE” CITIZENS WHO CANT GET JOBS SO THEY REMAIN CRIMINALS! THEY SHOULD BE PUNISHED, BUT NOT FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES!?! SMH!

Citizen Me

I work for one of the stores robbed and was there trying to deter them from taking anything from the store…These kids had no care of concern for anyone they threaten us and used force as they ran past us also it is reported that they beat up a woman on Michigan Avenue and robbed her. So when you think that children should not be punished so harshly as being charged with Felonies they should be charged with it these as are not 5 year olds who got caught stealing a cookie out of a cookie jar. These are teens who know right from wrong. And by law any retail theft over $200.00 is a felony. Also what is not realized is that the merchandise that was taken (what was recovered because this was not the first round with this group, they had been doing this for a week) is now tied up as it is evidence which means it can’t be sold and takes money from the company as well as the man power to do paperwork for both the company and the police and man I don’t care what anybody says about the CPD they were fantastic in getting these people. But it is sad as these teens just threw away their lives.

Sources:

“11 Teens Charged In Michigan Avenue Shoplifting Spree.” Channel 2 News (Chicago). 20 Jan. 2011. (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/01/20/11-teens-charged-in-michigan-avenue-shoplifting-spree/). 24 Jan. 2011.

“Woman balks at $65 Chuck E. Cheese bill, skips out on tab.” Chicago Sun-Times. 21 Jan. 2011. (http://www.suntimes.com/news/crime/3431519-418/report-according-bill-cheese-chuck.html). 24 Jan. 2011.

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Monday, January 24th, 2011 Crime, Public Safety

2 Comments to A Different Kind Of Mob Crime

  1. Having endured a house break-in last October and then having to deal with the police not caring about apprehending the criminals, I find it difficult to feel sympathy for the perpetuaters of these Chicago crimes.

    While I generally view the middle eastern culture as barbaric, at this point in time I agree with their old law of cutting off the hand of thieves.

    And should I ever catch a burglar inside my house (or attempting to enter), he will wish the above law was enforded upon him, rather than bear I will do to him.

    -Mammoth

  2. Mammoth on January 24th, 2011
  3. Thanks for the comment Mammoth.

    “And should I ever catch a burglar inside my house (or attempting to enter), he will wish the above law was enforded upon him, rather than bear I will do to him.”

    Just had a bit of a shiver down my spine reading this 🙂

  4. Editor on January 26th, 2011

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