“Dumb Criminal” stories are pretty popular on television and on the web. They seem to drive a wedge between the “normal” people and suspected criminals. Although they typically only represent a very small portion of those people accused of crime, they are entertaining nonetheless.
Case in point: Two Portland men are accused of a shoplifting spree at a Fred Meyer store. That in itself is nothing remarkable. However, these two men decided to commit these acts of theft on, of all days, “Shop With a Cop Day.”
Every year 150 kids in the area get vouchers for $150 worth of school supplies and clothes. In conjunction with the Boys and Girls Club and the Rose Community Center, the Portland Police Department sends out dozens of officers in uniform, on horses, and with their canines, to help in the shopping process. The kids get to “shop with a cop” for all their back to school needs.
This year, two men decided the day would have police far too occupied with the kids for them to notice two shoplifters in their midst. Unfortunately for them, someone did notice and there were plenty of officers around to apprehend the suspects.
The two men are accused of stuffing blenders, clothes, tools, and shoes into their backpacks, according to this report. Both are facing theft charges and no doubt some serious embarrassment for their interesting choice of criminal activity.
Most people charged with theft are far from this bold. They may see an opportunity to get something and don’t realize the risk of them getting caught is pretty good.
More typical cases where the defendant, our client, is filled with regret and wishes they could take back that incident that led to their arrest.
When it comes to theft, whether you shoplift or keep someone else’s property without permission, you can face some pretty serious penalties. Even if you steal something that’s valued less than $50, you could face 3rd degree theft charges and the potential of jail time.
More than likely you didn’t think you would get caught. Perhaps your finances have been bad or you are out of work. There are many factors that can push people to commit a crime they wouldn’t normally consider. While the court doesn’t see being broke as a legitimate excuse for theft, it could help explain why you did what you did.