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Is the US Mirroring the Wild West?

Marion Charatan

Posted on August 21, 2022 21:02

2 users

One of the worst displays of bad behavior happened in a 7-11--and it's on tape.

What the F*&K has happened to civility? I wrote about 'the pandemic of rudeness' in a previous post--and a recent L.A. story takes the cake--or the Slurpee, as it were.

Theft is common in convenience stores. It's a fact of life for owners. There are countless incidents of strong-arm robberies at convenience shops; just too many to list. But I will cite one that happened last week in L.A. On August 15, a mob of 100 people rushed into a 7-11 near El Segundo Boulevard and Figueroa Street. The gang grabbed cigarettes, drinks, lottery tickets, and chips--seemingly anything they could get their hands on. The LAPD said the mob threw merchandise at the staff, who were understandably rattled. An employee said he was scared for his life.

This event was pre-meditated by the 100 perpetrators. Video footage showed they had blocked the road with their vehicles. Later on, they did donuts to 'flex their muscles.' This display was unacceptable, immoral behavior, and idiotic. What surprises me (and little surprises me these days) is that one hundred individuals would agree to participate in such tomfoolery. But I guess the perps know the laws.

If the suspects are apprehended, they can face charges of vandalism, grand theft, and looting. But the catch is that Proposition 14, passed in the California legislature, has lowered some property thefts down to a misdemeanor from a felony. The goal of the law, per California's Supreme Court, was to reduce overcrowding in jails. So, a felony theft charge means a theft must be over $950 (not $400).  Whoever invaded the 7-11 likely knows that their stash met that threshold. The flash mob quickly dispersed before police arrived.

Stealing is way up in L.A., by 17 percent from last year. The chaotic scene from last week is an illustration of just how lawless and uncaring our society has become. The only encouraging news out of this absurd event is that no one was physically harmed or died. But I am sure that the workers will be traumatized for a long time to come and might not be emotionally equipped to continue working in retail.

I never thought of it as dangerous to work in a 7-11 when I was growing up. My friends and I would hang out at 'Sev' in Syosset, NY, and never think anything of it. Today, you can take your life into your hands, sadly, if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Mob thefts have become more common. I am not a proponent of locking people up for long terms for petty crimes. But somehow, we must do better as a society and find viable solutions to protect people who are just trying to make an honest living--so they can feel safe and not too scared to show up for work.

*Update- Just read the LAPD will impound cars involved in street takeovers for 30 days 

Marion Charatan

Posted on August 21, 2022 21:02

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