Stopping Smash-and-Grab in Florida

 

Law enforcement in Florida is pushing back against those criminals who have plans to attack and steal from our businesses. As often happens in this state, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is leading the way, teaming up with Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody. No one is sitting on their hands, waiting to see if the crooks try to victimize our communities:

‘As organized crime has increased, as organized theft rings have become more complex and sophisticated, so will we,’ Moody said.

State officials launched the Florida Organized Retail Crime Exchange, a new database that will help law enforcement track retail thefts and identify the criminal organizations behind them.

‘This holiday season I want Floridians to feel safe and secure when they go out to our shopping centers,’ Moody said.

Moody and Judd were accompanied by other prominent leaders at a presentation last week, including St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway and Florida Retail Federation President and CEO Scott Shalley. Representatives from stores like Walmart, Lowe’s, and Publix stood with them.

AG Moody wanted everyone to know that the problem they plan to address doesn’t have to do with simple shoplifting. Sophisticated criminals have discovered ways to try to dodge law enforcement:

Tyson Roberts, who works on the asset protections investigation team at Home Depot, thanked Florida prosecutors and first responders for taking swift action.

‘These rings are formed up of criminal enterprises that go beyond petty shoplifting,’ Roberts explained. ‘They’re professional thieves running a business, stealing merchandise from our retailers and our communities.’

Roberts said online shopping has made it increasingly easy for criminals to resell the stolen merchandise via the Internet. In many cases, prosecutors say juveniles are recruited to help steal the merchandise from brick-and-mortar stores because the people running the criminal enterprises believe young people are less likely to be held accountable.

‘These criminal networks hide in plain sight,’ Roberts said. ‘They’re able to do business anonymously on online platforms. Taskforces…[are] necessary to have the resources to combat this growing problem and to bring coordination to all of our efforts.’

I am so inspired on many levels by these efforts. First, the coordination with law enforcement across the state, and with the retailers shows a sophisticated and practical approach to this problem, before it becomes a serious issue in Florida. Second, these efforts are not just about protecting retailers, but also about protecting the consumer who may be reluctant to shop at retailers due to potential dangers; stopping these criminals will also help keep prices from rising to cover losses. Third, it lets criminals and the public know that the rule of law will be enforced. As Sheriff Judd says to those contemplating striking businesses with flash mobs:

‘You’re not going to do it here. You’ll spend Christmas not with Santa Claus but with Santa Judd at the county jail. That’s a guarantee.’

And Sheriff Grady Judd is a man of his word.

[photo courtesy of Yahoo! News]

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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Nice to see you corrected the photos.  :-)  (I happened to catch it just 1 minute after posting.)

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Nice to see you corrected the photos. :-) (I happened to catch it just 1 minute after posting.)

    You’re too fast for me, ke! 

    • #2
  3. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    They used to hang horse thieves, not because horses were somehow special animals. It was because horses were necessary to the continued functioning of every citizen, and to have your horse suddenly stolen was devastating and potentially life-threatening to you. And it was comparatively easy to do. So, summary hanging was instituted as a deterrent from trying this form of societal threat.

    No society can function when the criminal element realizes that certain crimes are a piece of cake if you are not concerned with consequences. Rittenhouse’s attackers learned about consequences of casual, confident crime. 

    Seems like we wouldn’t have to hang very many of them before the others got the message. YouTube is a powerful thing.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Nice to see you corrected the photos. :-) (I happened to catch it just 1 minute after posting.)

    You’re too fast for me, ke!

    Just dumb luck when I pressed F5 (Refresh), normally I wouldn’t even be awake this early.  Couldn’t sleep any more.  Tried.  Couldn’t.

    • #4
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    The Scarecrow (View Comment):

    They used to hang horse thieves, not because horses were somehow special animals. It was because horses were necessary to the continued functioning of every citizen, and to have your horse suddenly stolen was devastating and potentially life-threatening to you. And it was comparatively easy to do. So, summary hanging was instituted as a deterrent from trying this form of societal threat.

    No society can function when the criminal element realizes that certain crimes are a piece of cake if you are not concerned with consequences. Rittenhouse’s attackers learned about consequences of casual, confident crime.

    Seems like we wouldn’t have to hang very many of them before the others got the message. YouTube is a powerful thing.

    Well said, Scarecrow! I didn’t know that fact about horse thieves, but it makes sense. Some would say we’re “too sophisticated” to take those actions today, but it sure makes you think about all the lives that were already ruined recently.

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Nice to see you corrected the photos. :-) (I happened to catch it just 1 minute after posting.)

    You’re too fast for me, ke!

    Just dumb luck when I pressed F5 (Refresh), normally I wouldn’t even be awake this early. Couldn’t sleep any more. Tried. Couldn’t.

    Anything special weighing on you that you want to share? I don’t want to pry . . . 

    • #6
  7. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Nice to see you corrected the photos. :-) (I happened to catch it just 1 minute after posting.)

    You’re too fast for me, ke!

    Just dumb luck when I pressed F5 (Refresh), normally I wouldn’t even be awake this early. Couldn’t sleep any more. Tried. Couldn’t.

    Anything special weighing on you that you want to share? I don’t want to pry . . .

    No, just sometimes I don’t sleep as long as I’d like to.  Technically it’s probably a good thing, if it means I’m not actually tired any more.  Sometimes if I don’t sleep “enough” at night I end up needing a lie-down later in the day, but that hasn’t been the case recently.  Maybe the L-Lysine I recently started has been “helping” in unexpected ways.  But I kinda like sleeping for 10 hours so maybe I should stop taking it.  :-)

    • #7
  8. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    I hope any states that are hesitating to be proactive are taking notes from Florida. I don’t expect that to apply to the blue states, unfortunately. 

    • #8
  9. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I hope any states that are hesitating to be proactive are taking notes from Florida. I don’t expect that to apply to the blue states, unfortunately.

    Of course not, the blue states aren’t willing to be racist like Florida et al!

    • #9
  10. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Nice to see you corrected the photos. :-) (I happened to catch it just 1 minute after posting.)

    You’re too fast for me, ke!

     

    You think THAT was fast?  (It says “2 seconds ago”)

     

    • #10
  11. Buckpasser Member
    Buckpasser
    @Buckpasser

    Blue States such as California encourage these robberies (i. e. bail reform).  Florida seems to be very much ahead of the curve on most things these days.  After almost 40 years in California (COVIDland) and 1 year in Florida (America) I feel like I’m a kid again.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Buckpasser (View Comment):

    Blue States such as California encourage these robberies (i. e. bail reform). Florida seems to be very much ahead of the curve on most things these days. After almost 40 years in California (COVIDland) and 1 year in Florida (America) I feel like I’m a kid again.

    It seems like every day we hear about a new nightmare in CA. I still have friends there, so I pray for them. It’s very liberating to be in FL!

    • #12
  13. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    I am completely baffled that there seems to be this felt need for special efforts. Until the last few years of George Soros backed District Attorneys and Black Lives Matter inspired decriminalization of criminal activity, this was basic law enforcement. 

    Until about three years ago I lived in a suburb east of Rochester NY. It was popular for criminal gangs (primarily based in the city of Rochester) to steal high value / small size stuff (baby formula and razor cartridges were popular) from Target and Walmart stores in our suburb and several other towns along the major highway heading east. After stealing relatively small amounts from each of three or four stores across two or three counties, the gangs would then sell the items in the retail unfriendly environment of the city of Rochester, a city that had no supermarkets, Targets or Walmarts. The gangs generally counted on keeping each theft small enough that the store wouldn’t bother reporting it, and that if they hit stores in different towns and counties law enforcement wouldn’t notice the pattern. But, the various police and sheriff departments along the thieves’ routes DID notice and coordinated their enforcement. Representatives of several town police departments would get together frequently to compare notes and coordinate enforcement. The District Attorney for the county (elected primarily by the more conservative suburbs than by the lefty city) did prosecute. No town on its own would likely make a serious dent in the problem. But together they could. The coordinated action didn’t completely stop the thievery, but it did keep it down to a modest level.

    But now that district attorneys are refusing to prosecute theft (often as official department policy, and sometimes as in California law completely decriminalized), that reduces the “cost of business” for such gangs, so of course coordinated thievery is going to increase. The most likely path to reducing it is for law enforcement (including the district attorneys) to coordinate. 

    • #13
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    But, the various police and sheriff departments along the thieves’ routes DID notice and coordinated their enforcement. Representatives of several town police departments would get together frequently to compare notes and coordinate enforcement. The District Attorney for the county (elected primarily by the more conservative suburbs than by the lefty city) did prosecute. No town on its own would likely make a serious dent in the problem. But together they could. The coordinated action didn’t completely stop the thievery, but it did keep it down to a modest level.

    Very interesting! Coordination is key, and in other areas, FL does a pretty good job of working together. In one of the articles I cited, Sheriff Judd spoke highly of AG Moody. That’s admirable for many reasons! Thanks, FST.

    • #14
  15. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I am completely baffled that there seems to be this felt need for special efforts. Until the last few years of George Soros backed District Attorneys and Black Lives Matter inspired decriminalization of criminal activity, this was basic law enforcement.

    Until about three years ago I lived in a suburb east of Rochester NY. It was popular for criminal gangs (primarily based in the city of Rochester) to steal high value / small size stuff (baby formula and razor cartridges were popular) from Target and Walmart stores in our suburb and several other towns along the major highway heading east. After stealing relatively small amounts from each of three or four stores across two or three counties, the gangs would then sell the items in the retail unfriendly environment of the city of Rochester, a city that had no supermarkets, Targets or Walmarts. The gangs generally counted on keeping each theft small enough that the store wouldn’t bother reporting it, and that if they hit stores in different towns and counties law enforcement wouldn’t notice the pattern. But, the various police and sheriff departments along the thieves’ routes DID notice and coordinated their enforcement. Representatives of several town police departments would get together frequently to compare notes and coordinate enforcement. The District Attorney for the county (elected primarily by the more conservative suburbs than by the lefty city) did prosecute. No town on its own would likely make a serious dent in the problem. But together they could. The coordinated action didn’t completely stop the thievery, but it did keep it down to a modest level.

    But now that district attorneys are refusing to prosecute theft (often as official department policy, and sometimes as in California law completely decriminalized), that reduces the “cost of business” for such gangs, so of course coordinated thievery is going to increase. The most likely path to reducing it is for law enforcement (including the district attorneys) to coordinate.

    But that would be “profiling!”  Or something.

    • #15
  16. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    I am completely baffled that there seems to be this felt need for special efforts. Until the last few years of George Soros backed District Attorneys and Black Lives Matter inspired decriminalization of criminal activity, this was basic law enforcement.

    Until about three years ago I lived in a suburb east of Rochester NY. It was popular for criminal gangs (primarily based in the city of Rochester) to steal high value / small size stuff (baby formula and razor cartridges were popular) from Target and Walmart stores in our suburb and several other towns along the major highway heading east. After stealing relatively small amounts from each of three or four stores across two or three counties, the gangs would then sell the items in the retail unfriendly environment of the city of Rochester, a city that had no supermarkets, Targets or Walmarts. The gangs generally counted on keeping each theft small enough that the store wouldn’t bother reporting it, and that if they hit stores in different towns and counties law enforcement wouldn’t notice the pattern. But, the various police and sheriff departments along the thieves’ routes DID notice and coordinated their enforcement. Representatives of several town police departments would get together frequently to compare notes and coordinate enforcement. The District Attorney for the county (elected primarily by the more conservative suburbs than by the lefty city) did prosecute. No town on its own would likely make a serious dent in the problem. But together they could. The coordinated action didn’t completely stop the thievery, but it did keep it down to a modest level.

    But now that district attorneys are refusing to prosecute theft (often as official department policy, and sometimes as in California law completely decriminalized), that reduces the “cost of business” for such gangs, so of course coordinated thievery is going to increase. The most likely path to reducing it is for law enforcement (including the district attorneys) to coordinate.

    But that would be “profiling!” Or something.

    In San Francisco, even as so many larger retailers pull out of the city as their shelves are laid bare by “shoplifters,” reporters harp at  the public not about what is really going on (which the OP describes perfectly) but that the main  thing everyone of us in the public must remember is not to refer to this activity as “looting.”

    Because I guess every home in the Hunters Point area needs 1400 bottles of baby shampoo, men’s aftershave and peanut butter.

    • #16
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    but that the main  thing everyone of us in the public must remember is not to refer to this activity as “looting.”

    Aaarrrggghhhhh!

    • #17
  18. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    but that the main thing everyone of us in the public must remember is not to refer to this activity as “looting.”

    Aaarrrggghhhhh!

    Pillaging? Can we still have pillaging?

    I’m up for some old-fashioned pillaging now and then.

    • #18
  19. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    Until about three years ago I lived in a suburb east of Rochester NY. It was popular for criminal gangs (primarily based in the city of Rochester) to steal high value / small size stuff (baby formula and razor cartridges were popular) from Target and Walmart stores in our suburb and several other towns along the major highway heading east. After stealing relatively small amounts from each of three or four stores across two or three counties, the gangs would then sell the items in the retail unfriendly environment of the city of Rochester, a city that had no supermarkets, Targets or Walmarts.

    It’s also things that everybody is constantly running out of. It’s non-inflationary “hard money” in the hood. Laundry detergent is the big one in some cities. 

    • #19
  20. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    If you look closely, this video is on a new level for crime. This is the tony Uptown area in Minneapolis. These guys took 20 minutes to linger and break into cars at a McDonald’s on a busy road. One guy is carrying some kind of a long gun. Hiding the thing is impossible and he doesn’t care. If it’s an actual carbine, obviously you can use big magazines more effectively and you can aim it better. 

     

     

     

    • #20
  21. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    My friend in Lakeland and I talked over Thanksgiving and she told me about this Sherriff Grady.  She said when all those BLM protests were going on, professional protestors/rioters/ in other words, Soros paid agitators were being bussed in to our cities and town, Grady would have none of it.  He had law enforcement waiting and threw those metal strips across the highway and told them to turn around and go back where they came from!  They did. haha! She said no one will run against Grady – he’s no nonsense and keeps getting re-elected – haha!  

    • #21
  22. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    My friend in Lakeland and I talked over Thanksgiving and she told me about this Sherriff Grady. She said when all those BLM protests were going on, professional protestors/rioters/ in other words, Soros paid agitators were being bussed in to our cities and town, Grady would have none of it. He had law enforcement waiting and threw those metal strips across the highway and told them to turn around and go back where they came from! They did. haha! She said no one will run against Grady – he’s no nonsense and keeps getting re-elected – haha!

    The man is truly fearless, FSC. He has warned criminals that he’s advised residents to arm themselves. So anyone who wants to attack us or invade our homes had better think twice! 

    • #22
  23. Ray Gunner Coolidge
    Ray Gunner
    @RayGunner

    I’ve heard enough.  I’m moving to Florida. 

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ray Gunner (View Comment):

    I’ve heard enough. I’m moving to Florida.

    Move to Polk County in particular. These are blue collar folk–my type of people!

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn: teaming up with Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody.

    Why is it Republican women are mostly the ones with b*lls to tackles tough problems?

    Susan Quinn: And Sheriff Grady Judd is a man of his word.

    But we have some men with them too.  DOJ (and the FBI in particular) could use folks like these . . .

    • #25
  26. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    but that the main thing everyone of us in the public must remember is not to refer to this activity as “looting.”

    Aaarrrggghhhhh!

    Pillaging? Can we still have pillaging?

    I’m up for some old-fashioned pillaging now and then.

    Not in Santa Judd’s jurisdiction, though. 

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Percival (View Comment):

    Percival (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill (View Comment):
    but that the main thing everyone of us in the public must remember is not to refer to this activity as “looting.”

    Aaarrrggghhhhh!

    Pillaging? Can we still have pillaging?

    I’m up for some old-fashioned pillaging now and then.

    Not in Santa Judd’s jurisdiction, though.

    I love that poster!

    • #27
  28. The Scarecrow Thatcher
    The Scarecrow
    @TheScarecrow

    I always remember that line from about halfway through this clip, when the guy is talking about a mugger’s chances in Arizona: “Out here, he’d just plain get his a** blown off”.

    (A bit of language here … )

    https://youtu.be/YLXKFKHhl8o

    • #28