Monday, July 30, 2012

A Polaroid on the wall behind the cash register counter? How passé, it seems!

It seems that people who get caught shoplifting won’t have their pictures taken with a Polaroid camera so that the resulting quickie image can be pinned to a “Wall of Shame” of people who are no longer welcome.

That is as much of an image of the past as basketball players in gym shorts --  instead of those baggy things they now wear that look more like a skirt!

THAT IDEA GOT reinforced in my head when I read the reports about the alleged “flash mob” that coordinated their large-scale shoplifting of a store on Milwaukee Avenue that specializes in overpriced jeans.

Some 20 people walked into the store at once, in unison, then proceeded to grab what they wanted before trying to storm their way out of the store.

Various news reports indicate that the store’s owner was suspicious when the people walked into his Wicker Park neighborhood store, and actually slammed the door shut and locked it – thereby keeping even more would-be thieves from getting in to swipe some merchandise.

But what catches my attention about this incident is less the idea that it was a “flash mob” of young people using their tactic to rob, rather than to commit some act of public art such as dancing in unison.

BUT RATHER, THE reaction of the store owner. The security cameras in his store were operating, and they captured several minutes of footage of people milling around snatching whatever items captured their attention.

The store owner took the video and has made it about as public as one can do. It is now on YouTube. Anybody who cares can watch it.

The YouTube video contains a caption advising people that if they recognize anyone in the video, they should call the Chicago Police Department at (312) 744-8290 and say they have information with regards to case number HV-404817.

The store owner says he hopes his action helps police find the people who robbed him, and may even cause enough parents to be so ashamed of their kids that they turn them in.

WHICH MAY BE wishful thinking on his part!

Because I think the kind of people who like to watch this kind of nonsense on the Internet are the same kind who go to YouTube and search for “fighting” or “brawls” just so they can see something stupid.

It’s some sort of cheap thrill that I’ll be the first to admit I don’t comprehend.

If anyone who is even inclined to view this video were to recognize someone in it, would they bother to tell? I suspect at least some people wouldn’t, perhaps because they somehow approve, or maybe they just buy into the “Stop snitching” mentality that truly is the basis of some of the problems our society confronts.

SO IN THE end, did this store owner just give Internet video viewers another means of giving themselves a cheap thrill?

Although in the end, this might actually be the perfect punishment for this particular batch of knuckleheads who we see ripping off jeans priced at $200 per pair.

Just envision if anyone who gets arrested winds up having their name attached to this particular video, and it were to keep cropping up forevermore any time anyone does an Internet search of their name.

That would be something that could cause future embarrassment!

ALTHOUGH IT WOULDN’T shock me to learn that if it did happen, somebody would sue.

Just as it was determined all those grocery stores that used to love to tape up copies of bounced checks near the cash register in a place where everybody could see were actually violating the privacy of those who wrote the bad checks, would that same line of logic wind up applying to this case?

And would the person who claims this video invades their privacy have the gall to show up in court wearing the jeans they gathered this weekend?

In today’s society, nothing truly shocks me.


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