Boots & Sabers

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1638, 25 Aug 15

UW Official Advocates Decriminalizing Shoplifting

Yes, your tax dollars are being extracted from you to pay this man.

A UW official’s comments critical of prosecuting shoplifters at “big box” stores have garnered widespread criticism, prompting a statement explaining the remarks.

“I just don’t think that they should be prosecuting cases … for people who steal from Wal-Mart,” said Everett Mitchell, director of community relations at UW, at a panel discussion last week. “I just don’t think that. I don’t think Target or all them other places, the big boxes that have insurance, that they should be using … the fact that people steal from there, justification to start engaging in aggressive police practices.”

Mitchell, who is African-American, is also pastor of Christ the Solid Rock Baptist Church and a former prosecutor with the Dane County District Attorney’s Office. He made the comments on Aug. 18 during a discussion on best policing practices at Vilas Hall, which also featured former Madison Police Chief David Couper and Young Gifted and Black organizer M Adams. (See the comments here.)

His remarks, reported the conservative news organization Media Trackers and picked up by the Daily Caller and other publications, drew comments  expressing outrage at Mitchell’s call to let shoplifters off the hook.


1638, 25 August 2015


  1. Dan

    What an idiot.
    First, these places don’t have insurance for their losses. They can write them off on their taxes but that is it.
    And because of these thefts, it raises prices on those who shop there.
    At the Wal-Mart store I used to work at, we would annually have over $300,000 or more in theft. Guess who pays for it? The customers, of course.
    I thought you had to have an IQ over 10 to work at U.W. or be a pastor, but I guess not.

  2. Fairs Fare

    I agree this guy is an idiot but I disagree that “these places don’t have insurance for their losses”.

  3. Paul

    They don’t. No insurer(s) is going to eat over a billion dollars in inventory shrink claims annually. The focus is more on slip-and-fall liability from customers and those frivolous claims.

    No retailer is going to pay a premium that high, and the associated costs of filing and administrating claims.

  4. Kevin Scheunemann

    You also cannot get a per incident deductable low enough to even cover the theft.

    Theft Deductables are $1000-$5000 per incident in most commercial policies of this type.

    That is not cumulative, that is per incident.

    If anyone makes off with enough merchandise to get past the deductable, that is an organized operation, like a truck backing up to the dock to steal a lot of items. 99% of retail theft does not fall anywhere close to this.

  5. Fairs Fare

    I’m glad we all agree insurance is available for thefts within the retail industry. These places do have insurance for their losses. How they choose to use it or not use it is at their own discretion. Bottom line… This guy is a fool and retailers do carry theft insurance.

  6. Paul

    Nobody agreed with you.

    Crawl back in the hole you were in for the last month. This place was much better without you.

  7. Kevin Scheunemann


    What comments are you reading?

    99 percent of retail theft is inside the ins. Deductable.

    Therefore the theft is NOT covered.

  8. Fairs Fare

    Thanks Paul! Coming from a guy with a fictional gangster as his mascot I can accurately predict a midlife crisis and a small penis are part of your daily life. I bet you also have a “Sons of Anarchy” coat you wear while riding your “Sporty”. Not to mention the fact that you are dead wrong. Do you really stand behind retailers not having insurance for losses? Commercial crime insurance is typically what it’s called. Do some research before you blurt out unsubstantiated garbage. Shoplifting accounts for 32% of retail theft. 47% is employee theft, 14% is administrative errors, 4% supplier fraud and 3% is unaccounted for. Hard to claim loss when you can’t prove how it’s happening. That doesn’t mean most business aren’t insured for it. Shoplifters are only caught 1 per 49 incidents. Hard to claim something as stolen if it’s just missing and for those who get caught the product is returned or restitution is ordered. So, how do you propose solving the problem? Longer jail term for the “1” that gets caught? Do you think that product prices would actually come down if shoplifting was completely stopped? The NASP has some interesting perspectives on this problem. Maybe you should read up.

    As for this place being much better without me… I guess that’s a matter of opinion. If better is people still calling others names and unwilling to have intelligent debates. If better is one sided slanderous rhetoric echoed a thousand times before and mostly focused on the negative. If better is a standard of intolerance unmatched on any other blog then you are part of the problem and in no way right or better off. The reality is this is a blog not New Jersey. You are not a gangster and Owen is not Tony Soprano. However, if you and others continue to live in fantasyland then hours on the couch with Jennifer Melfi could be of some benefit.

    The accurate picture, reality and the true face of Republicans, conservatives and this blog, a known patron of organized crime and the poll leader Donald Trump shows exactly how misguided the party is and how stupid, and I do mean stupid the base of the party is. I wonder if you could get a policy to cover the loss the party is going to suffer with Trump at the wheel. Talk about shoplifting… Go Trump Go!!!

  9. Paul

    Between your idiotic, sophomoric rant above, you may have taken the King Asshole title away from Mark Maley. That’s some accomplishment.

    You clearly are out of your league here. You have no clue how insurance works, and how businesses operate. Businesses of WalMart’s size DO NOT carry insurance for day-to-day inventory shrink due to theft. I know this, because I have consulted for a number of larger big box retailers. I know what I’m talking about, and you do not.

    Crawl back in that hole. Nobody here will mind if you disappear.

    And for the rest of your little pot shots about some white trash TV show and penis size — go fuck yourself.

  10. Fairs Fare

    Furthermore, the comments in question are about using aggressive police tactics to engage shoplifters. Listening to the WHOLE discussion and not just 1:18 minutes is necessary in drawing a conclusion. Failure to do so, which has been done here, is ignorant. This discussion was addressing the all to frequent use of unnecessary force that often results in cases of police brutality. Shoplifting should not land a suspect in the hospital or six feet under. So, after further review and keeping the discussion in context (and being able to overlook some misspoken or wrongly injected statements that were corrected) I tend to agree shoplifting is a misdemeanor and not punishable by death especially without a trial. This is typical rhetoric and demon hunting in a further effort to slam the UW System. Funny thing is most of you wing nuts attended the UW System. If anyone would like we can discuss the real topic or we can focus on Owens dredged up rubbish. Research goes a long way when posting articles that could potentially ruin ones livelihood and reputation but who cares about that as long as you keep the agenda moving.

    Obviously, you didn’t do any research. The King Asshole title belongs to one of your own. Th semantics of coverage can be manipulated any way you see fit so that you prove your point but the fact remains the coverage exists. Who do you think the real suckers are? Big box retailers get to include the losses in the price and claim the losses on taxes. They also do claim losses with insurance. So, it appears the sucker is you. Fooled at every angle and willing to pay for the crimes of others. Well, wait I’d expect nothing less from a want-a-be gangster. Apparently, the “little pot shots” (I find your choice of words hilarious) had some truth to them to incite such a response. People are so obvious.

  11. Mark Maley

    I’m not willing to give up my title so easily .

    Please reconsider and keep me the Top Dog !

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