Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Revenge of the Thin Blue Line 43: Defund the Shop Lifting crime lords

Earlier this month, a couple of criminal "masterminds", Michelle and Kenneth Mack were arrested and indicted at their posh Spanish-style California mansion, charged with running a retail theft and resale operation.

According to the complaint, Mack is accused of paying airfare, hotel, and rental car costs for a network of women to travel nationwide, where they would go out and steal goods and then send them back to Michelle Mack’s home. She would then sell the stolen goods at a discount via Amazon Marketplace. 

Bonta said the group, known as the “California Girls,” operated in a dozen states nationwide and targeted stores including LensCrafters, Sephora, Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, Prada, Bath & Body Works, Victoria’s Secret, Sunglass Hut, and over 231 Ulta Beauty stores, NBC San Diego reported. 

Inside Mack's 4,500 square-foot Spanish-style mansion, authorities discovered a "mini store" with beauty products, sunglasses, and designer bags. Also found were hundreds of postmarked envelopes containing stolen products ready to be shipped to unsuspecting customers at a fraction of their retail price. 

The crime ring operated in stores up and down the California coast and in states such as Washington, Oregon, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Illinois, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Ohio. Mack chose the stores to be targeted and directed what merchandise was to be taken. The women would clear out entire shelves of merchandise into Louis Vitton bags before making off with the merchandise, investigators allege. 

Mack made “millions” through her nationwide shoplifting scheme.

Americans, like most people, have a problem with scale.  It's been pointed out that humans have a hard time grasping the very, very large (the Cosmos) and the very, very small (sub-atomic), which is completely understandable because for millions of years humans and our ancestors dealt with things of our relative size and scope.

So, when it comes to "crime", rightwing propagandists know people grasp and are frightened of the immediate crime they hear about and witness.  So seeing some shop-lifters doing a smash-and-grab of high end products, Americans consider those people to be the criminals, they keep hearing about on rightwing news.  I've pointed this out before when it comes to the catalytic car thieves and how the anger and vitriol is only directed at the thieves cutting out the converters overnight and not the ringleader or end user who is paying the thieves and massively benefiting from the crimes.  Like the Mack couple in San Diego.

A few days ago, I had to deal with several Venezuelan migrants who absconded with two shopping carts full of food.  Now... unlike the organized theft rings masterminded by respectable criminals these migrants were quickly spotted and identified.  The groceries they stole were obviously for their consumption and not to be turned around like the beauty product theft ring.  Fortunately, the manager at the well-known grocery store just wanted them to pay for the perishable foodstuffs and send them on their way.  While walking in, a pair of white men, loudly muttered "Really??? Really???" while angrily shaking their heads.  

Now, these men appeared to be low-wage workers, please note I did not say "low class", and I'm sure their anger was because of how they've followed the rules, don't steal or commit other crimes (maybe) and see those people doing these crimes and "getting away with it".

One of the key weapons the right has used to make everything LOL NOTHING MATTERS HAR-HAR is to remove all distinctions and graduations in criminal incidents.  Either the incident is a crime or it is not to their binary thinking.  This crime is no different than that crime, therefore they can justify all manner of brutality to immigrants (committing the "crime" of entering the country illegally) and the summary extrajudicial killings of black people throughout the country (i.e. you should have just complied with orders).  Of course, there are special carve-outs.  Donald Traitor Trump's plan to defraud the entire Nation and American people is justified.  The rioting insurrectionists invading and shitting in the Capitol on Jan 6th were "invited" in by Police Officers, Kyle Rittenhouse had every right to walk around with an AR-15 picking fights and yearning to shoot people, etc...

But, this is reserved for a certain class of people.  Always remember to rightwingers, white people who adhere to the Reactionary Agenda are afforded all manner of Due Process and often additional special rights above and beyond that while, minorities or those who've transgressed against the principles of MAGA are a priori guilty and deserve whatever happens to them.

There is a Two-Tiered Justice system in the United States, and there always has been.  Trump broke "The Law" in a fundamental way and showed that it should not apply to him or his most ardent cult members.  And the unequal application of "The Law" is perhaps the first and foremost component of a Fascist Takeover.

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