Chicago City Wire

Chicago City Wire

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Political blogger says pension crisis partially to blame for Chicago's increase in retail thefts


By Kyla Asbury | Oct 19, 2019


A blogger and venture capitalist believes the pension crisis is partly to blame for Chicago's recent uptick in shoplifting.

Jeff Carter, the founder of Points and Figures, a blog about startups, markets and politics, said the problem is compounded by the fact that police lack support from state and city government.

"There is no support for the police from politicians," Carter told Chicago City Wire. "There are fewer resources for police because of the pension crisis."

Last week, a community alert was issued because of a robbery pattern in Logan Square that has been issued many times in recent months, CWB Chicago reported. The community crime reporting website noted that the same man had shoplifted the same Walgreen's pharmacy three times in as many weeks and that two robberies occurred at DSW's Loop location in four hours.

"Lots of shops remain empty because of high taxes and people moving away," Carter said. "There's no ability to arm yourself and own a gun without tremendous repercussions."

Another DSW location was robbed three times in one week in May and each time, it was by groups of five to seven men and women who entered the location and then left with duffle bags full of merchandise, CWB Chicago reported. The news outlet reported that the incidents were not isolated.

Retail thefts have been on the rise since Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx was elected, as her office won't prosecute shoplifters unless they exceed $1,000, CWB reported. However, Foxx's office released a statement stating it continues to prosecute both misdemeanor and felony thefts.

Justice Mayor Kris Wasowicz recently said at a Cook County Board event that people were not being prosecuted for stealing, the Chicago Tribune reported.

"A thousand dollars in merchandise — for a small business, that could be the profit margin for a month," Wasowicz said at the event.

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