Sunday, November 9

Rioters loot business near Ferguson; local mayor says "Not really our concern."

Wanna see the future?  This story is a couple of months old but offers some clear lessons.  Some things are easy to see:
Rioting and looting went beyond the borders of Ferguson Sunday night. The mayor of Dellwood says eight businesses in his community were hit as well. The Dellwood Market was one of those locations ransacked and burned by looters.

Surveillance video of the attack on the store shows a group of fifteen to twenty people outside, throwing items at the glass windows and doors trying to break in. When that doesn't work, the video shows two men shooting the glass with handguns.

A camera inside shows people pouring in. A large number of them run behind the counter, grabbing cigarettes and liquor.

Owner Muntaz Lalani got a call from the alarm company and watched the video live online. He was horrified by what he saw.  “I felt so helpless, watching my livelihood going up in flames.  They stole everything. I couldn’t do anything.”

He called police but no police arrived.  It wasn’t until his store had been totally looted and set afire that any government employee arrived: the fire department.

Dellwood’s mayor, Reggie Jones, says the widespread damage to businesses was the result of a couple of factors. First, the conflict between protestors and police on West Florissant Avenue saw everyone facing off with police pushed into Dellwood.

In addition, Jones says, there was miscommunication between the county police unit that contracts with Dellwood and the Missouri Highway Patrol. He says he assigned his officers to patrol Dellwood’s neighborhoods [not businesses]. He says he was under the impression state troopers had businesses covered, but those troopers had apparently responded to what was happening up the street in Ferguson. That left the businesses in Dellwood uncovered.

“It wasn’t really a concern of ours as far as our patrol guys patrolling the businesses because we thought they were being taken care of,” he said.
That last line is telling--classic buck-passing deflection:  "It wasn't really a concern of ours..." because mumble mumble bullshit bullshit.

A history lesson:  A couple of decades ago a thug looking for an easy score accidentally hit on the idea of jumping a driver stopped at a light.  Thug jumps in and orders driver to go someplace remote and then steals everything, including the victim's car.

Days after the story, other thugs started doing the same.  It was virtually risk-free.

One county back east saw 400 carjackings in a single month.

The only thing that finally stopped the wave of this new crime was that prosecutors and cops pushed it to the top of their priority list.  They started solving some and putting the thugs in prison for longer-than-usual terms.  Others got the message and went back to simple muggings and break-ins, which often resulted in plea bargains of a couple of months instead of five years.  Better deal.

Because looting and rioting are "property crimes" that don't normally involve danger to innocent victims, DA's aren't interested in prosecuting.  And what message do you think thugs get from that?

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