The Crime of Being Robbed
Here’s one way to reduce your crime statistics: jail victims who report crime.
That’s the latest method of crime-stopping in Shreveport, Louisiana. Starting October 15, gas station owners and even attendees will be culpable if a thief gases up and drives away without paying. Owners and employees will face fines and even jail time. The reasoning is that they are partly “responsible” for the crime by not requiring all customers to pre-pay.
I can’t say it’s the dumbest law out there because, well, there are so many dumb laws. It’s a very competitive field.
Councilman Monty Walford, who voted against the new ordinance, wonders whether the city will now require that grocery customers give a deposit before entering the store.
Police Chief Henry Whitehorn came up with the idea of penalizing Shreveport gas stations when drivers rob them. Whitehorn babbles that it’s a crime prevention measure. Station owners protest that it’s more customer-friendly to let customers pay after gassing up. In any case, how they conduct business is, obviously, their own business.
All kinds of mandatory restrictions on ways of doing business might “prevent crime.” How about forcing shop owners to force customers to crawl through a concrete maze before reaching the shelves . . . then submit to strip searches as they leave? Sure, such a law would be costly, but it would “prevent crime.”
Except for the crime of the law itself.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.