Local shopkeepers; you’re on your own, good luck!

Local shopkeepers have found themselves in quite a conundrum lately. Measure Q thief 1passed easily in the last election, after dire predictions of a public safety collapse without the additional revenue provided by the tax measure. Oddly, that seems to be exactly what happened anyway. After hearing stories of the crimewave facing our neighborhoods, we wondered how local businesses are dealing with it.   Many local businesses were big supporters of taxing themselves for public safety. We assumed that they were going to be the main beneficiaries of the increased law enforcement promised by City officials during the Measure Q campaign.

Our staff has gone out in the field over the last few weeks and have been checking with many local business both large and small. What we have heard and seen has really surprised even the most cynical among us.


There is basically no protection for local businesses at all. When shoplifters are caught in the act and the police are called the a cop may (and we do mean MAY) show up. Once the officers on scene it’s extremely rare for an arrest to actually happen. In some cases, the perpetrator isn’t even told to leave. However, in most cases we were told about the suspects are taken outside and after a brief conversation they are simply let go.

One popular market we talked to said they have repeat offenders who have no fear of arrest. The same thieves come in two or three times a day and steal. When these people are told they’re not allowed in the store they just ignore the employees, because they know there is nothing that the employees can do.

A local car dealer says cars and parts are regularly being stolen from their lot. We’ve noticed private security presence at many new locations, but what good is that if the police won’t arrest people who were caught in the act of stealing!

Is this what ahead in our "mad max" future?

Is this what’s ahead in our Eureka “mad max” future?

This all makes us wonder; What can these businesses do? Take the law in to their own hands? We don’t recommended or condone that. Firstly, employees will be the first to go to jail if they try and protect their life and property. Secondly, a store cashier or minimum wage security guard isn’t well trained to deal with criminals. The police are. But that of course begs the other question; If the police are well trained and get paid to protect life and property, then why aren’t they at the very least arresting thieves caught stealing at local stores?


17 thoughts on “Local shopkeepers; you’re on your own, good luck!

  1. I think you need to put your question about arrests into the context of Prop. 47 before you throw down the police for not doing their jobs. Due to the shim-sham marketing job that fleeced the people into supporting Prop. 47 the following has happened: shoplifting under $50 value is an infraction, not subject to arrest and shoplifting over $50 is still a misdemeanor BUT we used to have 666 PC, which meant that 3 petty theft convictions qualified the now-serial thief for a felony – that’s gone now. Petty theft (under $950) will get you probation, and if you’re already on probation you’ll get – you guessed it – MORE probation. Simply put the criminal justice system has taken away any penalties that would motivate people to not steal. So if these people aren’t going to stop the cops will focus on the crooks that can, in fact, be held to answer for their crimes. Prop 47 needs a major overhaul, but because of the nature of our constitution that will happen only with another proposition, which as we’ve learned are usually bought and paid for these days. The TE likes to blame the cops – this one isn’t on them.


    • Disagree. We heard the same complaints about the police and jail letting everyone go before Prop 47 passed. The Times- Standard reported not long ago there is, in fact, more room in the jail post Prop 47. I believe they said something like 55 empty beds or something thereabouts.

      So, They have more room in jail now than they did before, when criminals- some fairly serious ones- were being released due to overcrowding. You can quibble about changes in classification of crimes, but the bottom like is there is room in, especially for repeat offenders.

      Misdemeanors were, and are, punishable by a year in jail, fines or both. The only reason that doesn’t seem to be happening at all anymore (as I see it) is the justice system got used to releasing petty criminals due to overcrowding and it seems they still operate under the same guidelines as before.

      I had wondered about PC666. That probably should have stayed. Yet, that’s making excuses, as people shouldn’t have to be a felon to get jail time. They could still put them in jail for repeat violation of probation, violating court orders, or whatever. Seems to me the only reason they don’t is they’re used to doing things under overcrowding guidelines.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Today is a strange one…..I agree with Fred!!! I share his opinion, but would go a step further. Even if the person isn’t sentenced to jail time, just physically arresting someone removes them from the store and has an immediate consequence, even if its not a very stern one. Why not take the report and make an arrest? It seems they arrest drunks all day long when looking at the booking logs. Why give thieves a free pass?

        Liked by 3 people

    • Ok prop 47, made many crimes Misdemeanors. In CA, a Misdemeanor is a crime punishable by up to a year in Jail. The Jail is at about 60% of capacity. Humboldt had one of the largest incarceration reduction rates in the entire state of CA. If the DAs and Judges would hand out real sentences for crime then this no consequences revolving door complex could end.


  2. How about the cops not even making them leave them store?
    I talked to a young officer and he said they want to do something but orders from on high say not to even take reports

    Liked by 3 people

    • If they don’t show up or take reports then the crime rate goes down making Mills and the council look good, right?

      Liked by 3 people

      • Whoa there HR….you can’t possibly think that the chief might be trying to fudge the numbers, right? It’s obvious to everyone that crime is going down, because that’s what Mills is telling us.

        Liked by 3 people

  3. not to distract from the excellent point of this article, but I had to get this into play here as well…

    “Whenever you hear someone claim that Person X or Y should have just “Done what the Officers told them to do and they wouldn’t have gotten hurt!” Show them this video. Even though we can’t hear audio, it’s clear that up until the time he first gets kicked in the head, he’s enthusiastically following directions to submit and surrender.”



    orders from the top, don’t arrest shoplifters…. whiners like us complaining about to much force, it would make me seriously grumpy too.


  4. I think you’re asking the wrong folks.

    Any honest CPA will tell you that shrinkage has hovered at or under 1% of sales for many decades in retail.


  5. It shouldn’t take too many 50,000-volt “attention grabbers” from store owners to get the higher-ups at EPD to direct the street officers to start taking action again. If officers have time to issue traffic tickets that don’t result in jail time, then they have time to arrest shoplifters and at least introduce them to the Crossbar Motel.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Traffic tickets generate fines that help fill the coffers. Pretty simple math where the efforts have to go.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree. That was in response to one of the excuses given for the lack of action, the change in the laws on theft and how offenders aren’t incarcerated (as if extended locking up of minor offenders is sane public policy, but that for another day). Hopefully things don’t get to the point in some store of the execution scene in “The Green Mile” before EPD hierarchy changes its priorities…

        Traffic tickets…which tend to be an extremely regressive tax on those least able to afford it, making the sales tax seem almost fair in comparison.

        Liked by 1 person

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