A pair of thieves argued they should receive lighter sentences because the items they stole from a Kohl's store were on sale.
The prosecutor's office for Colorado's 18th Judicial District, which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, said on a Tuesday statement that the men's defense attorneys told jurors that their clients should face lesser charges because some of the items they stole were discounted.
The couple, Michael Green, 50, and Byron Bolden, 37, were ultimately convicted of the higher charge, felony robbery, instead of the lesser charge, a misdemeanor, the prosecutor said. Kohl's Employees Called Thieves the “KitchenAid Mixer Crew” Because They Targeted Expensive Kitchen Appliances: A Stolen KitchenAid Stand Mixer sells for $499 at Kohl's, although it's currently on sale for $350. Designer shoes and clothing were also stolen.
The conviction comes as retailers claim they are being targeted by organized groups of shoplifters, and TargetAn increase in thefts due to the closure of 9 stores. Still, an industry group recently said it had exaggerated the magnitude of the problem, revising a report that originally claimed that about half of the industry's $94.5 billion in missing merchandise was due to organized retail crime.
But the lobby group walked back that figure on Friday, although it reiterated that theft remains a major problem for retailers.
The district attorney's office said the documented value of the stolen items was approximately $2,095. Under Colorado law, theft of between $2,000 and $5,000 is a Class A felony, while theft of less than $2,000 is a misdemeanor — the charge Green and Bolden's attorneys argued for, citing that the items they they took were on sale.
Threat to stores and employees.
“Retail theft is not a victimless crime,” Deputy District Attorney Sherri Giger said in the statement, citing store closures and price gouging to customers as consequences. “Many stores no longer attempt to confront or stop shoplifters in retail stores due to the risk of potential harm to employees and customers from shoplifters who may be armed.”
Earlier this month, a security guard at a Macy's store in Philadelphiaand another was injured after confronting a man who was allegedly trying to steal hats from the store. The suspect was later arrested.
In the Colorado case, the district attorney's office said Green and Bolden were identified by store security and surveillance video. They pleaded not guilty, but Green was sentenced to 15 months in prison, while Bolden received 90 days in prison, the prosecutor said.
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