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Three Rochester men accused of brazen attempt to steal $1,900 in merchandise from Walmart

Michael Dawson Keith Brantley Eric Strong

Shoplifting at Walmart usually results in a petit larceny charge, but three men from Rochester yesterday allegedly tried to make off with so much loot they were arrested on felony grand larceny charges.

All three were arraigned in Batavia Town Court and ordered held without bail.

Chief Deputy Jerome Brewster said store security informed the Sheriff's Office some time before noon that the three men had entered the store and had been identified as possible thieves at other Walmart locations.

Patrol cars pulled into the Walmart parking lot and waited.

"We waited to see if they were going to pay, or walk out without paying," Brewster said. "They decided they were going to walk out without paying."

The men allegedly pushed out a single shopping cart filled with totes that were filled with merchandise. The men were also accused of having stolen merchandise on them.

The total value of the merchandise was placed at $1,900.

Charged with grand larceny in the fourth degree, a Class E felony, were Keith Lamar Brantley, 43, of Adams Street, Rochester; Michael Joseph Dawson, 49, of Forbes Street Rochester; and Eric Lee Strong, 53, of Wellington Avenue, Rochester.

As brazen as the alleged theft attempt seems to be, Brewster said he believes this sort of crime is common. We just never hear about it.

"I believe this type of retail theft activity is pretty much going on all the time," Brewster said. "The amount of inventory going out of these stores without being paid for is unbelievable."

Dave Olsen
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Howard, I can't remember when or what article it was part of, but I do recall you reporting on the dollar amount of "shrinkage" at Wal-Mart. It was mind-boggling. To me at least.

Mark Brudz
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Here Dave, Not that article but boggle some on this

http://www.shopliftingprevention.org/whatnaspoffers/nrc/publiceducstats.htm

An interesting bullet point from the page

Approximately 3 percent of shoplifters are "professionals" who steal solely for resale or profit as a business. These include drug addicts who steal to feed their habit, hardened professionals who steal as a life-style and international shoplifting gangs who steal for profit as a business. "Professional" shoplifters are responsible for 10 percent of the total dollar losses.

Dave Olsen
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Thanks Howard, in reading the comments on that article, it went from the assault to the amount of shrinkage at WalMart to Loofahs (?) to race baiting.
I love you Batavian readers.

Doug Yeomans
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I have the cure for people caught shop lifting. It might sound severe, but everyone pays for all that shrink and I'm tired of footing the bill.

First offense: warning about what happens on the second, third and fourth time + fine
Second offense: lose a finger + fine
Third offense: lose another finger + fine + jail time
Fourth offense: lose a hand + fine + jail time
Fifth offense: There won't be a fifth

Punishment needs to fit the crime. It's obvious that all of the hand slapping for theft just doesn't work. The same names appear in the news because the risk of getting caught doesn't bother anyone. The punishment being meted out isn't a deterrent.

mike nixon
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Does Walmart use facial recognition software?

"store security informed the Sheriff's Office some time before noon that the three men had entered the store and had been identified as possible thieves at other Walmart locations."

Eric [Rick] von k...
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SO, that's the shrinkage George Costanza was talkin about!!!

Dave McCarthy
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Doug, your cure for shoplifting sounds disturbingly like Sharia Law.

Doug Yeomans
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I don't think so. Sharia law would just dictate that the thief lose a hand straight off. It would also be the hand they eat with. Their wiping hand isn't allowed in a food dish, so they'd starve to death.

Doug Yeomans
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How about bamboo caning for stealing? 30 lashes to the buttocks. Paying a fine, 30 days in jail, probation....none of those things seems to be a deterrent. Why are so many people willing to be thieves?

Ed Hartgrove
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Sometimes, Howard, only one “eye” is needed.
Back in the early 90's, I went to Wellsville to visit my (then) father-in-law. His job was to procure & oversee the various electricians, plumbers, construction companies, etc. needed for refurbishing older, existing buildings for new owners. I don't remember the exact name of the store they were working on, but it would be like taking a 'Big N' and changing it into a 'Target', using the blueprints the engineers had drawn up.
Anyways, while I was there, he said, “Here's something you might be interested in.”. He took me into a side room, and it was filled with mannequins.
“What do you see?”, he asked.
Of course, I said I saw a bunch of mannequins.
“Yeah, well, they're more than just mannequins. Look into their 'eyes'. Look very closely.”.
I looked, but I didn't see anything but 'eyes'.
He said, “If you look really, really close, you'll see very tiny holes in the center of the eyes”.
Sure enough, there were very tiny holes in some of the 'eyes'.
He told me those holes were for the lenses the 'security cameras' used to monitor the store's aisles, looking for shoplifters. He said those 'cameras' would be hooked up to monitors in a 'security room', where someone would watch what was going on during shopping hours. I was AMAZED! And that was 20 years ago. Technology has come a long way since then.
Yeah, because there are so many people that believe that it's OK (for whatever reason) to steal from companies (investors?), the stores employ many ways to curb theft (ie. undercover employees, security cameras, facial-recognition software, etc).
I guess it all boils down to the 'new' old saying - “Non-buyer, BEWARE!”

Billie Owens
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A lot of theft also stems from employees pinching a little here and there or sneaking things home or dipping into the till.

Beth Kinsley
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Howard - that's the first thing I thought of when I heard that word. One of the best Seinfeld episodes ever. That word will never be the same for me.

Raymond Richardson
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Speaking of Simmons, did she ever get sent back to prison, or is she still out awaiting appeal of her sentence?

Raymond Richardson
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The wheels of justice grinding ever slowly!

Thanks Howard.

John Simmons
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Why are so many people willing to be thieves?

It pays good for them that don't get caught & mainly because they see that our government gets away with it so then can too!!
& also because thieves have no morals or conscience & do not care what anyone else ever thinks of them!

Lincoln DeCoursey
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I suspect that criminals who travel from Buffalo or Rochester to Genesee County in order to pull of crimes like bank robbery and store heists do so with the thought that the rural businesses are soft targets. I'm not sure if it's possible to impact that perception, but a "tough on crime" approach for this particular sort of offender who comes from the outside solely to victimize the local community seems a reasonable approach. Instead of offering sweetheart plea deals, put the men on trial for the top counts, sentence them maximally if convicted, and let it be seen on the news.

John Simmons
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(Dave, it came up during testimony in the trial of Jacquetta Simmons ...

They call it "shrinkage"

Nearly $700K annually.)

What size truck would anyone need to steal 700 Kilometers/Kilos every year?? What happened to the "M" that was used to represent 1000??
MCMLXVII = 1967... OR is it now KCKLXVII? Hmmmmm.... Just sayin'

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