KIRO NIGHTS

Stine: With Seattle’s retail theft on the rise, city erects barrier from blame with shoplifting audit

Feb 24, 2022, 2:03 PM
retail theft...
Pioneer Square (Credit Doug Kerr via Flickr)
(Credit Doug Kerr via Flickr)

The Seattle Police Department claims that retail theft case referrals have declined over the last two years, referencing a retail policy direction of a “hands-off approach” due to employee safety and liability concerns. Simultaneously, the Seattle City Council reports that the overall volume of retail theft has increased, citing the more prevalent use of online marketplaces for selling stolen goods.

Are we going to be changing our policies? Are we going to be arresting people when they try to steal a flat-screen TV? Are we going to be arresting somebody when they steal $500 worth of goods?

No. We’re going to get an auditor.

The council’s solution is to commission the city auditor to examine “the current state of organized retail crime in Seattle … and potential opportunities for the City to better address organized retail crime.”

Councilmembers Andrew Lewis and Lisa Herbold announced Tuesday that the audit of organized retail crime is in its preliminary stage.

We’re going to pay somebody else to look at our problem and tell us exactly what we’re doing wrong. Because it’s not obvious to me what we’re doing wrong. And it shouldn’t be obvious to you either. That’s why we need to pay an independent person to figure this out for us.

Somebody, please explain this to me: You have a bunch of people selling stolen goods outside of Pioneer Square, and now you’re going to try to get Public Safety and Human Services to take a look.

“Well, gee, what’s going wrong with retail theft?” Is this some kind of cruel joke?

Normally, what a city auditor does is, for example, identify if a particular school district is performing to standard. If not, then you send in a functional consultant to figure out who’s not following the curriculum. Maybe it’s a lack of materials, a lack of books, or a lack of effective teaching. Then, they bring that report back to the state.

This audit is different though. This audit will examine the state of organized retail crime in the city, look at strategies other jurisdictions are using to address the issues, and develop ways the city might potentially better address these types of crime.

I have the craziest idea: What if you just let the police do their job?

The council is trying to put a barrier from blame between them and crime, shifting responsibility from the policies they encourage. Instead, the auditor produces the answers: income inequality, or perhaps lack of affordable housing.

It’s a very clever move. It’s also a political move. This is dirty politics, not something to be celebrated. This is actually a cruel joke.

Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights from 7 – 10 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

KIRO Nights on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to kiro nightsTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 7 pm for KIRO Nights with Jack Stine.

KIRO Nights

KIRO Nights

union...
Jack Stine

Stine: You want a union? Start your own business

As a Seattle Starbucks votes to unionize, Jack Stine offers his thoughts on why union protections for non-skilled labor limit workers' potential.
2 months ago
report card, crosswalks...
KIRO Nights

Will ‘report card’ signs stop Seattle drivers from going through crosswalks?

KIRO Nights host Jack Stine and traffic reporter Chris Sullivan discuss the merits of the "driver report card" signs Seattle is planning to install.
2 months ago
masks...
KIRO Nights

KIRO Nights: Is it time for masks to go, or do we keep this ‘simple intervention?’

KIRO Nights host Jack Stine asked frequent guest Dr. William Zinnanti, MD, Ph.D., for his thoughts on whether it's time to stop requiring masks.
3 months ago
catalytic converter...
KIRO Nights

KIRO Nights: Will engraving your catalytic converter prevent it from being stolen?

Some Washington drivers waited hours to get their catalytic converter engraved, but will this actually help stop or reduce these thefts?
4 months ago
Inslee...
KIRO Nights

Jack Stine shares his formula to make Gov. Inslee the next president

KIRO Nights host Jack Stine says Gov. Jay Inslee should make himself the "bad boy of liberal politics" if he wants to be the next president.
4 months ago
to kill a mockingbird...
KIRO Nights

‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ removed from required reading list for Mukilteo schools

The book "To Kill a Mockingbird" will be removed from the 9th grade required reading list in the Mukilteo School District. 
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
Stine: With Seattle’s retail theft on the rise, city erects barrier from blame with shoplifting audit