Prolancia Aquila Turner, 26, seems to have come up with a novel claim of discrimination or police abuse. After being arrested for stealing from a jeweler in a Florida mall, Turner angrily objected to the police that “Everyone steals from this store. Why are you picking on me?” In the meantime in California, the reduction of shoplifting penalties are being blamed for an increase in the crime as criminals treat short sentences as a minor cost-of-doing business (or in this case, not doing business).
Turner is accused of hiding earrings valued at $12.50 in the waistband of her pants. She is now charged with retail theft for pilfering the merchandise from a Claire’s outlet in a Vero Beach mall. Her novel defense is not likely to garner such support from the court. She has reportedly two prior arrests for theft in 2015.
In California, critics are arguing that there is a direct correlation between the reduction of penalties for shoplifting and an increase in the crime, though some have questioned the causal relationship. Under the new law, anything below $950 keeps the crime a misdemeanor. Since many police departments do not seriously pursue misdemeanors, that means that shoplifting up to a grand is unlikely to be enforced and, even if caught red-handed, would receive a citation or relatively light punishment. Some stores have reported that known shoplifters have reportedly been seen using calculators to keep below the $950 threshold created by Proposition 47.