Archive for October 18th, 2021

Service of an Honor System in the Face of Record Shoplifting

Monday, October 18th, 2021

Honor systems must be on my mind–I just wrote about some in May–“Service of Unmasking the Honor System: Do I Trust My Fellow Citizens?” There are countless schools, colleges and universities that follow honor codes impacting social and scholastic behavior. During an NPR fundraiser listeners were told they are on the honor system to contribute if they tune in to the programs.

Statistics such as the record number of shoplifting incidents since 1995 in NYC this year fly in the face of an honor code. As of mid September there were 26,386 complaints, a 38 percent increase since 2014. Instoremag.com referenced the New York Post for this information.

It also reported on a shoplifter the Post called “Man of Steal,” who only now is in jail after 45 previous shoplifting arrests just this year. He’s 22 and has been caught in 74 offences in the past six. The manager of a Walgreens drugstore that he’s targeted countless times said corporate policy is to call 911 and otherwise do nothing to stop shoplifters.


Image by moakets from Pixabay

Before you smirk, as some friends would, saying: “What do you expect, it’s NYC?” take a look at what Lukas I. Alpert reported on marketwatch.com: “A father-daughter duo from Atlanta has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for deploying an army of professional shoplifters to steal millions of dollars of merchandise from retailers such as CVS and Target and then selling the goods online.” This group headed by Robert Whitley, 70, and his daughter, Noni Whitley, 47, are said to have stolen $6.1 million before they were arrested two years ago.

And Neil Vigdor reported in The New York Times that Walgreens closed five stores in San Francisco because of “organized shoplifting.”

Yet the Metropolitan Transit Authority [MTA] counts on passengers paying for rides on the honor system on certain bus routes. We purchase a ticket from a kiosk [photo below]. The driver collects nothing. When first instituted passengers were checked for receipts by people at bus stops. I haven’t seen one of these checkers in years.

Last week a woman dressed in a cotton NYU Langone hospital uniform, [the hospital is nearby], rushed to the kiosk for a receipt as the bus was already at the stop. I thought, “What makes some people responsible and others constantly looking to scam the system?” I’ve never found the answer. Have you?

NYC bus ticket kiosk

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