Charges and Penalties
On May 20th, 2016, in Happy Town, GA, sixty pairs of socks were stolen from a local Socks for Feet outlet, and a seventy-six-year-old security guard was shoved to the ground. Multiple witnesses identified the three suspects as Bubba Beauregard Hurt, Skeeter Redrum, and Summer Breeze. The local police force later apprehended the suspects along with the loot. The total value of the stolen merchandise is $672.00, which is a considerable sum.
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It is unknown whether Bo Foot, the security guard, sustained any significant injuries during the incident. The four witnesses that gave statements are Clifford Tonell, the owner of the store, Bo Foot, the security guard, Andrea Sianturi, the store employee, and Susan Bunion, a criminal justice instructor who was making purchases at the time of the incident.
The case appears to be an open and shut shoplifting incident, but some details confound me. Susan Bunion wrote in her statement that Redrum put some socks in Breeze’s purse, while Bo Foot asserted that he gave them to her, and she put them in her purse. Bunion and Tonell both mentioned some unknown person yelling, which caused the thieves to flee, while the other two witnesses and officer Winchester neglected to mention this seemingly important detail.
It is also suspicious that witness Tonell, witness Sianuri, and witness Bunion all knew some of the suspects. Witness Sianuri knew Hurt, but not the other two, and witness Bunion knew Redrum and Breeze, but not Bubba Hurt. The fact that Tonell knew all three is explainable by them having priors and him being a responsible business owner, but should still be noted.
Witnesses Bunion, Foot, and Tonell stated that the suspects took “some” socks, yet Sianturi knew the exact number. The police arrived at the store at 18:00, and the witness statements were taken at 19:00. I find it hard to believe that the case was closed, and all the paperwork was done in an hour. I do not know how witness Sianuri knew the exact number of socks Hurt took before the police were able to find them in the suspect’s car. Additionally, Bubba Hurt’s record seems to be forged, as his stated date of birth is 1990, while his fingerprints, palms, and employment indicate that he was already an adolescent in 1985. There may be more to this case than meets the eye. I would recommend that before any conviction is made, a thorough investigation be performed.
Regardless of any extraneous circumstances, I assert that all suspects are guilty at least of one count of theft by shoplifting as described in the Georgia Code, section 16-8-14, subsection (a), paragraphs (1) and (3).Suspect Bubba Hurt is guilty of theft by shoplifting, where the value of stolen merchandise exceeded $300.00, which, in accordance with section 16-8-4, subsection (b), paragraph (2) is a felony, punishable by one to ten years in prison.
The previous shoplifting felony means that he will also be fined $250.00 or more, under section 16-8-4, subsection (b), paragraph (1). I deem that suspect bumped into the security guard Bo Foot as an accident rather than a deliberate act of assault, so it is up to Bo Foot to press charges if he so chooses. Suspects Skeeter Redrum and Summer Breeze are guilty of theft by shoplifting, where the value of stolen merchandise was below $300.00, which is a misdemeanor, according to section 16-8-4, subsection (b), paragraph (1). Their priors were not provided to me, so I will assume they are not pertinent to the case.
Whether all three suspects are also guilty of entering Redrum’s car with the intent to commit a felony, as described in section 16-8-18 of Georgia Code, or only two, is unclear. Further investigation should be performed to determine whether Hurt was acting together with Redrum and Breeze, or separately. The investigation should also focus on the connections between suspects and witnesses, and the witnesses’ involvement in the sock theft.
Level of Criminal Aptitude and Criminal Typology
After examining suspect Hurt’s criminal record, I have noticed that some of it might be fraudulent. The record asserts that he began working for Happy Metals, Inc. in 1985, which is five years before his reported birth in 1990. His palms and fingerprints were taken in 1985 as a juvenile, and his DNA was collected in 1989. Bubba Hurt may operate under a fake identity, or have fraudulent data in his record to evade the police.
His relationship with the town’s residents is unknown to me. Clifford Tonell and Andrea Sianturi both know him by name, probably because he had committed similar crimes in the past. He and Chief of Police Rodney Hurt share a second name, which might be coincidental, but they might also be blood relatives, or the fake identity could be a blood relative. That points to him being a career criminal, and his entire identity could have been constructed after he evaded the law in the past. The manner in which he committed the sock theft, however, was unprofessional and even shoddy. He might be relying on Rodney Hurt to dismiss the charges like they were dismissed for his priors, if the theory of them being related is true.
Skeeter Redrum and Sunshine Breeze do not make the same impression. I do not have their criminal records, so I will assume they are not crucial to the case. The store owner and the criminal justice instructor knew them by name, which leads me to believe they have either attempted shoplifting in the past, or were on some field trip for their community college credit. Their approach to stealing the socks was slightly stealthier than Bubba’s, but their choice of merchandise was poor, as Hang Nail Free socks were relatively cheap.
They strike me as opportunist shoplifters or thrill-seekers, but the fact that Redrum’s car was used by all three is odd. They might have had some connection to the more professional Bubba Hurt, or he took control of the situation during the panic. At any rate, Bobba appears to be the more experienced career criminal, and the other two appear to be amateurs.
As mentioned, there are discrepancies in Bubba’s criminal record, but if we assume his employment record to be legitimate, he might be less than a career criminal. Some thieves are known to supplement their legitimate income with stealing, which, in this case, might be to feed his drug habit. While marijuana is not a dangerous and expensive drug, it is unknown whether Hurt has any other substance abuse problems. The socks might have been for personal use, as they do not seem like goods with high resale value. That said, his whole identity is suspect, and until a thorough investigation is performed, I am not prepared to assert anything with confidence.
The personal use theory goes for Redrum and Breeze, too, as they stole an even lower quantity of cheaper products. It is very likely that they took the socks for personal use, and did not think they would be caught, as many younger shoplifters do. They are clearly occasional criminals: they operated in a group, targeted inexpensive small goods, and did it on a whim. The security guard and the unknown yelling person likely scared the shoplifters into an escape that nobody had planned for, which subsequently led to their arrest.