This headline really grabbed my attention because it is different than so many other stories you see about thieves. What’s different? They didn’t use a gun. They have never used a gun. They used a knife to demand cash from the clerk. Why is that so remarkable? Well, commonly, guns are used in robberies, and people often get shot during robberies.
Also, their demeanor is calm. They pose as customers. Jim Amormino at the Orange County Sheriff’s Department suggested they’re drug addicts and could harm the clerks or customers. While that is possible, drug users often act desperately in search of money to buy drugs. They act irrationally, too. They make unreasonable demands, escalate by violence and often have hair-trigger tempers.
The other thing I noticed is that they commit these robberies and assaults all over Orange County. The locations range from Anaheim and Fullerton, to San Clemente and La Palma and Placentia.
That means the suspects, if caught, could be prosecuted at the West Justice Center in Westminster, or Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach, or the North Justice Center in Fullerton. The other option is for the DA to file the cases and consolidate them at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.
I’ve often wondered why these convenience stores don’t have a remote-locking front door that can be used late at night. That way, clerks can buzz people in after deciding they’re not a risk. It’s not fool-proof, but it can eliminate some of the risk and it will do something else: It will force clerks to actually make eye contact with their customers. If there’s one thing I’ve noticed about our society, it’s that people don’t look at one another anymore. We’re so addicted to cell phones and making things happen quickly that we ignore the basic principle of eye contact to make decisions about one another.
Think about it: if you sense a crazy person is nearby, you will avert your gaze to avoid sending any message to that person. The eyes tell us so much about one another. Clerks could sharpen their people skills and size up customers better, too.
A person facing criminal charges in Orange County based upon these facts would be looking at serious state prison time. He would need a qualified Orange County criminal defense attorney to determine if all the robberies were committed by one person or just copycat crimes.
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