While we know that common items like detergent, pregnancy tests, weight loss pills, and diapers, and even baby formula can be popular with shoplifters, stores in Hawaii are facing a new trend in thievery: Cans of Spam are flying off shelves as folks with sticky fingers try to make a quick buck.
The owner of one store next to a bus stop in Honolulu says shoplifters are coming in during busy times, and instead of swiping alcohol — a typical target — he’s noticed they’re grabbing cans of Spam.
“I mean you try to keep an eye on it but if they run you just can’t leave the counter and chase them. So you just got to take the hit,” he told Hawaii News Now.
He’s not alone in this wave of crime against canned meat: Honolulu police say a man lifted an entire case of Spam from another store this month. Police are offering a $1,000 reward in that case.
At a Safeway on Oahu, another customer told KHON-TV that she watched a man grab eight cases of Spam and walk out the door.
And at a store in Ewa Beach, three women were accused of trying to steal 18 cases of Spam last month.
Those stealing the product likely aren’t doing it because they’re hungry, however, but because Spam is very popular in the state, and easy to sell.
“It’s quick cash for quick drug money,” a spokesperson for Institute for Human Services, the largest homeless service provider in Honolulu, told Hawaii News Now.
One expert tells KHON that the uptick in thefts could also be related to a recent law that raised the threshold for felony theft from $300 to $750. This means they can “steal right under that $750 line” without having to face stiffer penalties, Tina Yamaki, president of Retail Merchants of Hawaii, explained to KHON.
As a result, some retailers have started locking up their Spam, she notes, or putting it behind the counter.
“It’s organized retail crime,” she explains. “It’s not like ‘I’m going in to steal Spam to feed my family. I’m going in with a list of things I want to steal.’”
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According to a press release from Thomas Aquinas College, last Friday 74 plaintiffs in 13 cases around the United States entered a settlement agreement with the federal government in their lawsuits seeking religious exemptions from the Affordable Care Act contraceptive coverage mandate. The settlement comes after the Trump Administration issued new rules providing broadened exemptions to individuals and entities with religious and moral objections to the ACA mandate. (See prior posting.) According to the press release:Under the terms of the settlement, the government concedes that the HHS Mandate “imposes a substantial burden” on plaintiffs’ “exercise of religion” and, as such, “cannot be legally enforced, under RFRA, against Plaintiffs or their health plans.” The government therefore agrees to treat plaintiffs “as exempt from the Regulations or any materially similar regulation or agency policy.”
In Tree of Life Christian Schools v. City of Upper Arlington, (SD OH, Oct. 13, 2017), an Ohio federal district court held that Upper Arlington, Ohio’s zoning law as applied to a Christian school did not violate the equal terms provision of RLUIPA. In the case which has been in the courts for more than six years, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals had instructed the district court to determine:Are there nonreligious assemblies or institutions to which the court should compare Tree of Life Christian Schools because they would fail to maximize income-tax revenue, and if so, would those assemblies or institutions be treated equally to TOL Christian Schools?The district court concluded:Plaintiff’s proposed use of the Property as a school is not consistent with the regulatory purpose of the ORC Office and Research District–to maximize income, whereas permitted uses such as banks, hotels/motels, and hospitals do serve that purpose. Plaintiff, a religious school, is treated the same as every other nonreligious assembly or institution, such as secular schools, that do not maximize tax revenue as they are all prohibited from the ORC Office and Research District. Therefore, regardless of what test is applied, there is no nonreligious assembly or institution similarly situated that is being treated better than Plaintiff.
According to AP, the U.S. Senate yesterday approved the nomination of Callista L. Gingrich to be Ambassador to the Holy See. The vote was 70-23. The new ambassador is the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. She is president of Gingrich Productions where she has produced documentaries, including one focusing on Pope John Paul II.
With three years and seven months of parenting in the books, my husband and I have experienced lots of big milestones with our son, Jasper — figuring out sleep, potty training, the end of pacifiers, starting school — and we haven’t been completely and utterly stumped at any of these turning points.… Read more
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Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? A couple of years ago, Toby convinced us all the dress up as Shrek characters. Alex didn’t realize the full plan until we were about to leave our apartment for trick-or-treating, and I was like, “So, you need to put on this onesie dragon costume.” Haha, what a good sport.… Read more
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