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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - July 11, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta The lethbridge Herald Fourth Section Pages 33-40 Crime: A new national U.S. pastime Some of the statistics fa this article had to be re- searched twice. The originals were stolen from the author as be tried to compile them in the New York public li- brary. NEW YORK (NBA) The man was drunk nor ad- dicted, just sick, and when he fell on the sidewalk here re- cently he expected people to stop and help him. People stop- ped all right, but not to help. Two youngsters took his wallet, a man grabbed one of his shoes, somebody else got his jacket and the likelihood is he would have been stripped clean if the police had not intervened. The crime in itself was not so shocking. .The helpless are pillaged daily on the byways By Tom Tiede, Newspaper Enterprise Association of Manhattan. But In this case a witness disclosed an eye- opening and depressing truth: the man had not been robbed by bard-core crooks, but by ordinary citizens of any ordin- ary neighborhood. The two boys, in fact, were identified as wearing Scout uniforms. Antiquated Scouts? Don't be surprised. Thomas Fuller, an English preacher of the 17th Century, once wrote that "Honesty is a fine jewel, but out of fashion." And if it was true thai, it cer- tainly is now. Ethics in Ameri- ca show signs of becoming part of. quaint antiquity and in these times of Watergate, God- fathers and serious crimes committed every 10 seconds, it behooves the nation to recog- nize the in which such matters thrive. The cil- mate of everyday improbity. Diogenes may never rest. There is ample opinion in the land that there really is no such thing as an honest man. Karl Menninger, in his extraordinary book "The Crime of asserts that "most crimes are not committed by criminals, but by ordinary citi- zens who lift goods off super- market shelves." Hogwash? Hardly. "Who, asks Menninger, "does not get nervous when a police car follows Not, for sure, the scofflaws In our major cities. A driver hi toe Bronx, N.Y., was recently arrested for having accumulat- ed, over the years, more than worth of unpaid parking violations. And according to city police be is only "one of an Army." Last year New York city drivers received traffic tickets, thousands of which they tore op and forgot Ignored And even when the violators do pay their fines, many turn around and ignore the road rules all over again. "There's something corruptible about an says one city cop. "I think every guy who drives is a lawbreaker for life." Harsh words, but probably true. According to the National Safety Council, there were 16 million automobile accidents in 1971, most of them caused by drivers breaking the law. "Vehi- cular breakdowns or acts of na- ture sometimes cause auto ac- says a NSC spokes- man, "but otherwise they are caused by somebody violating a rule." Half the auto deaths each for instance, are caused by drunk drivers; a fourth of all highway fatalities are created by excessive and illegal speeds. But the driving violations, ex- cept in some instances, are at least not premeditated to the degree some petty crime is. As example, Dennis Maluria of American Telephone and Tele- graph says his company lost million last year because of phony credit card calls. Dur- ing the same period, AT and T suffered mfllion worth of equipment damage. The credit card frauds, says Maluria, are often prankish (some under- ground publications published the credit numbers of establish- ment organizations such as Dow yet many adults including businessmen parti- cipate too. Excused As for equipment breakage, who in the reading audience hasn't lost a dime in a pay phone and then proceeded to bang at the box with the re- ceiver? To a degree, banging at the telephone box might be excused as normal frustration. But there are other kinds of everyday crime which cannot be forgiv- en at all Pauline Paulins of the St. Louis Public library, says that thousands of dollars worth of damage and loss is sus- tained by her institution annu- ally: "Women tear recipes out of cookbooks, students rip whole sections out of the encycloped- ias. At any given time we have thousands of books and phono- graph records overdue, possi- bly stolen. Recently we had a 'free-fee week' where we urged everyone with overdue books to turn them; we got items back, including many records which had become very outdated." The result of tins kind of senseless, larceny has result- ed in enormous problems for the nation's libraries. Already burdened with financial prob- lems, many cities have had to resort to excessive security property. Guards at the door. Electronic snooping machines, Destroyed In one attempt to stem page pilfering, the St. Louis Library installed several 25 cents-a- page duplicating machines; when the books continued to be mutilated the copy-page price was dropped to a dime and still the books are being regu- larly destroyed. Despite an security precau- tions, many public facilities continue to be mercilessly vic- timized. Hotels them. One New York hotel is reported to have lost finger bowls in its first ten months of operation. Charles Barnett of the Holi- day Inn motel chain says that theft is so prevalent in the in- dustry, customer dishonesty is merely considered part of the business hazard: "One Ion in Memphis loses about 500 towels a month. Another of our mana- gers says his washcloths simply waft out the door." TV sets, glasses, bedspreads, curtains- Holiday Inn is so wary now, Barnett says, "we screw all our pictures into the walls." You can't, Barnett adds, stop people from being people. Dishonest Apparently not. Roger Pow- ers of Keep America Beautiful, Inc., says that at least 31 of 50 states have anti-litter laws, yet states Eke Michigan must spend million annually in roadside and recreational clean- up. The American Insurance Assn. has said that 75 per cent of all claims are dishonest in some respect, and the amount of overpayment is more than million a year. And retail officials from around the nation report that shopMfters pilfer billion worth of counter merchandise a year; "I remember one young says a Washington cloth- ier, "who walked out of here wearing nine blouses." The statistics boggle tne mind. One New York detective, Mark Lipman, who has written a book on the subject, feels the petty offense situation in Am- erica today is out of control. The nation's pastime is not baseball, says be sourly, "it's theft." And the reasons? The rea- sons are as varied as the crime. The "decline" in family gui- dance. The "liberalization" of public schools. Dr. Elton True- blood, in his book "A Place to says that men have al- ways broken laws, that is noth- ing new; what is new is "the acceptance that there is really no objective truth about what human conduct ought to be." Evangelist Billy Graham agrees, saying the objective truth should be "God's and adding that the problem in the nation springs from the "doctrine of permissiveness" which he says "asserts that every individual should choose for himself what's right or wrong, which laws to obey and which flaunt." Opinions Yet beyond the debatable opinions and accusations, there is at least one hard fact about the growth of petty crime: it's easy to get away with it It is simply not statistically true that crime doesn't pay in Am- erica. Crime pays rather well and everyone knows ft. Of the six million serious crimes re- reported by the FBI ly, only about two in 10 are ever cleared that is, dosed by trial. Thus, says an FBI agent: 'If you commit a ser- ious crime you have an 80 per cent chance of going unpunish- ed. If you commit a petty crime, well, conviction rates for that are almost nonexistent." Thus the lesson is clear to many. According to Norman Jaspao, author of the book "The Thief in the White Col- "People are as honest as their environment You take a guy who spends five years get- ting a master's degree in retail- ing and two months after he joins a firm, he's got a doc- torate in stealing. What I'm saying is that people see crimes committed all around them, with impunity. It's part of the system. It's the thing to do. No wonder they get on board themselves." Jaspan is particularly gloomy about business crime. He be- Contfnued en 38 FOR RENT sq. ft. the METROPOLITAN STORE BUILDING 2nd Floor 315 Fifth Street S.. Lethbridge. Alia. AIR CONDITIONED OmCE SPACE AVAILABLE i Sunshine Players' program TELEPHONE UAV DCAI TY ITD. College Mall Lethbridge, Alberta LAST MONTH IN HISTORY _______Amtrlctn cirao (hip an oll-Fadgn Belgian lankw in Nnr York an dMd, mlatlng. won triple crown first In 25 Broka re- cord In winning Brimont Flash raced through French Quarter bar In New Orleans. Wfl- Ing 29 pereont out- right ________President Nixon brought for- mer Secretary of Defame MeMn laird into the While dorMtocadvtter. Prlnceu ne -and Lt Mark wll be mar- ried In Westminster Abbey Kav. 14, queen wlth East Germany and CMdMMtovskla. establishing diplo- matic the montrehy and declared himcelf president of new Greek Republic. ________Two men were rescued and two men died after their mlnisub was trapped on ocean (loo? off Key ____President Nixon ordered freeze on all retail for M days. Wages, mus ________ Russia's supersonic airliner Tupolav 144 exploded m mld-alr at Paris'air show 14 dead. QoMaMsir _____ in Tel Aviv that would another term' Israel's prime minister. West Qer- man Chancellor-WH- ly Brandt shaken In Israel when a copter almost fell owcMO-footcRff. The Sunshine Players be at New Dayton July 3 and August 7. As last year, the Children's Theatre perform- ance will consist of original material conceived by the group. The s3ww start at 3 p.m. and is 45 minutes long. They are also offering Adult fceelre this sumemr. TSear first production is "Trevor" by John Bo wen, a comedy in one act The evening show wiO get underway at 8 o.m. on the same days. MAYFAIR VOGUE'S all summer fashions DRESS DRESSES FROM .95 AND UP -sun LONG DRESSES, for casual lounge wear on those warm sunny summer evenings. UP AND latest summer ana colors. Perfect for summer wear and SPECIAL TABLE SHORTS, TOPS, BLOUSES SKIRTS BRAS and GIRDLES Discontinued lints Heytex end Wander by 9.95 tm end ttvln end cuts, perfect for chilly even- ings. 14 .95 9 AND .95 CLOSED WED. AFTERNOON. OPEN TMURS. AND NO. TOl t PJK. MAYFAIR VOGUE 311 5th ST. S. PHONE 327-36J2 ;