In a bizarre turn of events, two thieves from Colorado attempted to negotiate for lesser charges by arguing that the items they stole were on sale. As peculiar as it sounds, this audacious plea did not prove to be successful for them.
The culprits, Michael Green (50 years old) and Byron Bolden (37 years old), were recently sentenced after being convicted of felony retail theft at a Kohl’s store in Parker, Colorado. The notorious duo, nicknamed the “KitchenAid Mixer Crew” by the department store, specialized in stealing high-end KitchenAid appliances, as well as other brand-name shoes and clothing.
The store’s surveillance video played a pivotal role in the identification and subsequent arrest of the two thieves. Both Green and Bolden maintained their innocence throughout the trial, entering pleas of not guilty to the charges brought against them.
However, the defense lawyers representing the thieves took an unconventional approach by suggesting to the jury that their clients should only face charges of a lesser misdemeanor. Their argument was based on the fact that some of the stolen items were on sale. Under Colorado law, thefts under $2,000 are considered misdemeanors, while thefts between $2,000 and $5,000 are classified as Class 6 felonies. The total value of the stolen loot amounted to $2,094.98.
Unfortunately for the thieves, the jury did not buy this proposition. Consequently, Green was sentenced to 15 months in prison for felony theft, while Bolden received a 90-day jail term with credit for time already served, in addition to 18 months of probation.
“It’s important to remember that just because an item is on sale, it doesn’t give anyone the right to steal it,” stated District Attorney John Kellner. “These defendants will now have ample time to reflect on this lesson in jail and prison. Retailers in our community are tired of experiencing theft, and my office will aggressively prosecute these offenders.”
According to data from the Council on Criminal Justice, shoplifting incidents involving only one or two individuals make up over 95% of cases reported from 2019 to 2021. While there are conflicting reports regarding the overall trend in retail theft numbers, the proportion of incidents classified as felonies has doubled from around 8% before the pandemic to nearly 16% in the first half of this year.
The prevalence of theft crimes reminds us of the importance of respecting the boundaries of personal property and the consequences that await those who disregard these boundaries. Let this serve as a reminder that stealing is never justified, even if an item happens to be on sale.