A new public health shame amid a criminal act

In a (somewhat) disturbing trend in this country – the wealthiest in the world – shoplifting for food is occurring in the wake of depleted food shelves, financial hardship in the face of congressional stonwalling on a new stimulus, and a protracted surge in positive coronavirus cases.

Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring and at higher levels than in past economic downturns, according to interviews with more than a dozen retailers, security experts and police departments across the country. … But what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is what’s being taken — more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula.

Michael L. Douglas @doctorpundit

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