Shoplifting can mean two years, no mall

Recently the parents of two Teen Court respondents called me regarding their children being banned from shopping at the Kukui Grove Mall for two years because they were caught shoplifting. The parents thought the ban was only for the store they were busted in. They also wanted to know if their children could go into the store accompanied by the parents.

I called Lise Ellen Smith, who is the Assistant Real Estate Manager for CB Richard Ellis, and she told me that a person who is caught shoplifting is banned from shopping at the mall, as well as the Kukui Marketplace, which includes Borders, K-Mart and Payless Shoes. They may not even enter with their parents.

The mall security guards notify the Kaua‘i Police Department if someone is caught shoplifting, and they are processed through the normal court system. Also, the shoplifter is given a trespass warning. This is what it states:

You are hereby advised that your presence is no longer desired on the premises of property listed above (Kukui Grove and Kukui Marketplace) and on all properties listed on the back of this warning. This serves notice that you are not to return to said property for the duration listed above (two years). Violations of this warning will subject you to arrest and prosecution for trespassing pursuant to Section 708-814 of the Hawaii Penal Code.

Section 708-814 states:

“A person commits the offense of criminal trespass in the second degree if:

b) He (She) enters or remains unlawfully in or upon commercial premises after reasonable warning or request to leave by the owner or lessee of the commercial premises or his authorized agent or police officer; provided that this paragraph shall not apply to conduct or activity subject to regulation by the National Labor Relations Act.”

There is then a place below for a physical description of the violator, and his/her picture is taken.

In other words, if the shoplifter violates the trespass warning, he or she can be booked for criminal trespass in the 2nd degree, a petty misdemeanor.

I know that there are other stores on the island that have their own trespass warnings, and the Kaua’i Police Department has a form.

I would urge everyone to consider the consequences of shoplifting. Imagine no mall or Borders or Kmart for two years. Where will you get that prom dress, or your casual wear? What will you do when your friends decide to meet at the mall?

When someone steals from a store, that store has to raise the prices of its other merchandise to make up for what is stolen, or they may have to hire security guards or systems. Who pays for the security? The store owners.

Where do the store owners get their money? From the people who shop there.

So everyone who shops there is ripped off just a little bit by the person who stole from the store. Think about it.

“In Your Corner” is a phrase that means support. Its origin comes from boxing: In between rounds, the boxer retires to his corner, and a group of people gives him coaching, medical help, water and support.

Several adults have “stepped into the corner” for our teens, to answer questions and give support in the boxing ring of life.

They are county community response specialist Catherine Stovall, public defender Edmund Acoba, county prosecuting attorney Craig DeCosta, KPD officer Paul Applegate, superintendent of schools Daniel Hamada, DOE Mokihana director Jill Yoshimatsu and Hale “Opio teen court manager Annaleah Atkinson.

E-mail Annaleah at aatkinson@haleopio.org, or snail mail her at Hale ‘Opio Kaua‘i Inc., 2959 Umi St., Lihu‘e, Hawai‘i 96766.

She will field it to the person who can best help with the answer.

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