Bubba Hurt (Suspect 1), Skeeter Redrum (Suspect 2), and Summer Breeze (Suspect 3) are charged with Theft by Taking O.C.G.A. 16-8-2 as the three persons have committed “the offense of theft by taking when they unlawfully took […] the property of another with the intention of depriving him of the property, regardless of the manner in which the property was taken or appropriated” (“GA Code § 16-8-2,” 2014, para. 2). Suspect 1, Suspect 2, and Suspect 3 are also charged with Theft by Shoplifting O.C.G.A. 18-8-14 as the three persons “committed the offense of theft by shoplifting in concert with one another with the intent of appropriating merchandise to their own use without paying for the same or to deprive the owner of possession thereof” (“GA Code § 16-8-14,” 2014, para. 1). The theft by shoplifting was carried out by concealing and taking possession of the merchandise at the Socks for Feet Outlet and was witnessed by the security officer at the store. Security Officer Boo Foot was the witness to Suspect 1, Suspect 2, and Suspect 3 taking the merchandise and concealing it in their clothing and purse.
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The charge of Theft by Taking applies to all three suspects to an equal degree as all of them intentionally took the property with the intention of taking the property from the owner. However, the charge of Theft by Shoplifting applies to the suspects differently. Suspect 1 was seen by the Security Officer to take thirty-six pairs of socks and hide them down his pants, thus with no assistance from the other two suspects. Suspect 3, however, was not seen in the act of taking the socks from the shelves but also concealing the taken goods by Suspect 2. The three dozen pairs of Big Guy socks taken by Suspect 1 are worth $432, and under “GA Code § 16-8-14” (2014), the theft exceeding $300 in value should be punished by imprisonment for at least one and not more than ten years. Concerning Suspect 2 and Suspect 3, the value of the stolen two dozen Hang Nail Free socks was worth $240. Such an offense is classified as a misdemeanor, which calls for a fine of at least $250 and higher (“GA Code § 16-8-14,” 2014).
The three suspects apprehended arrested for allegedly stealing twenty-four pairs of the Hang Nail Free, and the thirty-six pairs of the Big Guy brand of socks are amateur thieves. The key difference between an amateur and professional criminal is that the latter has a limited moral capacity and usually multiple victims while the damage caused by the former is rather limited. In addition, it is expected that a professional criminal can be stopped by incarceration while an amateur stops when the situation changes as theft is considered to be a crime associated with an offender’s circumstances, such as severe poverty, addiction, and additional sociological pressures. While the first suspect, Bubba Hurt, was previously convicted for such charges as Shoplifting and Controlled Substances Act, the latter two suspects, Skeeter Redrum and Summer Breeze, do not have any criminal record. The previous occupations and the socioeconomic background of the suspects could have driven them to commit the said charges. There is an expectation that the criminals stealing the socks would not have done it if their socioeconomic situation was different, and it is possible to reshape their behaviors through both psychological and sociological assistance. Therefore, there is no indication that either of the suspects, Suspect 1, Suspect 2, or Suspect 3, is a professional criminal although Suspect 1 had the most experience in offending.
Finally, it is important to identify the type of criminal typology approach that may be applied to the suspects. Sociological criminal typology applies to the given as there is a differentiation in the way in which offenders are classified based on the crime that they are charged. Sociological perspectives for crime typology represent attempts at overcoming legal code challenges through developing offender typologies that align individuals engaging in certain offenses to specific criminal behavior systems, patterns, and roles. Among such sociological typologies, the approach developed by Clinard and Quinney allows to combine both person-oriented and offense-oriented criteria for defining nine systems of criminal behavior, such that involve personal behavior exhibited violently, criminal behavior affecting the public order, and occasional property criminal behavior. In addition, Clinard and Quinney’s theory implies pointing out offenders’ criminal careers, suggesting that they specialize in certain crimes. It is possible to hypothesize that sociological criminal typology will allow us to look at the suspects from a systematic perspective that considers the interactions between internal and external influences. Besides, given the fact that the suspects have been classified as amateur criminals, the study of the impact of sociological factors may reveal the reasons for their offending behaviors and make suggestions for strategies and practices intended for improving future behaviors and contributing to rehabilitation. Both sociological and psychological assistance is recommended as a component of criminal rehabilitation of the suspects since the crime that they committed is based on their sociological background.
GA Code § 16-8-2. (2014). Web.
GA Code § 16-8-14. (2014). Web.