Readers of a certain age will remember the “Artful Dodger” — the beloved pickpocketer from “Oliver Twist” with a penchant for making a pretty penny off unsuspecting passersby on the streets of London.
As his name suggests, he was rather clever as he evaded getting caught by his victims and the coppers. Well, suffice it to say, modern America’s ruffians aren’t anything like that. They are much more in your face without a care in the world if anybody sees them break the law. For example, consider the recent “flash mob” style ransacking of a seafood restaurant in Queens, New York.
Last Saturday night, a group of 20 suspected teenagers rampaged through the Fish Village restaurant in College Point, Queens, causing $20,000 in damages in under a minute. The harrowing scene can be witnessed below:
As of press time, no arrests have been made in this case and police are looking for suspects.
Yet as highlighted by Fox 5 New York, “there are plenty within this community who are wondering, even when those who are responsible are found, what sort of consequences they will actually face?”
Indeed, thanks to a 2019 bail reform law, shoplifters and other ne’er-do-wells like the ones featured in the video often go unpunished or are given a slap on the wrist before returning to the streets. Now, even Democratic lawmakers are calling for changes to state law.
“It’s utterly ridiculous that a small subset of career criminals make up 30% of shoplifting arrests in 2022,” City Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens) recently told the New York Post. The paper noted that Holden cited statistics that the New York Police Department which showed “that 327 career crooks were busted a total of about 6,600 times.”
“We can’t have this revolving door of criminality in our state — it’s time to dust off the successful tactics from the ’90s in New York City, which actually worked to reduce crime,” he added.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) has been forced to request that individuals take off their masks when entering establishments to help reduce crime — quite a contrast to the days of COVID.
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Assemblywoman Inez Dickens (D-Harlem) also expressed her dismay at the utter shamelessness of punks these days.
“You have to have some common sense reasoning. There need to be some changes,” she said.
“I went into a fish store the other day and someone just walked in and stole the biggest fish and walked out,” Dickens explained. “I thought it was terrible.”
It is unclear if Harlem’s Dickens is related to the late Charles Dickens, but suffice to say, he’d be mortified as well. Artful Dodgers these thieves are not — but when the police don’t care, why even bother going to that effort if you are hellbent on crime?
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.