In Wilmington South Carolina , two teenagers were recently accused of robbing a college student. One of the thieves was shot and killed in his apartment as a result. Police also shot the guy’s dog.
It was a pretty high price to pay for popular game he had recently stolen. One of the roommates in the house at the time said that the thief was unarmed when he answered the door as it was bashed in by the police officers.
The PlayStation 3s had been stolen from a University of North Carolina-Wilmington student by two other college students. One of them, Peyton Strickland, was a student at Cape Fear Community College . Strickland was the one who ended up being killed. The other thief was also a student at the University of North Carolina .
The student who was robbed of his PlayStations had waited in line for three days and purchased two PlayStation 3 units for $641 each.
He was unloading the units in his apartment when Strickland and the other person involved in the crime beat him to the ground and took the PlayStations. Strickland was killed after the special police unit had been called in to help university officers serve warrants. Strickland’s dog was also shot to death in the apartment. The other person who had been accused of assisting and committing the crime was later arrested and released on bail.
The Sony game system was also responsible for another murder on November 17. A shopper who was waiting in line was shot by armed robbers. This shopper, only 21, had confronted two gunmen who were robbing a group of 15-20 people waiting in line.
Michael Penkala dialed 911 on his cell phone when he saw two men wearing bandanas and covering their faces. Everyone in line was forced to throw possessions and cash on the ground or put them into two bags. Penkala refused to follow the thieves’ instructions because he had more than $2,500 in cash in his wallet. He is still currently recovering from his wounds. Two men were arrested and charged with attempted murder, robbery, assault and other crimes the following Monday. William Robertson, 20 and Andrew Patnaude, 17 are being held on $1 million bonds. In La Palma , California , a similar situation occurred with the same ‘toy’. Wikan Lumya, a 26 year old living in Los Angeles was robbed at McDonalds. He had planned to sell two PS3 consoles, four controllers and 17 games. He had arranged to meet two men at 1am . The men had sprayed Lumya with pepper spray and fled on foot. Two were later arrested as a result of this crime. Their names were Eric Hwang, 18 and Joonhan Andrew Choi, also 18. The police did not release how the two were tracked down. Lumya had advertised the products on a craigslist Web site. The two thieves had promised Lumya $5000 for the merchandise. There were apparently several other incidents related to this toy that occurred around the Thanksgiving holiday. The price we pay for toys.
These stories are not only tragic, they are completely unnecessary. It is also a result of materialism gone too far. While waiting in lines and holiday shopping can be fun and exciting, it seems that the thefts following the shopping sprees are increasing at an alarming rate.
Although retailers do make a considerable profit during black Friday and the holiday season, it may be necessary to provide a little extra safety to those shoppers. For example, retailers should certainly have cameras on the line of people who are waiting overnight. Also, in order to purchase the items, there needs to be a limit on how many. It would also be wise to have a security code so that if an item was stolen, it could be easily traced back to the person and place it was purchased. These security features are on their way and most likely other theft deterrents will continue to be implemented.