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Police Round Up Shoplifters at Moorestown Mall

The mall once again proves to be an irresistible target for five-finger discounters, Moorestown Police say.

Aug. 31

  • Stephanie Gonzalez, 33, of Aberdeen Drive, Mount Laurel, arrested for shoplifting after police said she stuffed a $34 shirt from Boscov’s at the Moorestown Mall in her purse. She was released on a summons.

Sept. 1

  • Daniel Bell, 29, Frederick Avenue, Maple Shade, arrested for shoplifting after police said he tried to steal $51.99 worth of clothing from Boscov’s. Bell was released on a summons.

Sept. 9

  • Carmen Melendez, 72, of Haddon Avenue, Collingswood, arrested for shoplifting after he allegedly tried to steal $113.98 worth of merchandise from at the Moorestown Mall, according to police. Melendez was released on a summons.

Sept. 6

  • Alice Potts, 27, of Garland Lane, Willingboro, arrested after police said she shoplifted $129.98 worth of merchandise from Boscov’s. Potts was charged with shoplifting and released on a summons. Charges are pending against two 16-year-olds, also from Willingboro, who were involved in the incident, police said.

Information provided by . An arrest does not indicate a conviction.

HomeBrew September 09, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Rob: You know, your "nickle-and-dime crime" stories would work just as well without names of the alleged perps. Names shouldn't matter when the crimes are so petty and inconsequential. (Like, say, the story about the alleged perp allegedly stuffing an alleged $34 shirt into a purse.) On the other hand, leaving out the name of an alleged perp of a petty crime might actually make a difference in that person's life and future. The "innocent until proven guilty" disclaimer you include at the end of the story may salve Patch's conscience, and allow Patch to wash its hands of responsibilty in ruining lives, but it doesn't help those whose lives are ruined simply because it's a slow news day. I believe the Patch organization needs a thoughtful and reasoned policy on naming names in petty crime stories. How about something like, No bail, no names.
Rob Scott (Editor) September 09, 2012 at 03:12 PM
HomeBrew, While I understand your point of view, I don't necessarily agree with it. For one thing, while Patch has no official policy on this, many—I would venture to say most—news organizations take the same approach we do. I'm sure you feel similarly about those outlets' policies; I'm just pointing out the fact that this is pretty standard journalistic practice. Second, "ruining lives" seems like a stretch for reporting a shoplifting. I don't think having shoplifted some merchandise from the mall is going to haunt these people for the rest of their lives—whether we report their names or not.
HomeBrew September 09, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Most news organizations don't report nickle-and-dime crime with the same frequency and fervor that Patch does. That's what I'm talking about: printing the name of alleged perps charged with allegedly committing petty, nickle-and-dime offenses. Their alleged crimes are so inconsequential, in fact, that you and Patch will never follow up to report on the outcome of the charges. Not sure how you define "ruin." Guess it depends on a lot of factors. But I ask you again, If a family member or friend were charged with a petty crime or DUI, would you report it on Patch? And I suggest to you again, Please treat others the way you would treat family and friends.
MotownFan September 09, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Patch should report follow up stories like when the charges are dropped. Bad press is bad pess and when a potential employer googles these people's name only the accusation will appear and most likely ruin possible employment!!! Especially accused theft. You are being a bit insensitive.
Gregory Adams September 10, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Shoplifting is not a harmless crime. Consumers tend to pay more for merchandise because of shoplifting. The store has to recoup the loss in some way. If you were a store owner, I don't think you would take the situation lightly. If you are a store owner, you must already have a high markup to cover potential loss. Shoplifting screws up inventory and profit. And like I said future customers pay the price for other's dishonesty.
Townie September 10, 2012 at 10:41 AM
Interesting debate. Ignoring the basic issues of right and wrong, the printing of the names is a permanent mark. Innocence in court doesn't matter. Patch can print a correction, update, etc., but the damage is done. Rob, I wouldn't argue for a second all the other news outlets print the names, but aren't you different when it comes to local news and your involvement in the community? It's easy when it's folks from other towns, but would print the names of one of town counsels kids in this situation ( before the trial)? If you wouldn't, then you owe that same care to others. Every employer checks the Internet. If you want to see what happens, google The last name listed above and her home town. What you typed above is now number 4 in the results. No other news outlet makes the top 10. If she was looking for a job at my company, you just ended her chances. She may be guilty....but I think she deserves the chance to prove that before you permanently (yes...permanently unless the Internet goes away) impact her life. If guilty, it's her own fault. If not...it's now yours.
Lauren Burgoon September 10, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Hi everyone, As the associate regional editor, I want to step in here and explain how we handle police news across our region of Patch sites. We print the full information in the police blotter because we believe it's important for the community to know if there are trends in crime, what types of crimes are allegedly being committed and what police are up to. Printing all of the available information means we're treating these incidents the same over time, regardless of who is allegedly involved. We absolutely would never omit a name or report because of personal connections, but it might change who writes the story. In Cinnaminson, for example, I've written a police story because the local editor was an acquaintance of the accused. We know this is a sensitive issue for people, and we approach it this way because it's the best way to assure there are no discrepancies in how we report alleged criminal incidents. Feel free to email me with questions - lauren.burgoon@patch.com
Jerry September 10, 2012 at 03:54 PM
It will never stop with these rags, they stand on their laurels of "reporting". They keep posting names because people are looking for those names. There is no need whatsoever to release names as per Townie's post. Why not step above the fray and start a trend? As far as knowing "what the police are up to", haa, haaa, fat chance, they are playing you, just like you play us.
ct September 17, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Who gets to decide which crimes are "petty" and "inconsequential?" Should the press decide that? What are the criteria? If Moorestown were suddenly plagued with violent crime, would simple assault suddenly become "petty," relative to aggravated assault? Point is, publishing the accuseds' names isn't going to change the fact that they were arrested, and the arrest is already public record.

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