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Theft is a big reason why people, businesses are leaving Chicago

Joshua Crawford’s op-ed, “We must rein in violent crime to help those who need economic opportunity,” missed a major point on why businesses and people are leaving Chicago, and that is theft.

If your home is burglarized, your car is stolen or your store’s merchandise is shoplifted, you will suffer the consequences.Insurance only covers a loss above your deductible and your rates will normally rise after you make a claim. In the case of retail establishments, the reason many leave an area is because of shoplifting losses.

Many stores operate on a 2% to 4% profit margin. If you have rampant retail theft, expect stores to close, and the stores that remain to significantly increase their prices in order to make up for these retail thefts.

Edward Wezain, Deerfield Beach, Florida

Don’t ignore concerns of Blacks, other minorities about crime

I am a 78-year-old African American and a disabled Vietnam veteran who served in the US Marines from 1964 to 1967. I practiced law with a focus on federal civil rights before I retired.

I do not doubt that crime is being used by politicians and media commentators to influence voters ahead of the midterm elections. However, it is disturbing that some politicians and commentators stress that the focus on crime is just to Stoke racial fears and ignore the fact that African Americans and other minorities also have real concerns about crime.

It may not be the only issue that significantly motivates their voting behavior, but it is a major issue that should not be ignored or downplayed, especially since many crime victims are minorities.

It is disconcerting to read and watch some media commentators try to explain that crime is really not as bad as depicted by some conservatives. There is undoubtedly exaggeration, but the facts and data in many areas is frightening.

There was a TV news piece this morning pointing out that the number of shootings this year in Chicago is actually less than the number of shootings in Chicago during the same period in 2021. There were also fewer shootings in Chicago this year during Labor Day weekend as opposed to 2021. Even if crime data in other cities showss a similar decrease in certain crime figures, I’m not sure all voters will agree that crime is being exaggerated and is not a real issue.

Further, major crime is ongoing and will continue to provide new examples for conservative politicians and media outlets to emphasize. For example, CBS reported 62 people shot and 9 killed in Chicago during the weekend of Sept. 16-18. Several news channels are still reporting on the tragic stabbings that happened in Las Vegas last week.

This is not to say that a large number of voters will support conservative politicians who stress rising crime. However, elections have also been won (and lost) based on who stays home. If voters feel that politicians are not sensitive to their concerns about crime, some may just stay home next month.

Robert Whitfield, Chicago

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