News

Palo Alto man arrested for shoplifting

Suspect allegedly took sweater from Nordstrom while wearing item stolen previously

An 18-year-old Palo Alto man was arrested on charges of burglary and possession of stolen property after Nordstrom personnel detained him outside the store Thursday.

Palo Alto police said Dae Woon Koo was observed shoplifting a sweater and also was found to be wearing a watch believed to have been taken from the store at an earlier time.

He was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail, police said.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

Comments

Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 7, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Why is this headline news?


Posted by PHC, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 7, 2013 at 1:31 pm

More and more like a garrison Keillor parody of small town paper every day. What's next, Millie stole Sally's prize winning peach pie recipe?

On a more serious note do you really think this is what is best for this teen? If this was a home invasion or mugging ok but obviously this is a troubled local teen. Does it strike you publisher that having his name in the paper for this is really necessarily the way to go? Seriously?


Posted by Phil, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm

I for one will choose to cast blame for this situation, should he be convicted of the crime, on the one person who is entirely responsible, Dae Woon Koo. He created this situation and problem for himself and no one else. It's not the newspaper's fault, or the store's fault, or the police department's fault. It's his fault. If you don't want your name in the paper, then how about you don't go around stealing other people's stuff. What a concept huh?


Posted by stolen, a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Sep 7, 2013 at 1:57 pm

someone stole 1000 dollars of my stuff but police give me tickets for everything or search me without warrants.thats illegal!!!


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2013 at 2:06 pm

The stuff didn't belong to "people". It belonged to a corporation. That's a big problem - mistaking corporations for people. Does it give anyone a right to steal? Not at all. Is this headline & article over the top? Absolutely.


Posted by musical, a resident of Palo Verde
on Sep 7, 2013 at 2:22 pm

@Hmmm, that's like saying robbing a bank is different from robbing someone on the street because the bank's money is not a person's money.


Posted by Phil, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Precisely the kind of rationalization and enabling that further encourages people to steal from others. He's a thief. Period. Others can make all the excuses they want, but a thief is a thief. Theft from the retail industry leads to an increase in what law abiding citizens have to pay in stores, just like insurance fraud leads to rate increases in that industry. [Portion removed.] Make it everybody's fault except for the thief who committed the crime.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Musical - that's exactly what I'm saying. There are big differences. Banks are insured. Many people on the street who get ripped off aren't. Corporations & businesses like banks aren't people. But my issue here is that this isn't headline news - or at least, given so many other things happening, it shouldn't be headline news. I'm not trying to protect the thief. But - for cryin' out loud, it was shoplifting, not the crime of the century - or even a particularly interesting crime. Why make it such a headline? That's on the editors.


Posted by Phil, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

No hmmm, that's on the thief who committed the crime. Like I said before, if you don't want your name in the paper for stealing, then don't steal. His responsibility and his responsibility alone. In my book, we should report all arrests by name. Maybe that might discourage some of these idiots from taking advantage of others.

Sure, sure, steal from the bank, they're insured. Report a false claim, they're insured. Steal from a store, no problem, they're insured. It's not like it's hurting anybody, they're insured. You further make my case. [Portion removed.]


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2013 at 3:37 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by PHC, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 7, 2013 at 3:53 pm

It was a sweater. Teen shoplifts sweater is not headline news unless this is Singapore and you're going to cane him. Which it seems like some of you would do if given the chance. Why not print the names of those given tickets for not cleaning up after their dogs or littering or not trimming their weeds. Maybe those sued for divorce based on adultery. Those who park in handicapped spaces. So many misdemeanors so little time

In terms of journalism if you are going to cover this momentous bust might you also cover why the hell shoplifting a sweater was charged as burglary? Is that typical rather than theft? Seems like a classic Jeff Rosen overcharge.


Posted by Phil, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2013 at 5:01 pm

Now let's not minimize things PHC. I realize that it's not the crime of the century, but it is much more serious than littering or not picking up after a dog. First of all, he was not only charged with shoplifting, but also with a burglary offense. The shoplifting became a burglary by definition when he "entered" the store with the intent to commit a theft. It appears he was also in possession of stolen property that was taken from the store in an earlier theft. I assume that's how they established the intent along with who knows what additional evidence or statements. Both burglary shoplifting and possession of stolen property are felonies, a far cry from a littering offense. I doubt that this was their first trip around the block, so no, I don't feel the least bit sorry for them.

Will this case be prosecuted as a felony? That depends I suppose on Koo's prior convictions, criminal history, etc. At 18 he is unlikely to have accumulated much of an adult history so it's likely the district attorney's office will offer up a misdemeanor with some probation time and restitution.

Again, not the crime of the century, but certainly more to it than which you casually dismiss. Bottom line it's this person's fault. He or she is an adult now and no one, including the media, should feel like they have to protect their reputation. This could be the best thing that ever happened to them if they choose to accept responsibility for their actions. It's a little something called accountability. More people should try it.


Posted by Palo Altan, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Completely agree with Phil. This is a worthwhile story for multiple reasons: reminds us to stay straight, I had fun reading the comments, the thief may have learned from this. Shoplifting crimes are more serious in Korea than most other Asian countries.


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Phil, a resident of Downtown North
on Sep 7, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Never proclaimed this to be the crime of the century folks. I just believe that when stories that do become public are trivialized and dismissed, it enables and even encourages people to commit similar acts. Not entirely, but I have to believe somewhat. Rationalizing and minimizing the actions of the one accused of committing a felony, albeit a low-level one, is not the message we should send. Dismissing this crime as being no problem because the store is insured is a bit insulting quite frankly. I'd rather expect more from people in a positive way, and not just give them a pass.


Posted by John, a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 7, 2013 at 7:46 pm

When I hear parents say that the small stuff should not be challenged, save your powder for the big stuff, I can only roll my eyes. They are very likely to have to face the big stuff. When I raised my kids, I focused on the small stuff, and never had any big issues.


Posted by Oak, a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2013 at 8:13 pm

A sweater? In this weather? As much as I hate thieves, I agree with Aquamarine. What next will we read on here? Someone littered on the 101?


Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park
on Sep 7, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Not a really great way to begin your adult life kid.


Posted by Cotton Mather, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Sep 7, 2013 at 8:52 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Aquamarine, a resident of Stanford
on Sep 7, 2013 at 8:53 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Outside Observer, a resident of another community
on Sep 7, 2013 at 9:17 pm

[Post removed.]


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 7, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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