Lancaster Mayor Wants to Put Together Teams of Undercover Thieves

In the city of Lancaster in California, R. Rex Parris — who apparently isn’t an oil tycoon or supervillain with plans for world domination, but the city’s mayor — has announced that he’s planning on releasing a list of stores where shoplifters should steal from (did I mention he’s not a supervillain?). It appears that Mayor Parris doesn’t look too kindly on stores that catch shoplifters and lets them go with a warning, instead of turning them into the police.

Such businesses are “abdicating their responsibility to the community,” Parris said. He added that “crime is contagious,” so letting people get away with stealing simply encourages more stealing and can even lead to more serious crime…Parris envisions teams of “undercover thieves” going into stores to see which ones call police.

Other things I’ve learned about R. Rex Parris: He looks like a young Santa Claus. He used some of his own money to put speakers in the ground that played music and the sounds of birds chirping so that people walking around downtown could feel relaxed. In the summer, he announced that a “surveillance plane” would begin flying over the city to prevent crime, and that the plan would cost the city $1 million a year.