Weymouth, MA – A career criminal who had heard the Suffolk County district attorney wasn’t prosecuting what she called “minor” offenses got a rude awakening when he was caught shoplifting in Weymouth.
The incident occurred on May 9 when a loss-prevention officer at Stop & Shop saw 59-year-old Glenn Kerivan up to no good, the Boston Herald reported.
First, he saw Kerivan leave the store with a fruit platter, only to come right back in and return it for cash.
Then, as the loss-prevention officer followed the suspect around the store, Kerivan stashed $126 in merchandise in a shopping bag, the Boston Herald reported.
He was arrested by a Weymouth police officer.
“His demeanor was very relaxed and [he] stated on numerous occasions that he’d been ‘put away for real crime,’ and that he did not believe shoplifting was arrestable anymore,” the officer wrote in the police report, according to the Boston Herald.
“Kerivan also made unsolicited comments during fingerprinting referencing the Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins and how he believed she no longer prosecuted shoplifting charges,” the officer wrote.
Kerivan was referring to the list of crimes that the Suffolk County district attorney announced her office will no longer prosecute, the Boston Herald reported.
“It’s not a crime, I thought. I saw it on TV when I was in prison,” Kerivan complained to the Boston Herald.
Rollins has vowed not to prosecute trespassing, shoplifting, drug possession, resisting arrest, and other infractions she has deemed “are minor,” “non-violent,” and “are overwhelmingly crimes of poverty, mental illness and addiction.”
She was elected Suffolk County district attorney in November of 2018.
However, her jurisdiction does not include Weymouth, where Kerivan was arrested, the Boston Herald reported.
Weymouth is located in Norfolk County and prosecutors in that area will prosecute shoplifters and those who commit what Rollins called “minor” crimes.
Kerivan was arrested and charged with shoplifting, according to the Boston Herald.
He pleaded guilty on May 10 and was given a $500 fine.
Other Massachusetts prosecutors said Rollins’ no-prosecute list was a problem because it declared “open season” for thieves and scoundrels.
“As district attorneys, we felt this was just a matter of time,” Cape & Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe told the Boston Herald. “I would like people to be assured that irrespective of what happens in Suffolk County, shoplifting is most certainly a crime in the rest of Massachusetts.”
Weymouth Mayor Robert Hedlund said Kerivan “should have studied geography” before choosing to a store in his town.
The mayor made a public service announcement on the subject, according to the Boston Herald.
“Attention shoplifters, you will be arrested in Weymouth. Please leave Weymouth and ply your craft in Suffolk County.”
The Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office attempted to defend itself after the story about Kerivan and his excuse for stealing went public, the Boston Herald reported.
“Our prosecutors seek to hold offenders accountable while creating the best possible outcomes for victims and impacted communities,” Rollins’ Spokeswoman Renee Algarin said in a statement released on Thursday. “Very often, these goals are best achieved through alternatives to prosecution.”
“Suffolk County saw a 16.5% drop in adult criminal complaints between 2015 and 2018 and an even more dramatic drop of 40% in juvenile complaints” Algarin continued. “During roughly that same time period, both violent crime and property crime dropped across Suffolk County and access to diversion programs increased.”
The Boston police union has opposed Rollins’ no prosecution initiative since she first put it on her platform as a candidate, especially her characterization of resisting arrest as a non-violent offense, WBZ reported.
“I fear that officers will begin to see even more aggressiveness than we already face on a daily basis,” Boston Police Patrolman’s Association President Michael Leary wrote in an emailed statement. “I’m afraid if there are no consequences offenders will figure, why not resist? Our job is already dangerous. It’s unbelievable to think people are willing to make it more dangerous for us.”