Two Colorado men, Michael Green, 50, and Byron Bolden, 37, shocked the courts when they attempted to broker a deal for a reduced charge after being convicted of felony theft for pilfering over $2,000 worth of goods from a Kohl’s department store.
Their argument was simple. Some of the stolen items were on sale. Despite the spirited defense by their attorneys, the duo was formally sentenced for retail theft at a Kohl’s in Parker, a town about 25 miles southeast of Denver.
Nicknamed the “KitchenAid Mixer Crew” by prosecutors, the two accused persons who were later identified through store surveillance footage stole a variety of high-end items, including brand-name shoes, clothing, and numerous upscale kitchen appliances.
They initially pleaded not guilty. But, when the trial commenced, their “defense attorneys suggested to a jury that their clients should only face a lesser misdemeanor charge because some of the items they stole were being offered ‘on sale,’” the district attorney’s office said.
In Colorado, theft under $2,000 is considered a misdemeanor, while theft ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 is classified as a Class 6 felony. The “KitchenAid Mixer Crew” stole items amounting to $2,094.98, falling within the felony category.
“Just because an item is ‘on sale’ doesn’t mean it’s free to steal, and these defendants now get to think about this lesson in jail and prison,” District Attorney John Kellner said.
“Retailers in our community are fed up with theft and my office will actively prosecute these offenders,” as reported by the New York Post.
The jury convicted the two of felony theft. Green was sentenced to 15 months in prison. However, he is presently in the Department of Corrections, serving time for a separate conviction. Bolden received a 90-day jail sentence with credit for time served, coupled with 18 months of probation.
Recent data from the 2023 National Retail Security Survey by the Loss Prevention Research Council and the National Retail Federation indicates a significant increase in retail theft in recent years.
In 2022, total retail losses attributed to theft surged to $112.1 billion, marking a substantial 19 percent increase from the previous year. In 2021, nationwide retail losses amounted to $93.9 billion, highlighting a significant rise in the financial impact of theft on the retail sector.