What’s the link between human trafficking and shoplifting/petty theft?
I know there is one because human trafficking is something I am passionate about making people aware of, and it is something I have researched to the nth degree. I suspect I have known several victims of human trafficking since returning to the Quad-Cities in 2002, whether they admit to being victims or not.
As a person with PTSD who was the victim of a violent crime, I am obsessed with the Scott County (Davenport, Iowa) jail listing. I monitor it constantly and have done so for more than two years. I would do the same for Rock Island County if it were available.
So again, all of this said, I fully suspect that some people hauled in for shoplifting also may be human trafficking victims.
In fact, I long have said (and have widely shared my theory through the proper channels, the so-called ‘right way’ as opposed to the so-called ‘wrong way’) that I believe human trafficking and shoplifting/petty theft are linked right here in our community.
Why do I think this? Well, because I have heard enough stories to know that men who hook up with men on sites like Craigslist, or on apps like Grindr and Scruff, often get ripped off.
It’s no secret I’m a nosy reporter. Indeed, I recently was told the rumor around a subset population here in the Quad-Cities is, “The reporter is at it again, watch out.”
To that end, I can tell you the apps like Scruff and Grindr, and the Craigslist site, remain full of ads saying things like, “No, I don’t pay for sex!” as well as men just flat-out admitting they are sex workers.
So, men still are charging for sex on these apps. Men also are being rolled on these apps and ripped off.
Now, just because someone is a sex worker doesn’t mean they are a human trafficking victim, or a thief. I’ll admit that.
But how are they living? Do they have a place to live? If so, where? Who pays their rent if they don’t? Do they suffer from addiction or mental illness?
All of these questions must be answered. When shoplifting offenders are hauled in for stealing something from J.C. Penney’s, or from a trick’s house, they need to be questioned. Because beyond that petty theft, I have no doubt some of them are victims of crime themselves.
I believe these are opportunities to find human trafficking perps. Of course, the problem is, victims are scared as hell to talk.
I don’t blame them.
I hope my writing has made it easier for them, but considering what happened to me for talking, they may be even less inclined to talk now.
When I was released from the Rock Island County Jail after being held there on no charges at all, I heard someone in the jail say, “When you take him to Trinity, tell them he’s a sex worker.”
I’m not a sex worker, but I did go to authorities with information about human trafficking.
It’s super-gross disgusting what happened to me in that jail. Super, duper, filthy, gross disgusting.
All the while, my dad was rotting in a sh*thole that would “trespass” me after the jail incident. Meantime, daddy had $285,000 (including the house) just waiting to be divvied up between Cain and Abel in a simple share and share alike will.
I spent $10,000 to get my half. My brother had control of dad’s purse strings as POA so his lawyer was funded that way.
I was held in that jail on no charges at all.
And given how I was treated at Trinity, it’s clear the deputy who took me there indeed probably did tell them I was a sex worker.
And that would have had to have been the guy I went to college with. Augustana College.
Are people being trafficked out of jails? Hey, it’s just a question. I’m a reporter. I ask them.
If things couldn’t be any more woven in this web of hell I find myself in, absolutely for getting sober in my own community and for telling the truth, whether the 25-member county board wants to accept personal responsibility for that or not, the deputy who took me to Trinity is a guy I went to college with.
Careful when you take classmates-turned-cops to Mulkey’s
In fact, I took this Rock Island County Sheriff’s deputy – and an RIPD cop I went to high school with – to Mulkey’s, both of them, together, on my dime, to nose around about a story I was working on for Healthline. Just weeks (days?) before this all went down. It is a blur.
We see where that got me. I do not blame these cops directly, absolutely not. But I do think one of them could end this nightmare immediately by telling what he knows. I understand cops have to feed their families though and deal with filth politicians all the time. It happens everywhere.
By now it should be very obvious. I know all these heavy hitters and that each and every one of them has not offered a personal explanation is outrageous. It’s because the truth is being rewritten, I am sure.
It’s scary. I have said it many times. I often feel like I live in Soviet Russia or North Korea since sharing the information I shared. It takes an hour for me to download and read an email in my house, after all. Half the time my phone doesn’t work.
People ask why I don’t move.
Because I intend to still be here when this fine community of people trusting to a fault is CLEANED UP of corrupt filth. And I truly believe it’s coming. God, I hope I live in the country I said the pledge to each day down the street at Eugene Field.
But it is making for one hell of a book, so I’ll stop bitchin.
Questions about petty thefts
I wonder, who bails out all these young men in the jail listing who are hauled in over and over and over? Are there certain people bailing out the same people over and over for petty theft/shoplifting? Why do so many of these young men seem to run in the same circles and know one another?
When “a trick” steals a ring from someone’s house, for example, where does it go? A pawn shop, most likely.
The cops around here know what they’re doing. I have no doubt they are asking the hard questions to determine just how bad the human trafficking problem is in the Quad-Cities. Unfortunately, they are only half of the equation.
Just like the Law & Order intro says.
We know human trafficking is bad. It’s on TV all the time. Lots of seminars and training and pats on the back here in the Quad-Cities, never any convictions, it seems.
I have ideas about that, too. A blog post for later.
Malls are human trafficking hotbeds
The truth is, malls are a hotbed for human trafficking. However, when stories circulate that discredit alarmed mothers whose suspicions about human trafficking may have been incorrect, it makes it seem like human trafficking is an exaggerated problem.
It isn’t. And it’s only getting worse. Like the opioid epidemic.
Sometimes, human trafficking operations are operating right under our noses. Sometimes guised as a business. A hair salon or a barber shop, for all we know. The same goes for drugs, too, of course. You have to keep your trafficking victims doped up, ready to have rabbit sex, and so high they don’t see the forest for the trees.
Plus, this guy keeps giving me drugs, right? Yeah, I’ll do it! Hell, I even like sex!
They grow out of their traumas and learn to live responsibly and remained scarred forever, unfortunately. The perps must pay.
Low self-esteem puts off scent of blood to trafficking perps
From what I have observed and from what I believe to know, I long have said human trafficking victims all have a common bullseye marked on them: Low self-esteem.
As an alcoholic and addict, I had low self-esteem at one time. But do I, in my 40s, think I could have been a victim of human trafficking?
Yes. I do. I wasn’t, however, because even when times were tough, my dad made sure I had a roof over my head. I helped care for him in return.
But had I not had my father during periods of struggle, addiction, financial devastation, despair, hopelessness…and given the crowd I was dabbling in…anything could have happened to me.
And did, obviously. But it could have been a lot worse.
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I could be dead or missing. I was asked a chilling question by law enforcement when I first went to them about human trafficking. The answer was yes, and I could tell by their reaction that quite possibly I had a close call once.
Some might say this blog post is irresponsible conjecture. To that I say, keep rewriting press releases.
I could have ended up being trafficked when I moved to Los Angeles in 1992, but I didn’t. I met the right “first contact.” You can read that story here.
And I could have been trafficked right out of this community, too. I know it to be true, I blew a whistle, and the hornets are stirred.