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With all the coupons and promotions and discounts available, no one should ever have to pay full price at Kohl’s. Unless you steal stuff, that is – then you’re going to be on the hook for the full price of your pilfered products.

That’s what two Colorado men have found out the hard way, after attempting to argue that the value of the products they were convicted of stealing was far less than Kohl’s claimed, because they could have used coupons or Kohl’s Cash.

50-year-old Michael Green of Aurora, Colorado and 37-year-old Byron Bolden of Denver were arrested in connection with the theft of several items from a Kohl’s store in the nearby town of Parker, back in September 2022. As seen in the images from surveillance footage above, Bolden (at left) was accused of walking out of the store with six pairs of sneakers, a hoodie, two sweatshirts and a KitchenAid stand mixer. Green (at right) was seen leaving with three pairs of sneakers, a hoodie and a KitchenAid stand mixer of his own.

That prompted Kohl’s employees to dub the men the “KitchenAid Mixer Crew,” since it was one of their favored high-value items on that particular day, as well as during other theft incidents they were suspected of.

As they went to trial earlier this year, it became clear that the severity of their sentences, if convicted, hinged on the value of the items they were accused of stealing. In Colorado, theft of items valued at less than $2,000 is a misdemeanor offense, subject to far lesser penalties than the felony offense of stealing items worth more than $2,000.

The two men’s mixers alone were valued at a combined $999.98. The sneakers cost a total of $815. The clothing added up to $280. Altogether, the value of the items they were charged with stealing was $2,094.98 – just over that $2,000 threshold. If only they had left behind a hoodie!

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Or, if only they had used a coupon.

A spokesman for the district attorney’s office told Coupons in the News that the Kohl’s loss prevention officer provided police “with the retail price (regular price) of each item, not including sales tax or any ‘discounts’ that would have applied to paying customers.” But if a paying customer with a coupon or Kohl’s Cash would have paid a lower price for the same items, why should thieves be assessed the full price of those same items when calculating the store’s losses?

That’s the argument the men’s lawyers decided to make at trial. “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 a statement. Kohl’s didn’t really “lose” $2,094.98 worth of merchandise, their argument went, because Kohl’s would happily have sold the same merchandise for a much lower price – say, below $2,000 – to a customer bearing Kohl’s Cash or a percent-off coupon.

The problem is, not a single one of the brand-name items the men were accused of stealing are eligible for coupon discounts at Kohl’s. The shoes were Nike, the clothes Nike and Adidas, and the mixers were KitchenAid – all listed as “excluded brands” in Kohl’s list of coupon-eligible products. Shoppers can earn and redeem Kohl’s Cash on these brands, so technically they can still be purchased for less than $2,000 out of pocket – but no one was suggesting that Green and Bolden actually pulled out any Kohl’s Cash before walking out of the store without paying.

So a jury didn’t buy the defense’s argument. The district attorney’s office says both men were convicted earlier this month of felony theft, of items valued at more than $2,000. Green was sentenced to 15 months in prison, while Bolden was sentenced to 90 days in jail with credit for time served, as a condition of 18 months of probation.

“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 in a statement. “Retailers in our community are fed up with theft and my office will actively prosecute these offenders.”

It may be true, then, that no one should have to pay full price at Kohl’s. But now two men who tried to have the best of both worlds – getting everything for free, then demanding a discount when caught – are having to pay a far steeper price than they bargained for.

Image source: 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office

2 Comments

  1. So happy justice is being served and those men will have a chance to do better. They were really blessed to have a lawyer look for inconsistencies in this case . That’s what a honorable lawyer does.

  2. So, if they hadn’t gotten piggy and taken so much, they would not have been convicted of a felony. What a shame. Too bad their sentences weren’t longer. And the store should have the right to taser them if they see them in the store again. Personally, I’d love to see some way to shock animals like this when they’re leaving with their shoplifted stuff.

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