It certainly is common to see signs posted in stores proclaiming "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," across the country. However, now law enforcement agencies in some California communities seem to be chiming in to create a new policy. The Los Angeles Police Department has reportedly proclaimed that consumers will be required to remove their hats and hoodies when entering stores.

Officials with the LAPD reportedly met with community leaders and officials in Studio City and North Hollywood last week to announce the new initiative aimed at reducing the number of thefts and robberies at area businesses.

LAPD officials claim that people attempting to steal from businesses often use hats and hoodies to shield their features from video surveillance and potential witnesses during alleged crimes. The California law enforcement officials cited what the Los Angeles Times characterized as a rash of recent jewelry heists, where hoodie-wearing men allegedly used the hoods on their sweatshirts to hide from security video.

While the concept developed before this country created the Constitution to protect personal freedoms from unreasonable government intrusion, it has been used increasingly around the globe in recent years.

The Times reports that Britain has used a policy of no hoodies in businesses for roughly a decade. The newspaper suggests that hoodies have been strongly associated with criminals in Britain. Oxnard, California, instituted a similar policy roughly two years ago, according to the Times.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "New LAPD crime-busting strategy: Hats off before entering stores," Richard Winton, Oct. 12, 2011