Organized shoplifting has impacted New York retailers greatly. The Democrat-run state and its soft-on-crime policies have resulted in huge losses for businesses.
In 2022, there was an estimated $4.4 billion loss for retailers across the state of New York. Store owners are not happy about Governor Hochul’s approach to handling this situation.
Democrat Governor Hochul recently vetoed a bill that would have facilitated the issue of dealing with organized theft rings. A spokesperson for the Governor said the $35 million cost for the proposal was not in the budget.
Retailers across New York state say there’s no end in sight to the rising epidemic of organized shoplifting rings — and warn it could lead to more store closures, increased costs for consumers and threats of violence against store employees.
Store owners said they lost $4.4 billion last year as a result of retail theft — which they say adds to the urgency for Gov. Kathy Hochul to crack down.
However, Hochul vetoed a bipartisan bill last week — to the chagrin of store owners — that would have created a task force to combat organized theft.
Law enforcement puts the blame on prosecutors who have progressive policies and promote leniency on criminal behavior. Recently, the Syracuse police chief said that since 2021, there has been a 55 percent increase in shoplifting. Some businesses don’t report thefts so it could be potentially higher.
Some retailers have had to consider closing their businesses because numerous thefts and robberies make it very difficult and dangerous to stay open.
“Stephen Lands, owner of Buffalo Fleece and Outerwear, told WIVB-TV in September that he may need to close his shop due to rampant theft of his merchandise.” New York Post reported.
“In recent months, Lands said he has been robbed 20 times.” New York Post continued.
The Western Journal reported back in May that New York had a program to install kiosks in retail stores for would be shoplifters to contact social services. This was not received with much confidence.
The plan calls for installing kiosks in stores so that thieves who are reaching for something to steal can connect with social services programs instead, Adams announced on his website.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams just unveiled his new plan to combat skyrocketing retail theft in the city.
— AG (@AGHamilton29) May 20, 2023
The New York Police Department is also losing officers at an alarming rate.
According to NYPD pension data reviewed by the New York Post, “a total of 2,516 NYPD cops have left so far this year, the fourth highest number in the past decade and 43% more than the 1,750 who hightailed it in 2018, before the pandemic and crime spikes hit the city.”
“The number of cops quitting before they reach the 20 years required to receive their full pensions also skyrocketed from 509 in 2020 to 1,040 so far this year — an alarming 104% increase, the data show,” the report said.