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Kathy Hochul up against the Shoplifters with Scrutinized Actions in 2024

A decisive measurement to safeguard the retailers and put an end to their long battle against retail shoplifting.

Governor of New York City Kathy Hochul decided to put an end to the shoplifting on Jan 9 during her State address delivery in Albany. The situation had become chaos as mentioned by her while addressing the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police and Sheriff’s Association.

The Plan

She introduced a multi-layered plan to tackle the growing shoplifting in recent times.

This includes putting various products under lock and key and strict penalties for the offender’s assaulting workers.

Along with a “smash and grab unit” of the police to tackle the theft organizations within the city, she also announced a new category of crime for those who sold stolen goods online, making the plan an amalgamation of both physical and digital vigilance and protection against thefts.

They have planned to expand the 11 Crime Analysis Centers and provide them with a centralized intelligence where the retailers affected by the organized thefts would report incidents or any suspicious activity to the CACs.  The collected data would then be presented to the local police which would help in advancing the investigation of the crimes.​

She also committed to provide a steadfast funding to the district attorneys for better prosecution of the retail theft included in property crime.

With the funding, a tax credit would also be offered to help the merchants exposed to theft and help cover the security cost and the money lost in shoplifting. She called the theft a menace to society and an attempt to harm the social order that needed immediate attention and action to provide relief to the fear grappled customers and workers.

The response

Merchants and many shop retailers appreciated Hochul’s determination for public safety. The Collective Action to Protect our Stores said they were glad about her decision especially for the retail workers hit hard by the pandemic.

Nelson Eusabio, a leader of the National Supermarket Association recognized her effort and said they were happy with the Governor’s decision but were still concerned that her plan did not include heavy penalties to the periodic shoplifters, as a complete measure to end the shoplifting in the city.

Why the Plan?

The city has seen a loss of .4 billion due to retail theft alone in 2022 according to Capitol One Shopping Research.

According to 2023 data from New York City, 93% of retailers were victims of shoplifting. Out of those, 60% were repeatedly shoplifted for a week, according to the survey by the National Supermarkets Association.

The main incident that led to the decision came after a group of migrants stole 10 pairs of Versace specs, 2 pairs of Prada glasses and 1 Dior pair from Manhattan’s Bloominglade, which amounted to $5300 according to the New York Post.

Back in 2023, Kathy Hochul faced criticism for vetoing a bill that combated the rising issues of retail theft in the city.

The bill had proposed the formation of a 15-member commission tasked to handle the growing problem to address the financial losses the city was facing. The retail chain across New York was immensely disappointed by her decision when it would have benefited the retailers against the growing activities of the shoplifters.

Reviewing the situation and observing it had to be controlled, Kathy Hochul decided to enforce the plan to completely end the chain of theft in the city as a commitment to guarantee relief to the retailers.

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