Mayor Forms Alliance to Beat Back Skyrocketing Shoplifting
By Yehudit Garmaise
Mayor Eric Adams, Attorney General Letitia James, and the NYPD have come together to crack down on shoplifting in NYC, given its 44% increase from 2021 to 2022.
"A large portion of the crimes are perpetrated by repeated offenders," says Mayor Adams, reporting that the NYPD has recorded “a clear pattern.”
"Responsible for 30% of 22,000 arrests made last year are just 327 repeat offenders," pointed out the mayor, noting that that number does not even include the many thieves who “got away with their crimes. The city’s rampant shoplifting not only “hurt our businesses, our workers, our customers, but negatively affects the city’s economy."
To combat this trend, the mayor now wants to hone in on prevention, intervention, and law enforcement.
The mayor and his team formulated the new plan after considering the “innovative solutions” proposed by the 100 stakeholders from public and private sectors who met to discuss crime prevention at a summit in December 2022.
Among the items on the City’s agenda to address the underlying factors that lead to shoplifting are crackdowns on organized crime rings, rehabilitative services for non-violent offenders, and de-escalation tactics and training for retail workers.
To step up enforcement against repeat shoplifters, the Adams administration says it will help the NYPD to better identify and track repeat offenders by creating a Precision Repeat Offender Program (PROP) in which retailers submit security incident reports to the police.
Stepped-up reporting of shoplifting can help the attorneys offices to facilitate stronger prosecutions of the perpetrators of retail theft.
“We want to stop some of the factors leading to a crime before one takes place,” says Mayor Adams. “Most importantly, this plan aims to reassure our store owners that we know they are essential to our city, and we have their backs.”