Mayor Adams Announces Plan to Combat Retail Theft in New York City

Mayor Eric Adams announces the release a comprehensive plan to combat retail theft across New York City’s five boroughs, in Harlem on Wednesday, May 17, 2023. (Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)

NEW YORK –With the total number of shoplifting complaints increasing citywide year over year since 2018 (with the exception of 2020), and a 44 percent taking place from 2021 to 2022, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced Wednesday a comprehensive plan to combat retail theft across New York City.

“Shoplifters and organized crime rings prey on businesses that have already taken a hit due to COVID-19, but, with this comprehensive plan, we’re going to beat back on retail theft through a combination of law enforcement, prevention, and intervention,” said Mayor Adams. “Last year alone, 327 repeat offenders were responsible for 30 percent of the more than 22,000 retail thefts across our city. This hurt our businesses, our workers, our customers, and our city.

“This plan will help us invest in diversion programs and in underlying factors leading to retail theft, works upstream to stop some of the factors leading to a crime before one takes place, trains retail workers in de-escalation tactics and security best practices, and takes numerous actions to increase necessary enforcement against repeat shoplifters and deter organized crime rings perpetrating these thefts. Most importantly, this plan aims to reassure our store owners that we know they are essential to our city, and we have their backs.”

Last December, Mayor Adams convened a summit comprised of law enforcement officials, government stakeholders, small business representatives, large retail groups, union leaders, business improvement districts, chambers of commerce, and diversion providers to find creative solutions to address retail theft across New York City. The summit discussed a variety of topics, including physical security measures, new diversion programs, leveraging technology to protect businesses and improve citywide responses, and enhancing existing partnerships among private, government, and non-profit sectors.

“As with everything we do in our city, our efforts to combat retail theft require the continued, unwavering commitment and partnership of everyone — every single stakeholder,” said New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “Collectively, we have identified a problem and we’re working together to prevent it from enduring. This is how the NYPD is making New York City safer for all: By working in close collaboration with all of our law enforcement partners and, most importantly, alongside the people we serve.”

Among the prevention and intervention strategies included in the plan, the administration will establish “Second Chance” and “Re-Engaging Store Theft Offenders and Retail Establishments” (RESTORE) to allow non-violent offenders avoid prosecution or incarceration by engaging meaningfully with services to help address that lead to shoplifting.

Increasing enforcement against repeat shoplifters and organized crime will be done by creating “Precision Repeat Offender Program” (PROP) where retailers can submit to the NYPD security incident reports to identify and track repeat offenders.

There will also be enhanced video surveillance camera usage the NYPD’s Operation Safe Shopper initiative and additional online sale authentication procedures to prevent the resale of stolen goods on the state and federal level.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!