Hochul Unconcerned as Organized Shoplifting Causes NY Retailers a Loss of $4.4 Billion

Hochul Unconcerned as Organized Shoplifting Causes NY Retailers a Loss of $4.4 Billion

by Mindy Cohn

Organized shoplifting cost New York retailers $4.4 billion in losses with no end in sight.

The escalating issue of unchecked organized retail theft has created an epidemic in the retail sector that has no answer as long as the thefts continue to be minimized and not regarded as a serious crime despite the tremendous financial implications a $4.4 billion loss reflects.

The spike in retail theft is being blamed on progressive prosecutors who do nothing to discourage criminal behavior when doling out lenient punishment for shoplifters who suffer no lasting consequences at all for their actions while destroying lives and businesses.

A third of all shoplifting arrests in New York's five boroughs last year involved the same 327 people who were arrested and re-arrested  6,660 times, according to May 2023 reports. 

To combat losses on such a scale, prices continue to increase, hurting shoppers across the state. Additionally, stores have had to adjust displays and hours in an attempt to prevent further losses while investing in license plate readers and camera monitors in an effort to enhance security. 

But it's not enough, and retailers across the State have called on Governor Kathy Hochul to crack down on the surging nightmare, warning of increased costs, further store closures, and fears of violence against employees.

Hochul's response last week was to veto a bipartisan bill that called for the creation of a fifteen-member task force to combat organized shoplifting by compiling a list of recommendations to respond to retail theft.

"Governor Hochul's decision to veto Senate Bill S6714 is outrageous," Senator Bill Weber shares with Rockland Daily. "In doing so, she undermined the interests of hardworking small business owners and law-abiding taxpayers. This bipartisan legislation, which passed unanimously in the Senate, aimed to establish a New York State organized retail crime task force. The governor's preference for crime over law and order raises questions about her priorities."

According to Hochul's office, the governor's inexcusable excuse was that the task force would have cost the State $35 million, completely ignoring the fact that $4.4 billion in losses last year alone are clearly at stake in increasing amounts going forward.

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