senate Bill S33

Establishes a person is guilty of grand larceny in the fourth degree when he or she steals property and is in possession of an anti-security item

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Bill Status

  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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  • 07 / Jan / 2009
  • 06 / Jan / 2010


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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Legislative Cycle:
Current Committee:
Senate Codes
Law Section:
Penal Law

Sponsor Memo


An act to amend the penal law, in relation to the possession of
anti-security items

Enhance penalty for theft of property by a person who possesses an
item designed to block or otherwise override security markings, tags,
or attachments placed on property offered for sale in a retail
mercantile establishment.

Section 1. Adds a new subdivision 12 to Section 155.30 of the Penal
Law to define "anti-security device" and render it a crime to use same
in theft of property.

Section 2. Amends Section 170.47 of the Penal Law to tender it a class
A misdemeanor to possess an anti-security device with intent to use
same to steal property at a retail mercantile establishment.

Section 3. Effective date: November 1 next succeeding the date on
which it shall have become law.

Organized retail theft is the most serious security issue facing many
retail merchants, including apparel and accessory retailers, mass
merchandisers, do-it-yourself stores, drug stores, and supermarkets.
It's a crime that has grown substantially over the past decade, nearly
unabated. Estimates from retail and law enforcement suggest the annual
loss to organized retail theft in all retail sectors combines to reach
some $25 billion. Retailers are forced to offset these significant
costs through higher prices - meaning that honest consumers are forced
to endure the impact of organized retail theft and professional

Professional shoplifters who steal apparel and accessories usually
shoplift for a fence that either sells the goods to a higher-level
fence or sells the goods himself in a businesslike setting. Theft
rings tend to focus on over-the-counter drugs, pain relievers, health
and beauty aids, and clothing of all kinds. These items have
considerable value and are easily resold to other retailers or in
stores the criminal fences operate. The merchandise is always in
demand; most of the items are fairly small and easy to conceal on the
person or in so-called "booster bags."

"Booster bags" are crafted to hide stolen merchandise from security
devices, theft sensors, and similar units installed by retailers to
guard against the theft of merchandise. The bags can be as rudimentary
as a simple shopping bag lined with aluminum foil, or fashioned to be
more complex and difficult to detect. Whatever the quality, the bags
are crafted so that they will block or otherwise override the store's
security system, hiding the stolen merchandise and allowing the
shoplifter a clean exit from the store.

This legislation would enhance the criminal penalty against a person
who uses a "booster bag" or other such item designed to override a
retail establishment's security system in order to steal merchandise
from that store. It is an important step forward in helping retailers
in New York State curtail the growing problem of organized retail
theft and professional shoplifting.

2007-2008: Passed the Senate (S.5153/A.9094)

On the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall
have become a law.
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