‘We’re coming after you,’ Hochul warns shoplifters while announcing $45M plan to combat retail theft in New York

By Aidan Graham

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Amid a spike in retail theft around New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Feb. 14 proposed $45 million in new spending to crack down on shoplifting. 

From 2017 to 2023, reported incidents of shoplifting have risen by an eye-popping 50% in the Big Apple, which comes despite rates of many other crimes falling. Last year alone, police arrested around 25,000 shoplifters across the five boroughs, though the city saw approximately 64,000 stores get looted during that time, according to police data.   

While the governor’s administration can launch many of those initiatives without legislative approval, she also noted the need for Albany lawmakers to change the criminal code in New York to help crack down on the shoplifting epidemic.

“In the Senate, I have advocated for legislation to elevate the assault of a retail worker to a Class D Felony — because I understand just how important it is to protect New Yorkers from violent crimes,” said Staten Island state Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton. “Our retail workers and small businesses here in New York are just trying to make ends meet, and retail theft truly threatens their financial well-being and safety.” 

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