Legislation Would Make it Harder for Professional Shoplifters to Resell Stolen Goods Through Itinerant Vendors
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that legislation he sponsored to help prevent the resale of stolen goods through itinerant vendors has been passed by the New York State Senate.
Senator Fuschillo’s legislation (S525A) would expand the current law prohibiting itinerant vendors from selling baby food and over the counter medications to also include batteries and cosmetics. These items are prime targets of organized retail theft gangs which steal large quantities of them and resell them through itinerant vendors, like those at flea markets.
“Items such as batteries and cosmetics are ideal targets for professional shoplifters because they are small, easily concealed, and relatively expensive items. Making it harder for thieves to resell these items through itinerant vendors will eliminate a major incentive for them to steal them in the first place,” said Senator Fuschillo.
Additionally, the legislation aims to protect consumers from the health hazards caused by spoiled products. Many flea markets are held outdoors, where products are exposed to sunlight and heat. Cosmetics, like baby food and over the counter medications, are perishable items which could spoil under these conditions and create serious health problems for consumers.
Vendors who illegally sell batteries or cosmetics would face a fine of up to $100 per item offered for sale or sold, which is the same penalty they currently face for selling baby food or over the counter medications. The legislation was also passed by the Senate in 2011 but the Assembly failed to act on it.
The Food Industry Alliance of New York State noted in a memo supporting the legislation that organized retail theft is “the most pressing security problem confronting retailers,” costing them over $30 billion in annual losses.
The legislation has again been sent to the Assembly for consideration.