Lock Up The Shoplifters, Not The Merchandise

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Shoplifting that is brazen can be harmful to everyone.

It takes too much time to get the pharmacist to unlock adult toothpaste. Before the scourge of shoplifting, consumers could browse and read product labeling.

Target, Home Depot and others retailers announced last Thursday that double-digit theft increases across the country has caused them to suffer a big hit in their profits.

After raising prices for consumers. Remember that when the person next to you fills a bag full of merchandise and leaves without paying, you are paying for it.

San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York City are among the cities where stores have fled. These cities, which have been transformed into shopping paradises by mayors who are soft on crime and district attorneys, are now a shoplifter’s dream. Nordstrom and Saks Off 5th are set to leave downtown San Francisco. Anthropologie, Whole Foods and other stores have already left. This means that jobs are lost and revenue from sales taxes is reduced. Storefronts will be empty and the city will decay. What is a city that doesn’t have stores?

If we let our politicians embrace the philosophy of shoplifting being caused by poverty, and not criminalized, then we will destroy our cities and descend to lawlessness.

The Left claims that criminalizing poverty by jailing shoplifters. Sandhya Dirks, a NPR reporter, says that stealing necessities without payment shouldn’t be a crime.

Ridiculous. Most poor people don’t steal. It is insulting to say they do.

It’s true that homeless people who suffer from mental illness or addictions steal. The problem is organized theft. The thieves use calculators in drugstores to make sure that the items they are loading into their bags do not exceed the $1,000 threshold for a misdemeanor, which is the legal limit in New York and many other states. Shoplifters put the items back to avoid jail. The next day, they can come back for more.

The thieves are not stealing diapers or food because they’re hungry. They’re stealing to resell the goods.

Nearly one third of the shoplifting crimes reported to the police in New York City last year were committed a group of 327 professional thieves who were arrested more than 6,000 times.

They’re still out there. Michael Lipetri is the chief of crime prevention strategies at New York Police Department.

Los Angeles and San Francisco have the highest retail theft rates in the country. Californians, according to a poll, want their state law toughened to make stealing items worth more than 400 dollars a crime. The Democratic majority of the state legislature pushes back, protecting crooks and not the public.

Florida changed its law to allow prosecutors the ability to charge a criminal offense for thefts committed in multiple stores over a period of time. Democrats objected to the law, saying it would “only punish poor people,” and instead urged legislators to “deal with systematic poverty.”

This is the same drivel that New York legislators use to oppose reform. In January, retailers gathered to urge Albany lawmakers to change the law to allow prosecutors to charge serial shoplifters based on their total haul. So far, no results. It’s a pity.

Shoplifting complaints in New York City increased by 45% between 2022 and the previous year. Last year, Target on Greenwich Street had 646 incidents. One Target employee expressed frustration by saying, “at some stage, there will not even be a shop.”

On May 17, Mayor Eric Adams revealed his long-awaited retail theft plan. Adams wants to install kiosks at stores that are frequently targeted, so the needy could sign up for social service instead of stealing. Ralph Cilento is a retired NYPD lieutenant-commander of detectives. He said, “I’m very sorry, but it’s a pipedream.”

Adams has little to work with since Albany Democrats are unwilling to take action. The kiosks are only a way to legitimize a myth: that poverty is the cause of crime.

Criminals are guilty of crimes and should be arrested and imprisoned.

Tell your legislators that it is time to stop coddling the shoplifters, their leftist apologists and start protecting us.