πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ Letters to the Editor β€”Β June 6, 2023

NYC stores like the Food Emporium on 3rd Ave and 69 St are being hit by shoplifters.


The Issue: Big Apple drugstores etc. increasingly lock up goods as shoplifting skyrockets.

I recently went to a large Midtown pharmacy to purchase a non-prescription pain reliever (β€œShelves like steal traps,” June 3).

When I asked the cashier whether I needed to pay for it, she looked at me quizzically.

I then said, β€œI mean, if I walk out of the store without paying, will anyone stop me?”

She said, β€œNo.”

Retail stores can lock everyday goods behind plexiglass, require shoppers to ring for assistance, or take any number of other security measures, but until our government imposes and enforces real penalties for theft and other crimes, those crimes will continue unabated.

Marc E. Kasowitz
Manhattan

NYC stores like the Food Emporium on 3rd Ave and 69 St are being hit by shoplifters.
Matthew McDermott

Are all state politicians stupid, or do they just play stupid on TV?

As they wring their hands and fret over uncontrolled shoplifting from NYC businesses, they refuse to enact the simplest of solutions: Arrest and prosecute the shoplifters.

This lack of desire (or competence) to address the problem has left businesses to fend for themselves.

Larger retail stores, like Duane Reade and Walgreens, can afford to put all their goods in locked cabinets, but what do the smaller mom-and-pop shops do?


Retail stores are now locking everyday goods behind plexiglass, requiring shoppers to ring for assistance, and other security measures in the increase of shoplifting.
Retail stores are now locking everyday goods behind plexiglass, requiring shoppers to ring for assistance, and other security measures in the increase of shoplifting.
Matthew McDermott

Perhaps history can provide an answer.

In the 1920s and ’30s, local organized crime groups would provide muscle to protect local businesses for a fee.

Of course, the protection offered was from the mobsters themselves, but the business model can be changed to address the current situation.

Not only would these β€œprivate protection agencies” ensure that no one messed with their β€œclients,” they could β€œconvince” would-be shoplifters, in no uncertain terms, to choose another field of endeavor.


NYC Mayor Eric Adams.
NYC Mayor Eric Adams, alongside DA Alvin Bragg, was pictured heading to a discussion about the city’s ongoing shoplifting/retail crime problems.
Matthew McDermott

Personally, I would prefer to see the shoplifters splayed out on the floor rather than the broken glass of the stores they ransack and the broken dreams of the shop owners.

Jack Kaufman
Naples, Fla

How do people live like this?

Here where I live, they lock up the cologne, so I end up buying it online.

But to have toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, etc. all locked up seems to me like it would drive customers away.

Maybe these big liberal cities should start locking up the shoplifters instead of the products they steal.

Charlie Honadel
Venice, Fla.

It’s being widely reported that shoplifting is on the rise and is hurting all of us, consumers.

It’s also been brought to my attention that shoplifters have grown more brazen and violent and Albany refuses to crack down.

Meanwhile, Walgreens and Duane Reade have been forced to lock some things up and have made purchasing inconvenient.

I shop at Walgreens; certain items I wish to purchase are now only found behind plexiglass, kept under lock and key. I have to ring a bell to get someone to unlock the plexiglass so I can get what I want to buy.

Sometimes I have to wait a few minutes till some clerk unlocks the plexiglass.

I have spoken to one of the clerks and been told they have to do this to prevent all the stealing. So very sad.


Anti-theft locked beauty products were pictured with a customer service button at a Walgreens pharmacy, in Queens, New York.
Anti-theft locked beauty products were pictured with a customer service button at a Walgreens pharmacy, in Queens, New York.
UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

But added to all that: When shoplifters steal, store owners have to raise their prices. That ends up hurting all of us, especially senior seniors like myself.

Let me point out I have been working in retail for over 50 years, and I have never seen such stealing and violent behavior till now. This must stop because we are all paying for it.

Frederick R. Bedell Jr.
Bellerose

So now that all the valuables on the shelf are behind lock and key, the shoplifters must request the items they want from the store clerk before they can walk out without paying.

Thank you, progressive Democratic Party.

Mike Santavicca
Yonkers

Shoplifting is climbing, so empty the jails and set no bail for criminals. But yes: Crackdown on the guy with a barbecue.

Harry Yasso
East Moriches

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