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Hochul launches plan against retail theft

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Gov. Kathy Hochul is stepping up efforts to combat shoplifting across New York. During a recent event in lower Manhattan, Hochul unveiled a comprehensive strategy aimed at curbing retail theft, emphasizing a strong stance against the rising issue that impacts both small and large businesses and has led to increased violence against retail employees.


The governor’s plan, first mentioned in her State of the State address, proposes the formation of an interagency joint operation similar to efforts against illegal gun trafficking. This initiative seeks to enhance coordination among state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies to track and tackle retail crime more effectively. Hochul’s strategy also introduces tougher penalties for online marketplaces that facilitate the sale of stolen goods and increases penalties for violence against retail workers.

To support this initiative, Hochul has proposed a budget of $45 million, which includes funding for new security measures for stores, a dedicated State Police unit to address smash-and-grab crimes, and additional resources for local law enforcement and district attorneys. The governor assured that the focus would be on organized retail crime rather than penalizing individuals for minor, one-time offenses, aiming for a balanced approach to address the issue without criminalizing poverty.