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Hochul announces new measures against organized retail theft: Will they work?

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  • Staff Report 

Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive plan to combat organized retail theft and enhance safety for frontline workers, as part of the Fiscal Year 2025 State Budget. The initiatives introduced include the establishment of dedicated Retail Theft Teams supported by $40.2 million in funding for New York State Police and local law enforcement, and the creation of new felony penalties for assaulting retail workers.


The budget agreement also allocates a $5 million tax credit to assist business owners in investing in security upgrades such as cameras. This measure aims to fortify small businesses against thefts which have surged across New York, paralleling national trends in retail crime. Governor Hochul emphasized that the strategy targets various aspects of retail vulnerability, from enforcement to aiding small businesses in safeguarding their premises.

Reflecting on the rising incidents of retail theft, which pose a threat not only to public safety but also to the economic health of communities, the Governor stated that these bold steps were necessary to curb the growing menace of organized retail crime. The budget’s focus on strengthening penalties and enhancing preventive measures demonstrates a significant move towards protecting New York’s retail landscape.