327 people - whose identities the police did not disclose - have been arrested and rearrested on numerous occasions for shoplifting in New York City, Commissioner Keechant Sewell told The New York Times. Agents have detained these same individuals more than 6,000 times. In addition, this group accounted for one third of the arrests related to theft in the city last year.
Among this hundred or so detainees, there are those who steal because they suffer from a mental illness or addiction. On the other hand, others from this group are engaged in theft as a trade, according to the same source. Not only criminals are concentrated: 18 department stores and seven drugstore chains accounted for 20% of the theft complaints, again according to the same source.
Petit Larceny in NYC by Location Type: 2006-2022
— Crime in NYC (@CrimeInNYC) April 15, 2023
Theft in The City that Never Sleeps has been increasing year on year. From 2019 to 2022, they rose 53% across retail businesses, such as chain stores and department stores. This was revealed in a report by the John Jay Research and Evaluation Center, which also reported a 27% increase on the streets and sidewalks, and a 16% increase in private homes and residences.
So far this year, this type of crime has continued to increase. It went from 28,310 complaints recorded by the City of New York Police Department between January and April 2022, to 28,440 in the same months this year.
Criticism of the Prosecutor's Office
This data is being revealed while New York's soft-on-crime policy is being challenged. Against this background, criticism of the policies of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg have been mounting in recent days. Several Republican legislators are asking the prosecutor for explanations regarding his measures against insecurity.
Alvin Bragg’s radical pro-crime, anti-victim policies have led to an increase in violent crime in New York City.
Next week, the Judiciary Committee will examine these policies during a field hearing in Manhattan.
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 10, 2023
Bragg was also the focus of criticism for concentrating his efforts on investigating former President Donald Trump, rather than trying to reduce these rising numbers.