Bronx bodega owners chaining up merchandise to deter thieves

Bodega owners in the Bronx say shoplifting and theft have gotten so bad that they are being forced to literally chain up merchandise to stop those who enter their stores to steal.

Members of the United Bodega Association gathered at a press conference on Sunday to demand tougher consequences for shoplifters, saying that many of the thieves are repeat offenders.

"NYPD is doing their job, they come when you call them and make arrests, but that person will usually get a desk appearance and nothing will happen because District Attorneys and judges are not willing to prosecute," said Fernando Mateo of the UBA. 

RELATED: 'Out of control': NYC stores beg for help against serial shoplifters

In small stores or bodegas across the city, owners are saying they don't know what to do to combat the wave of crime.

While chaining up merchandise makes things harder for everyday customers, store owners say rampant shoplifting has forced their hand.

"It's unfortunate, but when you go to a bodega now, it's not as easy as come in and get out, now you have to wait to be served," Mateo said.

Earlier this month, FOX 5 NY spoke with grocery store owners who said that they are moving towards locking up food in order to deter thieves. 

"You're not going to be able to smell the food, read the ingredients, look at a recipe, that's going to disappear if we don't do something now," said Nelson Eusebio of the National Supermarket Association.