EAST HARLEM, N.Y. - Calling it a "local policing issue." Gov. Hochul today lamented the announcement by the retail giant, Target, that it will close its East Harlem store because of shoplifting. October 21st will be its last day.
"I find this tragic," the Hochul responded when we asked her about the store closing as a result of rampant shoplifting,
The Governor says local municipalities have the support of the state, but indicated City Hall has to find the solution.
Back in May, Mayor Eric Adams unveiled a plan to combat shoplifting and retail theft. At the time, the city said there were over 22,000 retail thefts last year, and that 30% were committed by a few offenders.
The city’s play cemeteries on uprooting the causes that lead an individual to shoplift. It also looked at diversion programs to deter mobs and organized groups from large-scale thefts.
The city’s plan appears not to have worked for Target in East Harlem, its employees, and local residents who shop at the store.
Speaking of its importance to her neighborhood, a Target employee spoke with us and asked we withhold her identity, "I don't know what we're going to do without Target. this neighborhood - we're not rich here, we have food stamps, people are on fixed incomes. Now we're closing in 3 weeks. I'm devastated. I'm hurting."