Greenwich Village pharmacy puts alleged shoplifters' photos on display in window

Elm Pharmacy and Wellness in Greenwich Village is taking a bold stand against alleged shoplifters. 

The business, located on 7th Avenue, has photos of alleged shoplifters with the word "thief" on it, a stark contrast to the mellow and organic vibes within.  

But Ken, the owner, told FOX 5 New York that the posters are a way of letting the sticky-fingered suspects know their actions are being recorded on multiple video surveillance cameras, and that they are not welcome inside. 

"Just trying something different, hoping that it makes people think twice before they walk in here, and maybe they'll think, 'Oh, maybe I don't want my picture in the window.' That's really the thinking behind it," Ken said. 

Some suspects' photos are posted on the door of Elm Wellness. There are more inside.

The shoplifting concerns are part of a growing trend in the city. A New York Post analysis of New York City Police Department data found that shoplifting complaints during 2022 were up by 45% over 2021. 

The NYPD made more than 22,000 arrests last year, but due to current laws, many of those arrested were quickly released back on the streets to do it again.

Shoppers have had enough, too. 

"This city is very dangerous, it's very dangerous, I cannot say nothing else," one customer told FOX 5.  

Another said, "I guess if it's your own store, and you just protect it at all cost, do what you gotta do."

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In the Elm Pharmacy stockroom, Ken posted a "wall of shame" to make employees aware of who they should keep an eye on. 

He said the people in the photos were all allegedly seen on surveillance video taking items without paying for them, and it seems as though everyone is taking advantage of the five-finger discount.

The alleged shoplifters are almost equally male and female, and all races.

Ken said he has hired private security so he can avoid putting products on locked shelves like some of the bigger franchises. 

"We are catching more people, you know after the fact, we are checking the cameras, we are finding empty boxes where items have been removed from the box, so as to avoid detection to our security system," he added.