NY Gov. Hochul outlines $45M plan to fight retail theft

New York Governor Kathy Hochul has proposed a $45M plan to tackle rising retail theft throughout the state.

"We really are focused on what has become a sophisticated, organized retail operation – the smash-and-grab efforts. They go in and swipe everything off the shelves, and oftentimes they're loading into a stolen vehicle, compounding the crimes here," Governor Hochul shared.

The plan aims to bolster security measures for businesses and establish task forces within law enforcement that specifically target shoplifters.

The legislation also increases penalties for those reselling stolen goods and assaulting retail workers in shoplifting attempts like we've seen in smash-and-grab videos before. 

"To not know whether someone coming in the door is going to do them harm, or knock them over, and sweep the shelves and sometimes a shooting, sometimes a knifing, it's got to stop," said Hochul.

From 2017 to 2023, larceny offenses rose by more than 50 percent across New York City. Now, Governor Hochul is hoping to send a stronger message.

"They will address and arrest some of these more organized probably retail theft rings and when you arrest one person for retail theft, you’re also arresting them for all of their future thefts in theory," said Christopher Herrmann, with John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

If approved, the initiative invests more than $25M to a smash-and-grab enforcement unit to build cases against those who are part of theft rings, $10M will support prosecutors, $5M would support local agencies and the final $5M would go to businesses for a tax credit to cut their losses.

"The increased money for the small businesses that don’t have the security or maybe the cameras yet again I think it’s a very comprehensive package," added Herrmann.