NEW YORK - Actor Michael Rapaport returned to a Rite Aid store on the Upper East Side and documented the visit after showing a shoplifter strolling out of the store in his first video. This time around, Rapaport said there was nothing left to steal.
"Back at my Rite Aid and there is nothing to steal because this Rite Aid like so many other Rite Aids is closing down because everything is stolen and the workers here say they are not sure if they're getting any jobs," said Rapaport on social media.
Stores across the country have reported increased thefts coupled with supply chain issues for closures.
An employee at the actor's local store on First Avenue and East 80th Street confirmed the closure to FOX 5 News and cited "shipping issues."
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A source sent FOX 5 News an exclusive video of showing two men dressed in all black, raiding the shelves and stuffing whatever they could get their hands on into backpacks and duffel bags at a Rite Aid at the intersection of 50th Street and 8th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen.
Employees said they called police on a regular basis, and statistics provided by the NYPD seemed to reflect that.
Police received at least 73 complaint reports from the 24-hour store and pharmacy since Jan. 1, 2020. Those complaints included 45 petit larcenies, nine grand larcenies, and seven robberies.
A Rite Aid spokeswoman has confirmed that both of those stores are shutting their doors, permanently, next month. The Hell's Kitchen location will close on Feb. 8, and the Upper East Side location will shutter on Feb. 15.
The pharmacy chain is also closing dozens of other stores due to "a number of specific business conditions and viability."
However, some workers are pinning the untimely closures on incessant shoplifting.
According to the NYPD, police got 43,864 citywide retail theft complaints in 2021, compared to 32,358 in 2020. That's an increase of 11,506 complaints in just one year.
"We're getting a lot of reports of pharmacies that are going out of business for a variety of reasons," Pharmacists Society of the State of New York President Karl Williams said. "But in some ways… the shoplifting… and the enormous scope of it, the straw that broke the camel's back."
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said he has heard these concerns and plans to tackle the problem with a new Small Business Alliance Task Force made up of small business leaders from across the borough. The group will first meet in February to analyze data and draft recommendations for the DA's office. The group will make a final set of recommendations in May.