NYC shoplifting on the rise

A steady flow of customers can usually be seen walking in and out of the Rite Aid at West 50th Street and 8th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. However, on February 8, its revolving doors will be shutting for good.

Store workers are pinning the store’s untimely closure, in part, on rising thefts.

A source sent FOX 5 News an exclusive video, showing two men dressed in all black, raiding the shelves and stuffing whatever they could get their hands on into backpacks and duffel bags. 

Employees say they call police on a regular basis, and statistics provided by the NYPD seem to reflect that.

Police have received 73 complaint reports from the 24-hour store and pharmacy since January 1st, 2020.

Those complaints include 45 petit larcenies, 9 grand larcenies, and 7 robberies. 

In another incident, actor and comedian Michael Rapaport posted a video to Instagram saying he caught a shoplifting suspect, as he puts it, going "Christmas shopping" at an Upper East Side Rite Aid. 

The man casually walked past a security guard, leaving with two bags of items from the store 80th and 1st Avenue. 

An NYPD spokesperson tells Fox 5 News that a report has been filed there for petit larceny.

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Christopher Herrmann, an assistant professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, says these types of incidents often go unreported. 

"I think that's one of the larger overall issues and problems is I think a lot of the businesses have even kind of given up to an extent," he explains.

In the meantime, a spokesperson for Rite Aid says the drug store chain has seen a higher level of organized crime in the past year and is taking an active role in helping law enforcement pursue the offenders.