Skip to main content

New York in new crackdown on retail theft in NYC

Retail crime theft problem robbing and shoplifting stores business concept of a shoplifter stealing merchandise from a retailer as a thief committing larceny with 3D illustration elements.; Shutterstock ID 2367504765
New York's focus on organized retail theft comes as crime data shows a significant spike in these crimes during the past six years.

The state of New York is taking new actions to combat the rise in retail theft.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced new initiatives to crack down on organized retail theft and protect frontline retail workers. The initiatives, included in the state’s approved FY25 budget agreement, feature stiffer penalties for criminals and for those who knowingly purchase stolen merchandise.  

New York's focus on organized retail theft comes as crime data shows a significant spike in these crimes during the past six years. Larceny offenses in New York City have spiked by 51% between 2017 and 2023. Robberies, grand larceny and petit larceny in New York City are up by 86% during that same time period.

The FY25 State Budget includes the following five-point plan to fight organized retail theft:

•Bolstering criminal penalties for anyone who assaults a retail worker by elevating it from a misdemeanor to felony. Any person who causes physical injury to a retail worker performing their job will be subject to this new felony.

•Allowing prosecutors to combine the value of stolen goods when they file larceny charges. The Budget allows retail goods from different stores to be aggregated for the purposes of reaching a higher larceny threshold when stolen under the same criminal scheme.

•Making it illegal to foster the sale of stolen goods to go after third-party sellers. A person will be found guilty if they use any website or physical location to sell stolen goods.

•$40.2 million for dedicated Retail Theft Teams within State Police, District Attorneys’ offices and local law enforcement, including 100 New York State Police personnel dedicated to fighting organized retail theft.

•$5 million tax credit to help small businesses invest in added security measures such as cameras. To help alleviate the burden on small businesses for additional security measures, the budget creates a $3,000 tax credit for any small businesses who spends the threshold amount of money on retail theft prevention measures.

“I promised to fight the scourge of organized retail theft -- and in this budget, we got it done,” Governor Hochul said“Sophisticated organized retail theft operations are putting frontline retail workers at risk and reselling stolen goods on online marketplaces, and we're taking new steps to end this chaos.”

This ad will auto-close in 10 seconds