NEW YORK (CBS New York) — A few Rite Aid stores in Manhattan are closing due to an increase in shoplifting.
Rather than follow suit, another retail chain says it is doing something else to address the problem, CBS2’s Alice Gainer reported Thursday.
Although the 30 Gristedes and D’Agostino supermarkets in New York have seen a significant increase in shoplifting, Chairman and CEO John Catsimatidis said he would not close any of them. It only reinforces security.
“We are hiring more and more security. We hired a lot of retired cops,” Catsimatidis said.
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Some companies have told their employees not to confront shoplifters, but Catsimatidis said he takes a different approach.
“Do you want to stay in business? Want to keep the store open? Do what you have to do,” Catsimatidis said.
Last month, Chris Paliophilos, the store manager at 40th Street and 2nd Avenue in Murray Hill, said he went to a guy who stole more than 70 pints of ice cream.
“I fought with the guy. I grabbed the bag. The handle broke and he realized he couldn’t win so he ran away,” Paliophilos said.
He has been with the company for over 40 years. He says that in the past would-be thieves felt threatened by a call to the police.
“Now? Call the police. I don’t care. What are they going to do to me? That’s why they leave, they come back, they leave, they come back,” Paliophilos said.
READ MORE: NYPD reports levels of shoplifting not seen in nearly 30 years as organized retail crime escalates nationwide
There was an outcry for Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to do something. He took up the issue with the Association for a Better New York on Wednesday, saying he was working with his new alliance of small businesses to brainstorm solutions for repeat offenders.
“So if someone takes $200 from four stores and continues, for lack of a better word, their route, being able to aggregate that drive so they can be charged at a higher level is something we’ve talked about. retailers approx. You know, the load being bigger then,” Bragg said.
NYPD data shows that citywide retail theft complaints, including petty theft, grand larceny and robbery that initially began with shoplifting, increased by more than 11 000 in 2021 compared to 2020 and nearly 6,000 compared to 2019.
BACKWARDS: Gristedes owner offers $5,000 reward for catching ice cream thieves
District Manager Kevin Jordan says meat remains one of the top stolen items, along with Haagen-Dazs ice cream.
“It’s the hottest, Dove, Tide soap,” Jordan said.
He said thieves also stole things like olive oil, basically anything considered more expensive, Gainer reported.
Workers say they choose not to lock items like you do in pharmacies; instead, place cosmetics and Tylenol behind the counter.
They said they were also putting fewer products, like meat, on display.