NYPD Calls UWS Duane Reade Stores Crime Magnets; Asks Residents To Demand Better Security Investment By Corporate Owners

The Duane Reade at 2069 Broadway (72nd).

By Joy Bergmann

Capt. Timothy Malin, the 20th Precinct’s new commanding officer, is taking aim at Duane Reade for what he considers a lax attitude to crime prevention.

By not investing in private security guards for the precinct’s eight stores, he says, the company is drawing in repeat offenders from other neighborhoods who use these locations as their “personal shopping malls” and may commit other crimes of opportunity while visiting the Upper West Side.

“The vast majority of the larcenies (thefts) are coming from one place: Duane Reade,” he told residents at Monday evening’s monthly Community Council meeting.

So far in 2018 there have been 180 reported larcenies from area Duane Reade stores, up 35% over last year. Duane Reade makes up 42% of the precinct’s total reported petit larcenies (stolen goods under $1000); multiple grand larcenies have also been reported. NYPD has made 76 larceny arrests in the stores this year; 97% of those arrested live outside of the precinct.

Captain Timothy Malin.

During his PowerPoint presentation, Capt. Malin highlighted the rap sheets of five recidivist arrestees as exemplars of his larger concern. Career criminals – sex offenders, gang members, robbers with upwards of 78 arrests – are traveling to the UWS to hit unguarded Duane Reades and perhaps swipe laptops and handbags elsewhere while they’re here, he says.

“They have security guards in other parts of the city like northern Manhattan and the Bronx. We’ve asked them twice for the exact same thing for the Upper West Side but we haven’t made any progress.”

See the powerpoint he presented below:

Duane Reade Shoplifting Presentation v3 by westsiderag on Scribd

Capt. Malin said he met with Walgreens [Duane Reade’s owners] corporate security managers last week, noting that the precinct’s previous commander held a similar meeting back in January. He found the reps to be sympathetic, but not racing to ameliorate the situation. “They approach store security from a strict dollars and cents point of view,” he said. “They told me they expect to lose $7 million of merchandise in Manhattan every year, and they just write it off. They expect one in three lipsticks to be stolen. They call 911 to file a police report so as to make an insurance claim.”

Walgreens did not respond to WSR’s requests for comment.

Money matters to Walgreens, Malin says, but it should also matter to area residents.

“Taxpayer dollars right now are essentially subsidizing private security at Duane Reade,” he said. To attempt to stem the wave of thefts, 20th Precinct officers have made over 822 “directed patrols” at area stores wherein uniformed cops stop by and walk the aisles. Those are “822 times this year when our officers could have been engaged with something else, a different quality of life issue our residents may have.”

Capt. Malin urged residents to contact Walgreens and demand that the company take action. “We want the same preventative measures that the Bronx and other parts of Manhattan are getting…visible, well-run security in their UWS stores,” he said. “They can’t just be reactive. They need to be proactive for the safety of the community.”

WSR has updated the Powerpoint at the NYPD’s request to reflect individuals’ revised arrest record information.

NEWS | 96 comments | permalink
    1. Mark Moore says:

      How about you lock up those people who’ve been arrested 50 or 60 times.

      • Capt. Malin says:

        We do and we have… Over 70 times this year. And the Manhattan DA’s office is doing their job too, trying to keep them in jail. Ultimately though, there is a high volume of perpetrators that will continue to pour into the Upper West Side. We do believe that Duane Reade is a good company that provides a valuable and convenient service to the community. But we need them to share the responsibility when it comes to neighborhood safety and dedicate the same security resources that they do in other parts of the City.

    2. dannyboy says:

      “They approach store security from a strict dollars and cents point of view,” he said. “They told me they expect to lose $7 million of merchandise in Manhattan every year, and they just write it off. They expect one in three lipsticks to be stolen. They call 911 to file a police report so as to make an insurance claim.”

      Walgreens did not respond to WSR’s requests for comment.

      I won’t shop at a chain that does a cost/benefit analysis that risks my safety.

      • UWS_lifer says:

        Have fun living off the land and residing in a log cabin in the woods.

        Watch out for those ticks….and bears. Don’t want to forget about the bears.:)

        • dannyboy says:

          There’s some truth to your comment.
          Caveat Emptor!

          I find myself returning to stores I can trust. For Pharmacy, I use New Amsterdam. The pharmacist there even hand delivered himself to ensure that I got treated properly. They even advised on my cat’s prescription.

          But not DR.

    3. Irene says:

      Just curious. Do the neighborhood CVS stores have security guards? In general, they seem cleaner and a more pleasant experience.

      • Captain Malin says:

        CVS uses some rather sophisticated and impressive technologies in their loss prevention efforts that other chains do not employ. They are not immune from theft, but we take 40% less larcenies per capita at our two CVS locations in the 20th Precinct.

    4. chris says:

      This is pretty fascinating and seems to explain why there is a pretty heavy (relatively speaking compared to other high-traffic areas on UWS) police presence at the Duane Reade on 72nd/Broadway. 1889 has always looked sketchy on the outside.

    5. Pedestrian says:

      Residents can’t do much but the Mayor could sit down with these guys and do some good. The City Council should look into the possibility of legislation. It’s time to stop treating these big corporate stores with kid gloves. It’s time to insist that they become good neighbors! If they won’t do it voluntarily, pass legislation AND enforce it!

      The City should also contract the landlords for these properties and get them to pick up the burden. Taxpayers should not be paying for normal costs of doing business.

      • az says:

        Residents CAN do something. We can call and email Walgreens and let them know that we will be boycotting them until they take responsibility for the security in these stores – and that we will be encouraging our neighbors to do the same.

        • Welcome Back, Cotter says:

          And then add those locations to the empty storefront phenomenon.

          A lot of loudtalkers like to screech about boycotting this and boycotting that, but boycotts should be used judiciously.

    6. Jose Habib says:

      LOL, yeah, it’s all Walgreens’ fault we have gang members and robbers with 79 arrests roaming the city freely. People complain about “mass incarceration” – this is why we clearly need more of it.

    7. Scott says:

      You just have to laugh at this. Look at the rap sheets of these people. Multiple gun charges, rapes, gang assault, etc. Many of these offenses are recent. And they’re out on the streets. But yeah –let’s blame a drug store for not hiring square badges.

      • Capt. Malin says:

        I understand your frustration. But consider that they do hire security guards elsewhere in the City… So clearly the company is convinced of their efficacy. And they are effectively pushing crime to the Upper West Side.

        • Roger Morse says:

          This sounds like victim blaming to me.

        • Henry Miller says:

          Do you offer the same victim-blaming response to other crimes?

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          It’s not “victim blaming.” it would be victim-blaming if DR reports a crime, NYPD shows up and says, “it’s your fault.”

          this is pro-active preventive policing. CAPT Malin and the 20th Pct noticed a crime pattern and looked into it, and in doing so discovered a discrepancy in how a large corporation was dissuading criminals. He then took appropriate steps.

    8. agl says:

      isnt that the police job!!!!

      • dannyboy says:

        Community Policing includes the community. I, for one, don’t want a police officer serving as a security guard in a chainstore.

        I also don’t want to run the risk from “career criminals – sex offenders, gang members, [and] robbers”.

      • Richard says:

        The job of the police is not to make up for lax security policies of private corporations. Maybe I should just leave my apartment doors unlocked so I don’t have to use a key each day, then blame Capt Malin and ask him to help file an insurance claim. They key to many problems is cutting off the supply. Make it harder and they will have to look elsewhere or ultimately stop. If Duane Read wants to be part of the community then they should be a part of it, not just leech off of it. I hate that store anyway.

        Thanks for pointing it out Capt Malin!

        • Woody says:

          If you leave your apartment door unlocked and get robbed, then it’s up to the insurance company whether they want to honor your claim. You would be in violation of the policy’s provisions that you safeguard your property. Insurance companies are not in business to compensate policy holders for their laxness and stupidity. This has nothing to do with the police department helping people who suffer real losses due to no fault of their own.

    9. NYWoman says:

      I go to Rite Aid. There’s always a security guard at the entrance, enough staff, and great sales

      • robert says:

        Walgreens and Rite Aid are one and the same
        They share corp ownership, for many of the Rite Aid stores

    10. Me says:

      I watched teenagers stuff their backpacks with cases of halls cough drops on the 2nd floor of DR 72nd street when I told the pharmacist she tried to reach the store manager but was unable to find him/her. A better option is to go around the corner to Joseph’s pharmacy.

      • Arlene says:

        I totally agree and wont ever go to DR. Joseph Pharmacy, right round the corner on W. 72 St., is an independent with amazing customer service, a great inventory, delivery, etc. Support your local independent businesses!

        • PedestrianJustice says:

          Another reason to choose Joseph Pharmacy: they support the WSR as an advertiser.

          For those around 72nd and Broadway, we have at least five options within 3 minutes of each other. Go Joseph’s.

    11. Joan says:

      My sub-par nearest Duane Reade at 103 & Bway has a lock on 3-packs of chewing gum. To buy, find a manager with a key! Time consuming, annoying, degrading. I stock up when I visit friends out of town.

      And $7-million write-off? So that’s why prices are so high.

    12. PVD says:

      These statistics are a real eye opener to UWS residents and we can definitely do something about it. Stop shopping there. I am taking my dollars elsewhere. They appear to have a horrendous business strategy. They may not be responsible for the overall type of criminals that inhabit their stores but they owe their customers a better shopping experience. The DR on Broadway and 70th is dirty, poorly lit and In constant need of repair (never operable escalator). If we add in the likelihood that a criminal is “shopping” along side of you it’s probably best to go somewhere else. They clearly put the customer last. Our alternatives are vast and conveniently located.

      • BJK says:

        I know it’s not the topic of this thread but I agree about how dirty and broken-down the DR at 70th & B’Way is. That escalator situation is a huge joke. In light of the concerns raised in this article, I really should change where my prescriptions get filled.

    13. Weird That Way says:

      They lose 7 million dollars a year in merch. Surely, hired security guards would cost less than that!

      • Capt, Malin says:

        We wonder about that too…

      • Scott says:

        There’s risks in hiring security guards. Let’s say one of them tackles a shoplifter on his way out out. The shoplifter suffers a broken hand. Now all of a sudden the drugstore is on the hook for a huge settlement. Look at the Starbucks in Philly. They asked 2 squatters to leave and the whole company’s been turned upside down.

        • MJ says:

          “They asked two squatters to leave”…? You’re kidding, right? Perhaps you should consider actually *reading* the news rather than just making clearly racist assumptions based on headlines you see. Even the CEO of Starbucks has agreed to shut down coffee shops NATIONWIDE to address this issue. Here, read this, it’ll help better inform you: https://news.starbucks.com/press-releases/starbucks-to-close-stores-nationwide-for-racial-bias-education-may-29

          • Scott says:

            “Even the CEO of Starbucks” shows you have no clue how companies think or operate these days. As if the CEO of Starbucks would be the last person to capitulate to the grievance mob making a mountain out of a molehill. (Actually he would be the first) And yes–if you go into a restaurant, sit down and don’t order anything, you should expect to be escorted out.

            • MJ says:

              “Escorted out” — shows you have no clue what happened in this situation. You mean “arrested,” right? If you sit down at a coffee shop (not a restaurant) and don’t immediately order something within 5 minutes, you should expect to be arrested. Just to be clear what your argument is here.

    14. Opinionated says:

      This is the job of the police. Where is the police when we need them? They are always around to make stupid traffic stops, issue parking tickets and harass innocent citizens.

      • Frank says:

        RE: “How about you lock up those people who’ve been arrested 50 or 60 times.” and “People complain about ‘mass incarceration’ – this is why we clearly need more of it.”

        The problem isn’t the police “not locking people up.” The police are only one factor in the equation; after an arrest is made, the Manhattan District Attorney and the New York Court system are responsible for disposition. If someone with 50 or 60 arrests is back on the streets, the police are obviously doing their jobs by arresting them so many times. Look to Cyrus Vance, an elected official, and the judges (elected or appointed by politicians) who push the career criminals through the revolving turnstile. Don’t complain only at the PD Community Council meetings, pressure your electeds to do their jobs.

      • Woody says:

        You forgot to mention the cops that are always on their mobile phones while on duty. It’s hard to see how they’re our eyes and ears with regard to crime when they’re sitting in cars and fixated on devices. They only notice things when they need to write some tickets.

    15. merch says:

      What the heck are you stealing from DR that amounts to $4,600??

    16. Francesca says:

      Yep. The stores have a responsibility, moral and legal,
      and customers should consider alternatives if they do not meet it.

    17. Average Joe says:

      You think that Duane Reade stores are magnets for these criminals and not the upscale UWS neighborhood in general?
      If Duane Reade will put guards or whetever then these criminals will go to steal from other businesses or homes, or rob people on the streets and in parks.
      The only real solution in an area like UWS which is very “rich” and very proximate to “poor” areas is a high police presence on the streets, undercover cops, detective work and watching out for people that are suspicious. The amount of people that walk around the neighborhood that don’t live, work, visit for shopping etc but just there look for opportunity to get money by begging or stealing is insane.

      • dannyboy says:

        “The only real solution in an area like UWS which is very “rich” and very proximate to “poor” areas is a high police presence on the streets, undercover cops, detective work and watching out for people that are suspicious. The amount of people that walk around the neighborhood that don’t live, work, visit for shopping etc but just there look for opportunity to get money by begging or stealing is insane.”

        Dear ‘Average Joe’, it is an impossible expectation that the police be everywhere to prevent crime. More practical is that our community already IS everywhere in the neighborhood. Putting pressure on DR, whether by letter or pocketbook will prevent crimes.

        I am sure that you (as we all are) in agreement with that goal.

        • Average Joe says:

          What is it about putting pressure on DR?

          Do you really think that if tomorrow all DR stores in the neighborhood will close permanently there won’t be criminals walking around the neighborhood?

          And honestly, if they’re ok with people stealing bubble gums or whatever from them then it’s their decision. To pressure them to put guards or whatever sounds so weird to me. What if there were thefts from mom and pop store in the neighborhood, would you want to pressure them to hire a guard or you just feel like DR owe us something because they are a corporation?

          I agree with you that we can’t expect police to be everywhere but I’m sure that if there is a crime issue in the neighborhood there should be a better ideas to solve it than put guard in duane reade…

        • uwser says:

          “Putting pressure on DR, whether by letter or pocketbook will prevent crimes.”

          Seriously? LOL

    18. Natasha Cipolli says:

      Yesterday in Duane Reade a man walked in took out a bag filled it and walked out, the manager just shrugged his shoulders, the cashier just shook her head, it was crazy to watch.

      • dannyboy says:

        It is the Management of DR that are to blame.The executives in Deerfield, IL developed a business model that is screwing our neighborhood.

        Their plan is to continue expansion in neighborhoods like ours that show high purchasing power and high sales. They couldn’t care about the criminals that they attract, because their investment analysis show increased sales.

        You pay the price. The executives reap the benefit.

      • Pharmacist Heal Thyself says:

        Sorry, but I have seen this happen in D’Agostino’s too.

        I also wonder if the fact that DRs are typically open 24/7 plays a role in this. Are there times of day (or night) when these crimes occur more frequently?

        Do consumers want DR to restrict itself to more conventional hours of operation?

        Frankly, I can walk into my local DR at 1AM, no one else in the store, and the odor of marijuana is overwhelming. That isn’t coming from customers.

      • Laura says:

        I used to live by the Morton Williams on 10th and 59th. I shopped there very night and would see the same filthy person in a big winter coat come in frequently and fill their coat pockets with whatever they wanted and walk out right in front of the cashier. They had a ‘security guard’ at the entrance. I asked the cashier why they didn’t do anything and they said the trouble of stopping the ‘crazy’ person wasn’t worth it. If they called police it would be a lot of trouble and the shoplifter would just get let go. So they said they don’t bother. A real eye opener for me, and very discouraging. I don’t shop in stores much anymore. Forget Duane Reade, I just shop on Amazon now.

    19. AC says:

      I say we share the effort. We write to Walgreens and the Captain writes to the Judge releasing these criminals. One clown had over 50 arrests????

      • dannyboy says:

        Please note that these statistics are of police ARRESTS. The police are doing their job. Juries not-so-much.

        • AC says:

          Served last month, Trust me , , , we did our job! Judges tend to give repeat offenders 2nd and 23rd chances at turning their lives around.

          Danny boy, you live in the 2-4 precinct, but glad you’re concerned about your southern neighbors.

        • Cato says:

          I suspect that most of those cases are never getting to a jury. Even if they’re not dismissed, they’ll get pled down to some minor no-jail lesser offense.

          It’s just not worth it for the DA to invest time prosecuting a two-bit shoplifter. Slap their wrists, set ’em loose.

          So even if juries are very lenient with these defendants — and that’s probably another reason the DA doesn’t want to dedicate resources to prosecuting them — my guess is that it’s only rarely a jury that has turned one of these folks back onto the street. It’s probably rare that a jury even gets the opportunity.

    20. Dixie says:

      $7 million write offs? Do the thefts ever get checked for accuracy? How do they know what small items have been stolen? Yes, it sounds like somebody has figured out that a Loss Prevention Program in-store is not as good a deal as allowing the crime to continue. A good security camera system sounds like a good investment with live eyes on it.

    21. Dixie says:

      I recognize one of the highly arrested recidivists in Walgreens the other day trying to return merchandise for a cash refund. He was clearly transient. The manager had checked it out and said that that merchandise hadn’t been sold in 3 months. Guess part of the scam is to steal stuff and then return it for money.

    22. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      many thanks to Captain Malin for monitoring this discussion, for making intelligent and insightful comments, and for taking a truly creative tack in Community Policing.

      he’s calling out a corporate entity, suggesting a solution, and educating the community about the issue so they can pressure the entity.

      this is excellent police leadership. this is how we bring down crime… not through unconstitutional racial profiling.

      • Cato says:

        Thanks, Bruce. I was about to post something very similar. Captain Malin is doing a great job and should be recognized for that.

        And I’m very impressed that Captain Malin is even following up and responding to comments here on the Rag. It helps us to take you seriously when you’re showing us that you take us seriously.

        Thanks for being a member of our community!

      • Woody says:

        I totally disagree that this is an intelligent approach. I also question the appropriateness of the Captain’s sharing information that the DR security team conveyed. I doubt they intended that the content of a private conversation would be disseminated on a public message board. All this leads me to believe that some of this is conjecture and opinion about DR’s approach to inventory shrinkage. It’s hard to tell from this article what the DR team actually said about their security strategy and what the Captain says they did. It sounds like the Captain is drawing his own conclusions from more limited information. For instance, you can’t have both write-offs and insurance proceeds for the same thefts in the full amount of the stolen items. Matters like these are typically between a company’s owners and its insurance company. It’s no one else’s business to tell a company how to run itself to prevent losses. At some point, if it’s really an issue, an insurance company will refuse to provide insurance if losses are deemed exorbitant. What’s next – pressure Fairway to hire a consultant for inventory control so they don’t have to pour out expired milk and write off the loss? If I were singled out like DR as a crime magnet, I would consult a lawyer. Especially in light of the Captain’s CVS comment which suggests a bias.

        • Capt. Malin says:

          Woody, because you are equipped only with the information from the article, I can see how you developed these concerns. Here is some additional background information for digestion:

          -The week before the Community Council Meeting, I met with two representatives from Duane Reade here in the 20th Precinct, one of them being a loss prevention manager for multiple stores. This is the second precinct meeting with them, the first being in January.

          -I was with two other commanding officers, their staffs, AND I invited a representative community council, so they could hear a residents’ point of view. There was no “private” conversation.

          -The loss prevention rep noted that they absolutely wanted more security, but were quite blunt with me about the company’s cost-benefit analysis. They said the exact same thing to my predecessor.

          -I asked them to consider that their cost-benefit analysis excluded an important externality, namely, who was being drawn into the neighborhood to steal.

          -I showed them the same PowerPoint presentation that I showed the community on Monday night. I asked them to relay this information back to their superiors. I also told them in advance that I would be making the presentation to the community. I did not hear back from them.

          -I assure you there is no bias toward one pharmacy chain or another. Our crime analysis staff did a complete work-up on BOTH chains, and the stats spoke for themselves. There are fewer CVS locations than Duane Reades, so raw numbers are a poor comparison. We instead used larcenies per capita (per store) year-to-date. At the time of our analysis (4/15/18), the Duane Reade’s were averaging 20 larcenies per store, year to date. The CVS locations were averaging 12 per location. That’s 40% fewer at CVS. Also, larcenies at our CVS stores are trending in the opposite direction compared to the same time period last year… they are going down while Duane Reade is going up. This is likely due to some of the high tech security measures they implemented.

          -We’ll have to agree to disagree on “It’s no one else’s business to tell a company how to run itself to prevent losses.” When a company provides loss prevention assets to stores in the Bronx and Northern Manhattan that they don’t provide to the Upper West Side, and this unequitable deployment draws in some very bad characters that are prone to committing other crimes of opportunity while they are here, I think the community should have a voice. This is why I made it a priority to present these numbers to the council in an unbiased fashion. Again, the staggering increase in larcenies speaks for itself. We’re dedicating precinct resources there – making arrests, doing directed patrols, and opening detective squad cases – but it isn’t enough. We need better partnership and more preventative measures on their part to keep this Upper West Side Community safe… the kind we get from many other retail chains and high profile venues.

          I appreciate your feedback and am happy to address your concerns and continue this conversation. If you’d like to come to our next community council meeting, they are the fourth Monday of every month here at the 20th Precinct.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          Woody is trying to intimidate Captain Malin. Malin has every right to communicate to the public what Duane Reade execs told him in the meeting, unless they told him it was private. In fact, we have the right to know.

          if the DR executives told him things that were not factual, that is on them, not him.

          His comments about CVS were fact based, especially regarding the theft in the two chains.

          In fact, he was very careful to talk about how DR has security guards in other locations in the city.

          I have a sneaking feeling that @Woody and the other nay-sayers and critiqueists would be the very first ones to cheer if Bloomberg was Mayor again and brought back racial profiling. It’s ok to frisk every Black male in NYC… but it’s not ok to point out how a major corporation is misusing the resources of the NYPD.

        • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

          @Woody, why don’t we have a City Council committee hold hearings and investigate DR? If DR is purposely looking the other way at theft, that certainly is business fraud.

          Let’s see who is right — Malin or DR. I put my money on Malin.

          @Woody says:

          “It’s no one else’s business to tell a company how to run itself to prevent losses.”

          It’s well known that Ayn Rand fan Woody has no idea what government is all about. If a business is disproportionately using a public resource like NYPD, in fact to subsidize their operations, it is every bit the business of the NYPD to explain to the business why this cannot go on any longer. And Malin makes a very good point about how DR is not just misusing the public resource but in fact helping seed extra crime in the UWS.

        • dannyboy says:

          “What’s next – pressure Fairway to hire a consultant for inventory control so they don’t have to pour out expired milk and write off the loss?”

          What article did you read? Police are trying to “Serve and Protect” us from “Career criminals – sex offenders, gang members, robbers with upwards of 79 arrests – [that] are traveling to the UWS to hit unguarded Duane Reades and perhaps swipe laptops and handbags elsewhere while they’re here, he says.”

          Who do you think is standing between you and these guys?

        • Jen says:

          Thank you for your detailed response to Woody. We are used to his inflammatory nonsense and don’t pay attention to him. The person has a clear agenda , has no sense of community and is often uncivil and vulgar.

          • Woody says:

            Let me remind everyone that Jen considers the idiom “suck at” to be vulgar. That phrase is pretty acceptable at many levels of discourse, especially a news blog like the WSR. Just because you don’t use idioms like that and others that I’ve seen here (pissed-off, assbackwards, effed-up, shitshow, for f**k’s sake) doesn’t make them vulgar. These comments are moderated so if you have problems with others’ choice of words, take it up with the moderators who allow such speech.

            Speak for yourself if you feel my comments are inflammatory nonsense. The reason you don’t pay attention is because you’re challenged by the facts and don’t have a cogent response. I surmise that you live in a la-di-da world and can’t cope with the complexities of the real world probably never having owned or managed any income-producing entity. That’s what makes your comment about “clear agenda, has no sense of community” so laughable as if you don’t have an agenda.

    23. rag_reader says:

      Wow, this is really embarrassing. Only in New York will you find that a business is a repeated victim of crime, and the local captain blames the victim! What’s next, you’ll tell victims of sexual assault that they should change the way the dress because it’s attracting too many rapists to the upper west side? I was a victim of an assault and I called 911 and waited–in hiding–for the NYPD to come. Not only did they not come, they didn’t even call back to check on me! Let me guess, as a citizen it’s my job to hire myself a personal security guard, otherwise I’m not fulfilling my duty to protect the community? Maybe this is Duane Reade’s experience, too? Maybe nothing happens when you call the NYPD, even if you have a security guard in the store, so you suffer the loss no matter what. How about that, Captain? Maybe you should do your job?

    24. JR says:

      This is crazy. All in the community should stop shopping at DR when there is any reasonable alternative. Josephs is great choice. 2 minutes away and they have most anything you might want. If DR does not care about crime in the community, they do not deserve our support. Security guards are not going to stop all theft, but they will certainly provide some deterrent effect.

      • lynn says:

        Just for the record, on two occasions when I went to DR late at night to pick up a prescription someone followed me from DR and around the corner to the block where Joseph’s is located. Turns out I can run a lot faster than I thought was possible, and luckily there’s a bar in the middle of that isolated block now (never thought I’d say that before). Don’t assume that you’re safe just because you’re shopping at an alternate place of business. That entire stretch from B’way to WEA needs more security.

    25. P. Salta says:

      My daughter was harassed by a gang of high school kids at 11 pm on xmas eve. THERE ARE STILL NO SECURITY GUARDS! They harassed her for money as she was buying last wrapping paper!She was afraid to leave the store for fear of being followed! She’s over 18 so it’s not like I sent a kid out at night I’ve lived on the UWS for 40 years… I used to manage Natural Source, we had security guards!!

    26. GS says:


    27. auws says:

      Captain Malin – A question, this is more of Crime prevention Criminal Justice theory question: It sounds like your argument revolves around the fact that DR on the UWS has made it itself a “soft target” thus taking the brunt of theft that has been “deterred” elsewhere through better defense. So if DR does get Security Guards cant we assume that the crime that occurs at DR will just move to an even “softer” target? I get how that approach would hep DR, however from the perspective of the NYPD, which is concerned with all crime, wouldn’t this need to be dealt with differently? It seems like in the big picture we are robbing Peter to pay Paul (pardon the felonious analogy), or is there some research or data that indicates this crime will just go away somehow….

      • Capt. Malin says:

        This is a really valid point, and I thank you for sharing it. To be clear, the 20th Precinct is not the only precinct experiencing a rising volume of larcenies from Duane Reade. The 19th, 24th, and some other precincts in Southern Manhattan are experiencing the same and are dedicating significant resources to combat the problem. Ideally, Duane Reade would deploy the same loss prevention assets they have in the Bronx (uniformed security) to all of their other stores. However, as the commander of the 20th Precinct and someone who really appreciates and has a great amount of affection for the residents of the Upper West Side, I, of course, must prioritize the eight DR locations within our borders… so I only presented data on these locations.

        • John says:

          So are we to demand a large business to deploy uniformed guards to all locations as if its not an expense that may turn a business unprofitable? Also, are we comparing the Bronx to the UWS? Very different neighborhoods with much more complex crime.

    28. Jane says:

      UWS residents should all go to Walgreens or CVS rather than Duane Reade. When DR management notices a downturn in revenue, they may do something to make their stores safer. Meanwhile, if UWSiders want a SAFER shopping environment, they should patronize other pharmacies.

      • lynn says:

        I thought Walgreen’s and DR were the same store. Am I missing something? Assuming we’re still talking about the store on 72nd and B’way, I’d have to take a bus/train to get to CVS. Surely we can do something to make our neighborhood better as opposed to shopping outside of it?

      • dannyboy says:

        I love New Amsterdam. My father-in-law owned several phamacies and was a pharmacist for his entire career.

        This is what a pharmacy looks like. They know you, they phone you, they come to the house.

      • huntz says:

        wallgreed is duanegreed

      • Diane says:

        Walgreens owns Duane Reade.
        To suggest it as an alternative doesn’t make sense.

    29. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      Lately I have noticed people taking their dogs into Duane Reade and even grocery stores. Is this allowed? I thought this would be a health violation, since these stores sell food.

      • ursus arctos says:

        I just wanted to commend Capt Malin for keeping the community informed and engaging in such a civil and substantive manner with commenters here.

        This kind of communication is an essential element of community policing and should always be encouraged.

        • M says:

          “I just wanted to commend Capt Malin for keeping the community informed and engaging in such a civil and substantive manner with commenters here.”
          AMEN.Thank you, Capt. Main. Clear, straightforward communication. Actionable, too: I”ll be avoiding Duane Reade.

        • Yaelbt says:

          Check him out on Twitter too : @NYPD20pct

    30. P.Dale says:

      Duane Reade is a horrible store. They messed up on 3 of my prescriptions, and I have now switched to Broadway Family Pharmacy. You can call the pharmacy directly, and not have to listen to a long menu before you get to the pharmacy where they never pick up the phone! And they deliver. A friend of mine uses Joseph’s Pharmacy. Support your small neighborhood drug stores, and you will learn about personalized service, efficiency and compassion.

    31. Ang says:

      DR should close and give up. Rite Aid on 110th closed despite the horrible lines.. I found myself going there weekly because of sales. Something that DR lacks of. CVS is my second go to.. which will soon be on 110th and Broadway.

      DR always had issues with roberries. The first time I witnessed someone steal something from the shampoo aisle they told me to be quiet.. I was a teenager and I was scared to report anything. After the robber left, I told the manager and he said “why didn’t you say anything?” … I told him “I was scared and it was only me and him in that aisle… God forbid I left the store and he would have done something to me after?

      DR managers think it’s easy to report anything when one by doing the right thing can sometimes get you in trouble. They think we’re security. I am not risking my life unless I look like the wrestle the Undertaker..

      My brother used to work in DR circa 2000 as sales associate.. he tried to stop a robber.. do you think security did anything? He was scared and the coward watched my brother struggle and get hurt. My brother went to the hospital. Do you think DR did anything about insurance cost? Saying my brother should have not done anything?

      Dannyboy I think we’re onto something.. definitely insurance scam!!!!

      • dannyboy says:

        Ang, thanks, you make me feel like Columbo.

        Sorry about the trouble your brother had and your own brush with danger.

        You need to need to take care of yourself and be safe. Certainly don’t trouble trouble.

    32. Bruce E. Bernstein says:

      I am a regular Duane Reade shopper, mostly out of convenience. I spend at least 1-2K per year at DR, maybe more.

      Starting today, I will no longer shop at DR or Walgreens, going the extra few blocks to CVS. I will inform the company of this action. I will continue this personal boycott until CAPT Malin announces that DR has become more cooperative.

    33. Lazaro says:

      The problem is not the store it’s the legal system that favors the criminal. Walgreens has been sued by lawyers who represent them.

    34. B.B. says:

      Really cannot pin blame entirely on DR or any retailer.

      Arresting someone is one thing; it then comes down to DA’s office to prosecute, and if person found guilty the courts to dispense punishment.

      Given the current “equality” or whatever that has taken hold since BdeB became mayor, current city council and most of the DA’s offices (including Mr. Vance, in Manhattan), there is less and less will to put people away because it “harms” their future or whatever.

      Bringing a case to trial can take *years*, meanwhile the persons involved from a retail store (manager, workers, witnesses) have to go back and forth to court for endless testimony, trial, etc… All this and the court will likely just let the person out anyway. At some point you cannot blame people for thinking “why bother”.

      Those private “rent a cop” security seen in DR, Rite Aid and other such places vary in terms of quality. Most are minimum wage jobs and they function more as a deterrence to really only less seasoned criminals.

      Have seen Rite Aid and CVS stores *with* security guards still get robbed blind.

      Several months ago notices a suspect person wandering around a DR on the UES. This guy proceeded to open a duffle bag full of beauty aids/toiletries and stash them in another larger bag. He then went *BACK* into the same DR he just looted for more.

      This went on for a total of three visits. When went into DR and asked the manager were they aware someone was stealing; they said “yes”, and even showed video footage. I told them were the man was (about a block away) and that he had one or two large bags of items, and the manager couldn’t be less bothered.

      Aren’t you going to call 911?

      “No, not right now”

      Don’t you want to get your stuff back?

      “Technically once it leaves the store the merchandise is no longer DR’s”.

      Totally gobsmacked I got what went in for, paid and left.

      I watched this guy make his way to First Avenue with so much loot he couldn’t carry it all. Kept stashing things at various points to place things at corner, then went back. He then attempted to hail a taxi going north on First. Guess the sight of an African American man with several large bags spooked taxi drivers because either none would stop or they did then quickly pulled away. Finally about 15 mins later one yellow cab finally did stop and guy loaded his loot, got in and that was that.

      You hear such stories all the time from those that live near any DR, Rite Aid, CVS, Walgreens, etc… Especially the stores that are open 24/7.

      Contrast this attitude with major department stores like Bloomingdales, Macy’s, etc… Where not only are there rigorous anti-theft systems, but stores actively are engaged in seeing that those caught are prosecuted.

      Macy’s and Bloomingdales (there may be others) have “jails” inside their stores and shoplifters are taken there, processed, and await NYPD.

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        @BB, you’ve ignored all the FACTS that CAPT Malin cited — such as the 40% fewer larcenies in CVS on UWS than in DR.

        City Council and the Mayor have nothing to do with sentencing, unless a new law is passed… which to my knowledge, no new sentencing laws have passed in NYC.

        BB says:

        “Given the current “equality” or whatever that has taken hold since BdeB became mayor, current city council and most of the DA’s offices (including Mr. Vance, in Manhattan), there is less and less will to put people away because it “harms” their future or whatever.”

        I love this… “the current ‘equality’ or whatever” — and so you blithely dismiss all research and all facts about the racial disparities in the criminal justice system.

        the DIFFERENCE under De Blasio was to get rid of racial-profiling-based “stop and frisk”. this policy was pure racism.

        so if we can’t do that — because of the “current ‘equality’ or whatever” — we might as well give up on crime prevention.

        Malin has proposed a practical crime prevention idea. why are you attempting to undermine it?

        your discourse on “equality or whatever” points to the answer.

      • dannyboy says:

        Why shift the responsibility away from DR & Walgeens and then, in the same comment, remark that Macy’s & Bloomingdales Do prevent and stop criminals?

        They all share the same “mayor, current city council and …DA’s offices (including Mr. Vance, in Manhattan) and security industry. So it CAN’T be that.