By Ed Hersh
Concern over rampant retail theft at chain drug stores was underscored on Friday, February 11, by a shoplifting incident turned violent on West 111th Street.
“Just before 10:30 a.m., an unknown male individual entered 2864 Broadway (Duane Reade) and removed items from a freezer,” the NYPD emailed WSR. “As he began to place them in his bag, he was approached by a 21-year-old female, a store employee, who asked him to place the items back where he removed them from. The male proceeded to strike the victim in the face with a closed fist, before grabbing her hair and throwing her to the ground. He exited the store fleeing eastbound.”
As of 3 p.m. on Monday, the NYPD reported that “there have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing.”
“The male proceeded to strike the victim in the face with a closed fist, before grabbing her hair and throwing her to the ground” —- 21 year old woman was hit by a man. How can any of the UWS liberals still not support tougher law enforcement? Do you, personally, have to be hit in the face before you have any empathy for the victims of criminals?
what law enforcement? we pay unbelievable taxes in this city and, yet, where are the police ?? never to be found !
They have been retiring in record numbers because of the number of people who bash them with thoughtless comments like the ones you posted. They’re not committing crimes. Criminals are and NYC keeps electing politicians who don’t believe in punishment. I’m a liberal woman who still believes in punishing criminals and has no qualms about letting Judges make decisions about who goes where after what incident or arrest. I worry about victims, not criminals. The bleeding heart routines I hear, like on these thread, are wasted sympathies.
Seriously, NYC’s crime solving statistics are abysmal. NYPD needs to actually do the job we pay them to do instead of sitting on their phones all day.
None of that is true. NYPD makes arrests in many shoplifting cases, that is their job.
However LE does not control court/criminal justice system. As of right now and for past few years a decision has been made *NOT* to prosecute petit larceny arrests by putting suspects through system, and this includes bail
Case in point: https://nypost.com/2022/02/17/professional-thief-with-96-prior-arrests-busted-again-at-nyc-target/
Isn’t there a difference between making an arrest, bringing a charge, prosecuting a case, and sending someone to jail. Today, perpetrators may be arrested sometimes, but that’s not enough to keep detailed records of their crimes, to know when to take serious action against them. I would rather people be rehabilitated than sent to jail over shoplifting, but something has to be done, and by and large, nothing is — security guards and salespeople are told to look the other way! Charges, which are vital for a clearer picture and history, are often not being brought against these perpetrators. That’s just wrong.
And what is your crime fighting solution that would have prevented this incident from happening?
You get caught for stealing goods with a value of $25 or more, you are prosecuted. The level of charges goes up the higher the value of goods stolen. Repeat offenders are sent to prison for a minimum of 30 days. This is not Jean Valjean. This is crime that is bearing the fruit of physical violence on hard working people.
I agree – people (including myself) have suggested repeatedly – escalating penalties based on the number of times found guilty.
And to the poster above, please don’t turn this into a racial issue. Yes, we still have race issues in this city, but that is not a reason to ignore crime.
At the next election for city and state offices, crime should be a litmus test issue for all of us. Don’t vote for those who don’t have a concrete plan to solve this huge problem.
It is grossly wrong to smear west side liberals as indifferent to crime and to show no empathy for its victims. I don’t know any “liberals” who feel this way. While I can’t speak definitively for all of us (unlike you, I’m careful about characterizing large groups of people) most “liberals “ I know want effective law enforcement, but guided by respect for the law and justice for all involved.
I’m a liberal and I agree 100% with you. We need tougher law enforcement. I fear for my loved ones who shop at pharmacies regularly. Like you said, do people need to be personally be hit in the face to realize we need tougher law enforcement? What if one of their loved ones were a victim? Would that change their perspective? What are our elected officials doing to address this issue? I want a list of new measures being taken to reduce these crimes. I understand that they are not easily solved but I want to see that they are trying something! Im tired of seeing these headlines with no consequences for these criminals.
“Tougher law enforcement” is a misnomer for “empowering cops and courts to randomly and violently persecute marginalized people.” That’s why. Torturing people to death at Riker’s doesn’t make everyone else safer. At best, it buffers a select and privileged group from urban life while they merrily commit their own crimes on a much vaster scale. Maybe if the cops had demonstrated some competence, fairness, and judgment we wouldn’t be in this place, but we are. Fixing policing is going to be a generations-long project.
Funny that you just assume that people who believe in justice must never have experienced crime. Kind of telling that you imagine that everyone must be driven by childish yearnings for vengeance and tribalism.
I hear you but we also can’t allow men who are punching women in the face to simply go about their business and commit more violence.
People of all political stripes are getting fed up with increased violence in our city which is why Mayor Adams got elected over the other candidates.
People of all political stripes are afraid to take the trains and walk alone after dark.
So yes, the people like this shoplifter needs help but we also can’t ignore that he is committing acs of violence and try and brush it off so he can keep punching people.
A crook is a crook. Arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate the people harming the city. We can have structured playtime and aromatherapy at the jails if that would make you feel better. NYC’s population is going to keep declining as long as there’s no sense of normalcy and justice.
Excellent point! People have been citing studies that show that incarceration is an obstacle to rehabilitation because it stigmatizes perpetrators as criminals thus making it harder for them to get a stable job; however, the state should still charge these perpetrators– which under Adams they’re not doing — thereby keeping a record of their crimes. And your point of law-abiding citizens leaving NYC is well-taken. The city will be destroyed if that happens, and it appears we’re going in that direction.
absolutely! enough is enough. While I champion democratic and some “progressive” causes, the revolving door of justice deserves no excuses – time to tighten up the laws and get repeat offenders off the streets. Not only will the quality of life and population continue to decline, there will be more stores who decide it’s not worth doing business here and we’ll have more empty storefronts. Old enough to do the crime ? Old enough to do the time.
Thanks Joe. Was thinking of 11. Fixed!
I say enough is enough! I personally witnessed 3 young men with black garbage bags clean out the shelves at CVS on West End Avenue in December. All store employees just stood there. Apparently CVS has instructed their employees NOT to confront robbers. I am a West Side liberal who wants these individuals caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. It’s getting too scary out there!
I feel terrible for the people who work @ Duane Reade and other drug stores.
They work hard and they’re in danger every time they go to the store because of these criminals.
It’s a shame our elected officials do not think this is a pressing problem and that the police are scared to do their jobs.
I feel for the store workers who have to suffer through this madness for a pittance. I feel for us residents who will lose all these stores which while hardly lovely are useful and their eventual closings will just cause more storefront blight.
I don’t know what the answer is but its clear the criminal element has no fear whatsoever of consequences.
People being attacked at their job is unacceptable. People feeling unsafe in their community is unacceptable. Stores closing due to lawlessness is unacceptable. Where is the plan to address this? How many more people have to be attacked or move out of the City permanently before our politicians take action?
Stores should be like vending machines, everything behind glass. You want something, insert your ccard, pick your items and pick up the bag at the front. Why not? I almost always know what I want anyway.
I am so very sorry I voted for Gail Brewer. She is apparently oblivious to the needs of Upper West Siders. Case in point, this piece. Other problems: No cops on 1, 2, 3 trains — cops are only placed at turnstiles to prevent fare evasion. What about protecting the public? And why another homeless shelter on West 97th Street–there is a school 2 blocks away. What about the loud construction sounds in the West 90s after 11 PM? I supported her in the past, but can do so no more. Fellow Upper West Siders take note.
I am so saddened by the flagrant and violent crimes that are repeatedly happening here on the UWS. I am a card-carrying liberal democrat but purposefully did NOT vote for any of the current elected officials based on how the previous democratic parties have handled crime and other quality of life issues. My husband won’t let me go to drugstores alone or walk in the neighborhood by myself anymore. While I agree we should hold space for everyone’s humanity, the bail reform laws have had the unintended consequences of letting repeat and violent offenders off the hook; the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and if we aren’t quite in Dante’s 7th circle of it yet, we are at minimum approaching where we were at in the 1970s. It’s a shame.
Not sure why folks aren’t complaining about the abysmal performance of the 20th and 24th police precincts.
The police know these crimes are being committed at neighborhood drug stores – and they’re choosing to ignore it.
They’re not ticketing quality of life complaints. They’re not on the streets. And they’re closing 311 reports as soon as they receive them.
It’s willful. And it’s ruining this neighborhood.
Not at all true in any respect. The 20 and 24 have a great record for the past 40 years. Clearly, you have no stats to back you up. They cannot hold people they arrest, because of bail reform. The police arrest people, they don’t prosecute or act as the judicial system. Know the limitations. Have you been to any community precinct meeting in the past 30 years?
Just out of curiosity, why are 311 reports being made instead of 911? During the height of Covid there was a very violent encampment of homeless men on my block and when I called 311 they told me to call 911. Are the 911 operators bouncing the calls back to 311?
Spoke to a manager of a drugstore here after witnessing someone put 15 orange juices into a bag and walk out. They don’t even call the police anymore as it happens every day. They’ve given up and look at what happened here when they tried to stop the person. Thieves know they are going to get away with it unless the city can pay for enough officers to stand at each drugstore all day to catch them in action. And if they are caught? It’s a misdemeanor, not held, able to do it again in an hour and the cycle continues. Don’t blame the police, blame the politicians everyone voted for.
Every time I go into a drugstore and gather my items, I ask myself why am I paying? I feel like a sucker. If they don’t care, why should I?
We need more cops, and tougher law enforcement. We have to stop catering to the criminals and ignoring all the victims.
The City is planning to build jails in 4 boroughs and close Rikers.
Rikers should be rebuilt as a therapeutic campus with humane facilities and needed services: drug rehab, mental health, vocational etc.
Locked jail for defendants who need it and non-secure or half-way house type where appropriate.
The chain retail shops should look into using trained protection dogs. It would also mean having higher paid security. The investment would be worth it and serve as a huge deterrence.
On a post in Next door a woman who was a manager in big box stores said mgmt has no interest in prosecuting these cases because they do not want their employees spending a day in court instead of working.
So they do not contact the police to report shoplifting. This incident involved violence, so that might be an exception….or not.
Police…and I’m not a fan of much of their behavior…can’t solve unreported crimes.
Any politicians read this stuff? Or the comments of your constituents who are begging you to get your heads out of the sand and do something? Anyone? Maybe they’re all busy playing wordle and pretending they’re going a great job.
How about a frickin’ security guard? They can afford it.
There are security guards in almost every major drugstore, but what can they do? They’re not armed, and they would probably get in trouble if they confronted these shoplifters given the current NYC climate.