By Carol Tannenhauser
Shoplifters with deep pockets hit the same Lululemon store twice last weekend, police told West Side Rag, and twice they walked away.
You could call their actions brazen — or casual.
On Saturday, August 13, at approximately 4:45 PM, four men entered the Lululemon athletic clothing store at 216 Columbus Avenue, on the corner of West 70th Street. “They removed property by concealing it in some sort of laundry bag,” a police spokesperson said. “They left the store without paying for the property, valued at around $9,754. There was no contact, no weapons, no active threat — they passed through all points of sale.”
The second incident actually preceded the first, but wasn’t reported until 6:20 PM, when, according to police, it may have been picked up on security footage that was being reviewed. In the same manner as above, two men removed approximately $6,600 worth of merchandise from Lululemon.
Police explained that the crime was shoplifting, but, because the value of the stolen property exceeded $1,000, it is designated as “grand larceny.” One thousand dollars and below is considered “petit larceny.”
Both the state and city are targeting these types of retail shopliftings, which have accelerated to the point that many stores have taken to locking up their merchandise. In May, New York State Attorney General Letitia James and Mayor Eric Adams held a joint news conference to announce the “take down of [a] massive retail theft and crime operation.” The transcript reveals in detail how the operation worked. The following is from Attorney General James’ statement:
Today we indicted 41 people for their roles in this ring. The mastermind of this ring is a man named Roni Rubinov, who created a network to systematically steal goods from numerous retailers in New York City that he purchased and then resold them for profit on an eBay storefront. At the top of this chain were11 people that manage Rubinov’s day to day operations. At his direction, these defendants purchased stolen property and prepaid gift cards from 30 distinct boosters on a daily basis. Rubinov trained these employees to procure and directed the boosters to steal specific items from retailers based on sale trends from his eBay storefront. And then he purchased those goods from boosters for a fraction of the retail price.
Read the rest of the news conference transcript here.