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Gov. Hochul Announces Initiative to Crack Down on Retail Theft

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New York Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that she is proposing a comprehensive plan that will tackle property crime, provide relief to small businesses, and help bring peace of mind to consumers as they shop.

Larcenies have risen 3% year over year throughout areas outside of New York City since 2017. Due to the increase in larcenies, both business owners and retail workers have experienced increased stress and financial strain.

Governor Hochul’s plan includes the following to crack down on retail theft.

1.)Introducing legislation to establish criminal penalties for online marketplaces and third-party sellers that foster the sale of stolen goods and increase criminal penalties for assaulting retail workers.

2.)Launching the Retail Theft Joint Operation to coordinate through our network of Crime Analysis Centers the response of law enforcement agencies and prosecutors, modeled on the successful intra-state task force on gun trafficking, but focused on combating organized retail theft crime.

3.)Deploying a dedicated New York State Police team to build cases against organized retail theft rings.

4.)Setting up a New York State Police Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit.

5.)Expanding the work of the 11 Crime Analysis Centers (CACs) by providing a centralized intelligence gathering and evidence collection strategy across the State designed to receive intelligence from retailers victimized by organized crime theft. These data, intel and evidence would be collected by the CACs and shared with local law enforcement to enhance the investigation and prosecution of these crimes across state jurisdictions.

6.)Establishing a Commercial Security Tax Credit to help business owners offset the costs of certain store security measures.

7.)Providing funding for dedicated teams in District Attorneys’ offices throughout the State focused on property crime, primarily organized retail theft.

8.)Funding for the DAs and new SP units to allow for an increased use, enforcement and prosecution of Trespass Affidavits and other legal strategies to assist small businesses in combating this retail theft.

The announcement of the initiatives comes from Hochul’s 2024 State of the State Address.

“If the government can’t keep New Yorkers safe, nothing else matters,” Governor Hochul said. “In the past year, we’ve reduced gun violence and brought shootings down by more than a third statewide. Our success in bringing down gun violence proves that targeted strategies work — and changing trends is possible.”

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