Long Island A Hot Spot Of ‘Organized, Brazen’ High-End Shoplifting – CBS New York

COMMACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – We’re seeing a major spike in shoplifting throughout the nation, and right here at residence.

They aren’t petty crimes. Specialists say they’re extremely organized, and retailers are dropping hundreds of thousands of {dollars} in high-end items.

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On Lengthy Island, one beauty chain store has been hit more than two dozen times in latest months.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff solely experiences, shoplifting uncontrolled – baskets filled with thousands of dollars in perfumeswalked out of Long Island stores.

Ulta Magnificence shops in Suffolk County have been hit greater than 25 occasions this yr – one of them twice in a day.

“I’d say it’s organized, its brazen, and it’s a development nationally, and positively a development out right here,” stated Suffolk County Police Chief of Detectives Mathew Lewis.

Specialists say this isn’t like food swiped to feed a household – it’s organized retail crime. Ben Dugan, the president of the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail, says nationwide theft is up 30% since COVID hit.

“What we’re speaking about are skilled thieves who steal excessive greenback product and product in bulk for resale on unregulated ecommerce,” Dugan stated.

And he says Lengthy Island is a scorching spot.

“The biggest organized retail crime prison organizations are within the New York Metropolis metropolitan space and extra particularly, Lengthy Island,” he stated.

Dugan says stolen items have been tracked from Lengthy Island throughout the web.

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Related crimes are making waves nationwide. Brazen thieves fled two West Coast Neiman Marcus shops with arms crammed with high-end purses. 13 Walgreens are closing in San Francisco.

Specialists blame an ideal storm: Extra demand on-line for merchandise, masks making it more durable to establish suspects, and bail reform.

“It’s not a violent crime, so it’s topic to launch on the precinct. There may be little or no ramifications for these folks,” Lewis stated.

Retailers usually instruct staff to not interact, and keep protected.

“Why would a retailer put their staff in danger to confront a doubtlessly, and certain, harmful shoplifter?” stated Barbara Staib, president of the National Association of Shoplifting Prevention.

Staib says harsher penalties are wanted.

“Shoplifting steals from all of us. It steals tax {dollars}. Every bit of merchandise that’s stolen is misplaced tax {dollars},” she stated.

“It’s organized crime,” Lewis stated. “They get 25%, the center man will get 30, after which the web market vendor sells it for about 50% of its worth.”

Subsequent week, Congress will get in on the problem. The Inform Shoppers Act requires on-line retailers to confirm the identification of a 3rd get together vendor to curb the movement of stolen merchandise. The invoice is supported by a protracted record of outlets, together with Ulta.

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CBS2 reached out to Ulta Magnificence, and the corporate didn’t reply to requests for remark.



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