Saturday 23 March 2024

New York’s Shoplifting Epidemic Creating Shadow ‘Resale Economy’ as Businesses Lose Billions


New York’s shoplifting epidemic is now so severe that a shadow “resale economy” has formed across online marketplaces.

According to a report from The New York Post, some of the city’s most notorious thieves are hawking products at a discount prices on services such as Facebook and eBay. Organized gangs are even providing their underlings “shopping lists” of the specific items they want stolen.

In some cases, thieves even stealing perishable items such as expensive ice cream before selling them on for profit to people at subway stations or local bodegas.

One law enforcement source told the Post:


They get shopping lists for items that include cellphones, power tools, handbags… They bring stolen goods to [illicit] wholesalers in the five boroughs.

Members of the booster crew get their cash. Then the dealer, if you will, distributes them through his own network, via storefronts, if he has them, or he puts them online and sells to consumers through Facebook Marketplace.

Last month, New York’s Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul touted her efforts to try and crack down on the issue, which is costing local businesses a staggering $4.4 billion every year.

Among her proposals included the creation of  a state police team to prosecute organized theft rings and greater surveillance systems for the resale of stolen goods.

“What we are focused on is what has become a sophisticated organized retail operation, the smash-and-grab efforts,” she said at the time. “They go in and swipe everything off the shelves.”

Shoplifting across New York City has skyrocketed in recent years, rising 64 percent between June 2019 and June 2023, according to the Council on Criminal Justice. This is above even the 61 percent jump seen in Los Angeles, where shoplifting is effectively decriminliazed.

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