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‘Third World’ NYC drug store shelves empty amid shoplifting surge


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Thanks to a citywide shoplifting tsunami, naked requirements at the moment are uncommon luxuries on drug-store shelves throughout New York City.

“It looks like the Third World,” bemoaned one Manhattan resident, after eyeing the aisles of a CVS on Sixth Avenue in Soho desperately low of toothpaste, face wash and hand sanitizer, amongst a protracted checklist of different objects.

“They’ve all been stolen,” a CVS worker informed The Post.

State bail reform legal guidelines make shoplifting a promising profession possibility for some New York City crooks. One man, Isaac Rodriguez, 22, of Queens, was arrested for shoplifting 46 instances this 12 months alone, The Post completely reported final week.

The blame goes straight to the halls of energy in Albany, stated New York City high cop Dermot Shea.

“Insanity,” the police commissioner tweeted final week in response to The Post report. “No other way to describe the resulting crime that has flowed from disastrous bail reform law.” 

Ninth Precinct police officers stand guard inside the Duane Reade on Avenue B and East 2nd St., where certain items are kept locked.
Ninth Precinct law enforcement officials stand guard contained in the Duane Reade on Avenue B and East 2nd St., the place sure objects are saved locked.Helayne Seidman

Serial shoplifters, even when arrested, usually stroll free the identical day. Cases in opposition to them are sometimes not prosecuted. Drug shops, full of aisles of small requirements, supply an easy-to-harvest goldmine for thieves.

Rodriguez allegedly stole from Walgreens shops 37 instances, lifting all the pieces from protein drinks to cleaning soap, child formulation and physique lotions, typically merely filling up a bag with objects then strolling out the entrance door with out paying.

There are 77 different thieves proper now strolling the streets of New York with rap sheets of 20 or extra shoplifting prices, NYPD sources say.

As of Sept. 12, the town has seen 26,385 complaints of retail theft — probably the most ever recorded (going again to 1995). It’s a 32 p.c spike from final 12 months (20,024) and 38 p.c surge from 2014 (19,166).

Post reporters visited a dozen CVS, Duane Reade/Walgreens and Rite Aid shops across the metropolis and located the identical stunning state of affairs in all of them.

Large swaths of barren shelves, in some circumstances frighteningly empty of virtually each conceivable want: cereal, batteries, hand wash, diapers, paper items and child formulation.

Good luck discovering tampons. Each Post go to revealed nearly none on the shelves. Displays of relative luxuries akin to lipstick and shoe polish additionally regarded uncared for.

Only 12 of 57 paper items listed on worth shows at a CVS on fiftieth Avenue in Long Island City have been in inventory. About 8 in 10 clothes detergents have been lacking from the shelves of a Rite Aid on Broadway in Astoria; as have been all 27 types of Ensure vitamin drinks and all 15 kinds of Irish Spring cleaning soap and physique wash.

empty CVS stack
State bail reform legal guidelines make shoplifting a promising profession possibility for some New York City crooks.Helayne Seidman

Two cops stood sentinel contained in the doorways of the Duane Reade on the nook of Avenue B and East Second Street on the Lower East Side this week.

“There’s a lot of theft here,” one of many officers stated, including that they’ve made guard responsibility on the store a part of their neighborhood patrol efforts.

The Wall Street Journal reported final month that retailers are the goal of a $45 billion organized crime theft spree, with lifted items typically being resold on Amazon.

“Reported thefts (at CVS) have ballooned 30% since the pandemic began,” the WSJ report states.

Disruptions in international provide chains have fueled shortages at drug shops and different retailers throughout the nation.

“Product supply challenges are currently impacting most of the retail industry,” CVS spokesman Matthew Blanchette informed The Post. “We’re continuing to work with our vendors to address this issue and we regret any inconvenience that our customers may be experiencing.” 

Retailers right here in New York and across the nation, in the meantime, wrestle to search out folks to re-stock these shelves; whereas trucking firms report problem discovering drivers to make much-needed deliveries.

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