A closer look at 4 laws in approved NY state budget designed to combat retail theft

Storeowners told News 12 they aren't exactly optimistic that the new laws would prevent thefts.

Emily Young

Apr 23, 2024, 9:14 PM

Updated 24 days ago

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A worker at Feel Beauty in downtown Yonkers says shoplifting is out of control.
"[It happens] all the time," said store employee Claudia Mendoza. "Sometimes once a week, sometimes it will die down, once a month. Elderly people and sometimes even kids."
State Sen. Shelley Mayer and State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins announced four new laws in the new budget on Tuesday aimed at providing resources to combat retail theft.
The first law would make assault against a retail worker a felony.
The second would allow prosecutors to add petit larcenies together to make it a grand larceny.
"Currently, there's a $1,000 threshold, so if you take $700 one day and $300 the next day you will be able to charge them with grand larceny," explained Sen. Mayer.
The third law would give tax credits to small businesses that need to invest in security.
And the fourth law would allow shoplifters to be charged with "fostering the sale of illegal goods" should they be found selling the items they stole.
But storeowners tell News 12 they aren't exactly optimistic that this will stop shoplifting.
"I had, one time, a person here who was spending money. He took a hat, a $5 hat," said Mouhamed Niang, the owner of Hip Hop Jeans in downtown Yonkers. "There are people, it's in their blood, you can't do nothing about it. I see a lot of shoplifters. Thats their job 9-to whenever."
They also enacted a new law that provides municipalities with the authority to shut down illegal cannabis shops.


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