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Former NY Lieutenant Governor Offers Plan To Stop Shoplifting

Chris Agee
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Communities across the United States have experienced a rampant rise in property crime over the past several years — and big cities are being hit particularly hard.

This has been documented in countless reports of brazen shoplifters simply loading up their arms or shopping carts and walking out of stores with hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of stolen merchandise. 

In many of the jurisdictions where such crime has skyrocketed, retailers are taking drastic measures including locking up commonly stolen items behind security glass or, in some cities, simply closing down their stores altogether. 


Instead of forcing businesses and their legitimate customers to absorb the impact through lost revenue, inconvenience, and higher prices, many critics of leftist criminal justice policies say the answer is tougher penalties — or any penalties at all — for the shoplifters.

One such proponent is former New York Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, who recently penned an op-ed explaining her stance on the issue. 

“I’m brushing with bubble gum-flavored children’s toothpaste because it takes too long to get a clerk at the pharmacy to unlock the adult toothpaste,” she wrote. “Before the shoplifting scourge, shoppers could actually browse and read product labels.”

She went on to note that many major retail chains have seen their profits drop due in large part to the rise in theft.

“That’s after hiking prices on consumers,” McCaughey added. “When the guy next to you loads a bag with whatever merchandise isn’t locked up and walks out without paying, keep in mind that you’re paying for his stolen stuff.”


Taking aim at the common leftist talking point that most shoplifting is committed by poor people who cannot afford to buy necessities, she declared that it is insulting to those living in poverty to blame them for the current shoplifting epidemic. 

“In New York City, nearly one-third of shoplifting incidents reported to police last year were committed by the same 327 people — professional thieves — who were arrested a total of 6,000 times,” she wrote.

Meanwhile, she noted that Florida has seen positive impacts from its revamped law allowing prosecutors to take more aggressive action against such criminals.

“Tell your lawmakers it’s time to stop coddling shoplifters and their leftist apologists, and start protecting the rest of us,” McCaughey concluded.

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