If you own a shop or work in retail, Mayor Eric Adams wants you to travel to Albany to campaign for stricter bail regulations and a crackdown on repeat offenders.
The mayor made the request in a private meeting with business executives at St. Malachy’s Church in Midtown on Thursday afternoon, urging them to travel north and lobby for their interests before the April 1 deadline for the state budget.
The longtime CEO of the 34th Street Partnership, Dan Biederman, told The Post that about 75 people, including Sheriff Anthony Miranda, Crime Strategies Chief Mike LiPetri, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey, and other top NYPD brass, attended the meeting to discuss the recent hiring of a K-9 unit to police shoplifting within the Midtown shopping district.
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“Everyone must travel to Albany… Whoever it is, it is imperative that they hear us! During Adams’s 15-minute plea, Biederman recounted, he said
It’s not enough to say, “Eric dislikes shoplifting and turnstile jumping,” she said. You should all go to Albany and lobby the government there. According to Biederman, the mayor mentioned something in the third person.
A representative for the Collective Action to Preserve our Shops (CAPS) exclusively told The Post that on Tuesday, they will be busing up one hundred bodega and retail owners to Albany for talks with lawmakers and a rally in response to the mayor’s call for action.
Our grocery workers are being abused on a daily basis, and we need additional protection for them. The National Supermarket Association’s Nelson Eusebio told The Post that criminals today are “more empowered and they fight back” on behalf of CAPS.
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Eusebio is concerned that the NYPD isn’t doing enough to stop retail theft, which puts shop employees at risk and encourages more criminal activity.
It takes the cops some time to arrive, so in the meantime, we’re detaining these violent criminals, he explained. Let them go, or we’ll have to remove the goods and wait even longer.
Nallely Dejesus, the proprietor of five supermarkets in New York City, echoed that sentiment.
“When I call the cops and I’m holding shoplifters for 20, 30 minutes and when things get irritated and it upgrades to something a bit more dangerous – I have at times just taken a photo or recovered the products and let the shoplifter leave to protect my employees safe,” she said.
Earlier this week, Albany Democrats unanimously opposed Governor Kathy Hochul’s proposal to change bail reform in a way that would have made it easier to imprison suspected criminals, setting the stage for the mayor’s appeal on Thursday.
Hochul said the requirement that criminal defendants enjoy the “least restrictive conditions” while awaiting trial is “an unreasonable criterion” set by bail regulations.
Biederman has stated that he plans on taking business owners and employees to Albany in the hopes that they will pressure legislators into changing the bail legislation.
Why hasn’t somebody organized us to fill the hallways and demand a change in the bail laws? he asked. “Everyone who is bothered about shoplifting and other forms of retail crime should go there.”
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“As we’ve previously said, retail theft undermines our city’s economic recovery and harms New Yorkers’ lives,” Adams spokesperson Fabien Levy told The Post in a statement.
Along with the business community, police enforcement, prosecutors, courts, and all legislators, our administration remains committed to addressing this issue.
That’s why, earlier this year, Mayor Adams convened a retail theft summit at Gracie Mansion to develop a citywide strategic preventative strategy to combat retail theft. Thank you to the company owners who have been so vocal in support of our work; we hope to share our ideas with you soon.