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IPFS News Link • New York

"We're Getting Creamed" - NYC Small Business Owners Struggle To Confront Surge In Shop

•, by Tyler Durden

The owner of a couple of downtown boutiques said she has never felt "more exhausted" trying to protect her businesses from emboldened shoplifters and criminal crews working small retail businesses.

Someone shattered the front door overnight and ripped out the cash drawer. The new security gates cost $2,300. The streets became quieter after four neighboring businesses closed permanently during the pandemic, emboldening shoplifters. Two security guards quit.

For Deborah Koenigsberger, who has worked in retail for three decades, keeping her two clothing stores open in Manhattan's Flatiron neighborhood has never felt so exhausting.

"As small businesses, we are getting creamed right now in so many ways," Ms. Koenigsberger said. "I might as well leave my store door open and say, 'Help yourselves."

According to data from the NYT, shoplifting complaints are up 16% over the past year, while arrests have fallen.

The debate over the underlying causes has also focused on New York's bail laws, on a police force distracted by a spike in shootings and on online marketplaces where organized retail crews can easily sell stolen goods.

As the city emerges from the public health crisis, officials say a sense of safety is critical to its economic recovery.

Last year, complaints of retail theft were about 16 percent higher than in 2019, according to the New York Police Department. But arrest rates have dropped, with about 28 percent of the complaints resulting in arrests last year, compared with 48.5 percent in 2019.

An index of major crimes, including murders and felony assaults, was up 7.5 percent in the same period, but still lower last year than in 2015.