Millions in state funding being used trying to crackdown on retail theft


ROCHESTER, N.Y — As law enforcers across the state try to crack down on serial shoplifters, state lawmakers are dedicating more money to the mission. 

The new state budget includes $5 million in tax credits to help small business owners invest in added security measures. it ups the penalty for anyone who assaults a retail worker from a misdemeanor to a felony and it sets aside $40 million dollars for dedicated Retail Theft Teams within State Police, District Attorneys’ offices and local law enforcement.

Teams will be modeled after the taskforce Monroe County put into place last year. Recently, News10NBC Investigative Reporter rode-along with the task force during a detail in the Town of Henrietta. 

“This is not one person running up and grabbing a candy bar. We know that,” Governor Kathy Hochul said on Wednesday. “These are transnational criminal organizations that are using the internet to be a marketplace.”

The hope is that the dedicated teams within police departments, sheriff’s offices and state police can work together to track bigger, organized retail theft crime rings.

“We can have the sharing of data and intelligence among federal, state, and local entities — not just here in New York but across state lines. This is how big this is, then we can really make a difference and shut them down,” Hochul says.

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