Gov. Hochul announces $45M plan to crack down on organized retail theft

ALBANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — If you’re a small business owner in New York facing problems with organized retail theft, Governor Kathy Hochul has announced she plans to crack down on this issue, providing $45 million in funding as part of a new plan.

On Tuesday, March 12, Gov. Hochul announced a comprehensive anti-theft plan — included in her FY25 Executive Budget proposal — that will allocate $25 million for a dedicated retail theft unit in the New York State Police, $15 million for District Attorneys and local law enforcement, and $5 million to cover security costs for businesses.

The plan also includes new legislation to protect retail workers from assault and to crack down on online sales of stolen goods.

“We’ve been successfully working with local law enforcement to drive down gun violence, murders and shootings – now we must take that same approach to curb organized retail theft,” Governor Hochul said. “It’s time to give police and prosecutors the tools they need to go after retail thieves and back our businesses with the full force of the law. Public safety is my top priority, and I’m committed to keeping customers and workers safe.”

Investments to combat spiking larceny offenses in the FY 2025 Executive Budget include:

  • Introducing legislation to establish criminal penalties for online marketplaces and third-party sellers that foster the sale of stolen goods and increase criminal penalties for assaulting retail workers.
  • Setting up a New York State Police Smash and Grab Enforcement Unit. The Executive Budget includes $25.2 million in new funding to deploy a dedicated State Police team to build cases against organized retail theft rings and create a new State Police enforcement unit dedicated to this purpose.
  • $10 million in funding for DAs to prosecute property crime cases and deploy dedicated Retail Theft Teams in District Attorney (DA) Offices.
  • $5 million in additional State funding to build the capacity of local law enforcement efforts to combat retail theft.
  • $5 million for a Commercial Security Tax Credit to help business owners offset the costs of certain store security measures.

According to Gov. Hochul, her proposals would utilize proven crime-fighting strategies that have been used to drive down violent crime and gun offenses since she took office in 2021. 

“Governor Kathy Hochul is right, we need to take on retail theft and petty larceny because New York business should be free to operate from fear or worry about being robbed,” said CAPS Founder Nelson Eusebio. During the height of the COVID pandemic, retail workers were called essential and now they need Albany’s help to make sure they are safe and are able to do their jobs. We commend the governor for her action and urge the legislature to stand up for workers, consumers and small businesses.”

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