A new report from CNN details the staggering rise in shoplifting cases across the country and the devastating impact it is having on communities. According to the retail consultancy firm Strategic Research Group, retailers say the rate of shoplifting has doubled and in some cases tripled since the pandemic. “Smash and grab” attacks that result in floods of merchandise winding up on the secondary market are frightening small business owners, employees, and customers alike.
What is to blame? From the CNN piece:
“A confluence of other factors also have contributed to the spike in dangerous retail robberies in the last two years. These include reduced in-store staffing that leads to less surveillance and the ease with which thieves benefit from a lack of regulation on reselling stolen items online, said Lowe.
So have rising thresholds for what constitutes a felony offense, he added. “What I do worry about is as a society if more people start to imitate these crimes,” said [Cory] Lowe, [an expert on retail crime and research scientist at the Loss Prevention Research Council, an industry coalition that researches retail crime, its impact and solutions to address it.]”
Raising the threshold for felony theft is the exact policy then-State Senator Maggie Hassan championed in New Hampshire. In fact, Hassan worked to make the threshold to charge shoplifters with a felony one of the highest in the country at the time – $1,750!
Meanwhile, at ground zero of the shoplifting epidemic, California, a Democrat assemblyman in state legislature is trying to lower their $950 threshold back down to $400. In other words, Maggie Hassan is now to the left of some California Democrats!
As the shoplifting and violence worsens, Maggie Hassan remains silent and no one in the press has asked her to defend her position.
Statement from NRSC Spokesman T.W. Arrighi: “As violent shoplifting skyrockets, it’s time to start pointing the finger at the politicians who help enable it. We’ll start: Maggie Hassan. Since she hasn’t had the courage to say she was wrong and has yet to face any serious questions on the matter, New Hampshire voters will have to be the ones to demand answers. November is coming quick…”