By Frank Quinn
The West Village is struggling with the citywide plague of shoplifting, raising troubling new concerns. Particularly vulnerable are large chain stores that don’t expect employees to confront thieves and potentially risk their own safety or the wellbeing of customers.
Some stores have closed, such as the long-time Rite Aid on Sixth Avenue and West 13th Street, while others are using inconvenient security measures such as locking up everyday items that now require customer service to access.
This past fall, a new trend appeared across retail stores: many ceased re-stocking their shelves. That trend now appears to have established itself in the Village, with the CVS on Sixth Avenue and West 12th Street and the Duane Reade on Seventh Avenue and West 14th Street frequently leaving their shelves bereft of staple items.
Police at the 6th precinct have stated that most local theft is carried out by recidivists who have often been arrested previously but reappear in the area. Their motive is to steal everyday items that are easy to resell on street corners in other parts of the city.
“This is not a good indicator in a desirable neighborhood,” says Ryan Garson, a Compass real estate agent with extensive experience in the West Village. “My hope is that this issue won’t escalate with more stores closing and residents losing access to convenient shopping.”
Frank Quinn is a media executive, parent and musician. Linkedin.com/in/frankjquinn