Manhattan shoplifting will be fought by a new ‘alliance’, says Bragg

NEW YORK – Heeding complaints about shoplifting and burglaries plaguing small businesses in Manhattan, District Attorney Alvin Bragg said Thursday he has formed a new task force to find solutions to the tendency.

The borough’s top attorney announced the formation of the “Manhattan Small Business Alliance,” made up of small business leaders from across the borough, a handful of social service providers and some office staff. prosecutor.

It comes amid complaints of brazen thefts targeting local retailers, including a recent shoplifting incident at an Upper East Side Rite Aid filmed by comedian Michael Rapaport.

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Reports of petty larceny – the most common accusation of shoplifting – have indeed increased by about 26% in Manhattan in the first weeks of 2022 compared to the same period last year, according to the NYPD data. Through the end of last year, reports of petty theft across the city stood at more than 85,000 – an increase from 2020, but a slight drop from 2019 levels.

Barbara Askins, who leads Harlem’s 125th Street Business Improvement District, told Patch last fall that an increase in shoplifting has contributed to a sense of danger along the very busy shopping corridor. frequented.

Find out what’s going on in Harlem with free real-time Patch updates.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg speaks at an event last week hosted by New York University Law School where he defended his office’s policies. (Manhattan District Attorney’s Office)

“We need public safety in the city,” said Askins, who is among the leaders named to Bragg’s new task force.

The group will meet in February, where they will begin analyzing the data and drafting recommendations for the DA’s office. A final set of recommendations will be released in May.

“We will use data to focus our efforts and we will listen to the voices of small business owners from every corner of Manhattan,” Bragg said in a statement.

Bragg had a turbulent first few weeks in office, facing intense backlash in some corners for his decisions not to prosecute certain lower-level crimes. In a public appearance last week, Bragg acknowledged the “confusion” but largely pledged to pursue the same policies.

Here is the full list of Manhattan leaders joining the initiative:

Business and Law Enforcement:

  • Ken Giddon, Owner, Rothmans Men’s Clothing (Co-Chair)
  • Barbara Askins, President and CEO, 125th Street Business Improvement District (co-chair)
  • Raymond Tsang, President, Hoy Sun Ning Yung Benevolent Association and President-Elect of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (Co-Chair)
  • Anthony White, Regional Asset Protection Manager, Victoria’s Secret
  • Barbara Blair, President, Garment District Alliance
  • Carey King, Director, Uptown Grand Central
  • Chauncey Parker, Deputy Commissioner for Community Partnerships, NYPD
  • Don Lee, Chairman of the Board, Homecrest Community Services, Inc.
  • Eleazar Bueno, owner of the restaurant Empanada Monumental
  • Fred Cerullo, President and CEO, Grand Central Partnership
  • Isidro Medina, Executive Director, Washington Heights Business Improvement District
  • Jay Peltz, Senior Vice President, Food Industry Alliance of NYS
  • Mukaram Taheraly, Owner, Mushtari Hardware Store (and Chairman of the Board, 125th Street BID)
  • Ricardo Bonilla, Owner, Manhattan Hardware Store
  • Roy Richter, former president of the NYPD Captains Endowment Association (the police union representing captains, chiefs and inspectors)
  • Shannon Hoey, Owner, New York Vintage
  • William (Bill) Abramson, Director of Buchbinder & Warren (and Co-Chair of Union Square BID)
  • Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York

Service providers:

  • Joel Copperman, CEO and President of CASES
  • Courtney Bryan, Executive Director, Center for Court Innovation
  • Kandra Clark, Vice President of Policy and Strategy, Exodus Transitional Community

DA Office Employees:

  • Members of the DA office include:
  • District Attorney Alvin Bragg
  • Estelle Strykers-Santiago, Director, Community Partnerships Unit
  • Jordan Stockdale, Chief of Staff
  • Joselinne Minaya, Director, Washington Heights Office
  • Linda Jones-Janneh, Director, Harlem Office
  • Shawn McMahon, Chief, Criminal Strategies Unit
  • Sherene Crawford, Executive Assistant DA, Pathways for Public Safety

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