These cities saw the biggest jumps in retail theft from pre-pandemic until today with NYC, LA and Virginia Beach leading the way


Cities across the United States have seen huge increases in retail theft since 2019 with New York City and Los Angeles suffering the most.

There have been 8,453 more shoplifting incidents across 24 cities in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from the Council on Criminal Justice.

Crime-ridden New York City has seen the biggest impact with a 64 percent increase in retail theft, followed by Los Angeles with a 61 percent jump and Virginia Beach, Virginia, which has seen a 44 percent rise.

Dallas and Raleigh, North Carolina, round off the top five with an increase in shoplifting of 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively.

But other cities have seen levels of crime reduce dramatically including St. Petersburg, Florida, which has enjoyed a 78 percent fall in theft and Minnesota twin cities St Paul and Minneapolis where it has dropped by 65 percent and 57 percent.

Cities across the United States have seen huge increases in retail theft since 2019 with New York City and Los Angeles suffering the most. Pictured: Masked thieves stealing $2million worth of gems in New York City

Cities across the United States have seen huge increases in retail theft since 2019 with New York City and Los Angeles suffering the most. Pictured: Masked thieves stealing $2million worth of gems in New York City

There have been 8,453 more shoplifting incidents across 24 cities in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from the Council on Criminal Justice

There have been 8,453 more shoplifting incidents across 24 cities in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019, according to data from the Council on Criminal Justice 

Two male robbers dressed in black used garbage bags to take perfumes from the glass cases

They wore dark hoodies and medical masks to conceal their identities

Crime-ridden New York City has seen the biggest impact with a 64 percent increase in retail theft, followed by Los Angeles with a 61 percent jump and Virginia Beach, Virginia, which has seen a 44 percent rise. Pictured: Masked thieves stealing perfumes at a Macy’s in LA

The Council on Criminal Justice has tracked the changing rates of crime in large US cities since the pandemic.

Reported cases of shoplifting rebounded since they fell dramatically in 2020 and New York City saw a 64 percent rise from mid-2019 to mid-2023.

There were 11,000 more retail thefts in the Big Apple during this period, the most of any city in the study.

The NYPD has been continuing to battle a growing wave of thefts at pharmacies, department stores and even jewelry stores.

A gang of masked men stole $2million worth of gems in less than a minute during a brazen smash-and-grab at a Brooklyn jewelry store.

Shocking footage showed the hooded brutes bash their way into the cases with hammers before stuffing the goods into a large bag.

According to Mayor Eric Adams – nearly a third of all shoplifting arrests involve the same 327 seasoned criminals.

Adams announced a new plan in May that involved a streamlined way for businesses to report shoplifting to the NYPD, establishes a neighborhood retail watch program, and creates a specialized task force to respond to shoplifting incidents.

Los Angeles recorded the second largest increase with 61 percent with 5,662 cases reported in the first half of 2023 compared to 3,518 until June 2019.

The Southern California city saw a shocking 109 percent increase in the first six months of this year.

The number of shoplifting incidents nationwide is projected to reach 122,368 by the end of 2023, which is the highest since 2018. Pictured: Dallas store robbed at gunpoint in May

The number of shoplifting incidents nationwide is projected to reach 122,368 by the end of 2023, which is the highest since 2018. Pictured: Dallas store robbed at gunpoint in May

The study shows that the median value of goods stolen grew from around $75 in 2019 to $100 in 2021

The study shows that the median value of goods stolen grew from around $75 in 2019 to $100 in 2021 

In September, a group of flash rob’ thieves were seen storming into a Los Angeles Macy’s department store at Northridge Mall before filling their bags with $20,000 worth of perfume.

Cellphone video of the crime showed several men dressed in dark hoodies and blue medical face masks loading up bags of what appeared to be cologne and perfume merchandise.

Virginia Beach also saw a 44 percent rise while Dallas recorded a 20 percent increase and Raleigh suffered a 19 percent rise.

The other cities where shoplifting increased were Boston, at 12 percent, and Pittsburgh which saw an 8 percent jump.

But 19 of the 24 cities saw a reduction in the number of retail theft recorded in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2019.

St. Petersburg saw shoplifting fall enormously by 78 percent and Minnesota cities St Paul and Minneapolis enjoyed a 65 percent and 57 percent drop.

While retail theft in St Louis, Austin and Colorado Springs fell by 48 percent, 47 percent and 46 percent, respectively.

The number of shoplifting incidents nationwide is projected to reach 122,368 by the end of 2023, which is the highest since 2018.

This figure is a staggering 35,000 higher than retail theft reported during 2020.

The Council for Criminal Justice gave multiple possible explanations, including an increase in bail reform laws and a higher rate at which stores report retail theft 

The study shows that the median value of goods stolen grew from around $75 in 2019 to $100 in 2021.

In May, New York City Mayor Eric Adams vowed to crack down on retail thefts in the Big Apple, as a crime wave continues to plague businesses in the Dem-run city

In May, New York City Mayor Eric Adams vowed to crack down on retail thefts in the Big Apple, as a crime wave continues to plague businesses in the Dem-run city

A report by the National Retail Federation found Los Angeles had the highest rate of 'organized retail crime ' for the fifth consecutive year

A report by the National Retail Federation found Los Angeles had the highest rate of ‘organized retail crime ‘ for the fifth consecutive year

Shoplifting incidents which involved assault or another crime rose 9 percent from 2019 to 2021.

However, store assaults were seven percent lower in the first half of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

A report from the National Retail Foundation found that shrink – the total losses incurred by retailers – rose by $20 billion in a year to an eye-watering $112.2 billion in 2022.

And with up to 70 percent of those losses accounted for by theft, it means firms shoplifters stole approximately $78.4 billion.

The research contained insights from 177 brands that accounted for $1.6 trillion annual sales in the US in 2022.

Retailers have always been vulnerable to shopliftings but there has recently been an emergence of coordinated and organized robberies at stores.

The NRF report confirms that the trend is largely being driven by major metro areas. The top five locations are also Democrat-led areas.

It has led to a drastic pushback from stores, with the likes of Target and CVS locking up their products to deter shoplifters.



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