Crime and Safety

Eric Adams Calls New York Private Security Group ‘Smarts’ in Fighting Shoplifters

Mayor Eric Adams welcomed a group of Bronx merchants so fed up with shoplifters that they hired private security guards to guard Fordham Road and ordered their own police to “arrest” and “prosecute” suspects.

Hizzoner called the new Fordham Road business district patrol a “wise strategy” when asked about the plan in an MSNBC “Morning Joe” interview Wednesday morning.

“This morning we see the front page of the New York Post – I’ll put it up – talking about the fact that here in the Bronx there are shopkeepers who have a feeling that the police are not doing enough, that they are “I’m fed up crime in New York,” began reporter Jonathan Lemire, showing Adams an article on the front page of The Post.

“Shop owners are hiring private security guards to fight back. Is this a wise strategy? What else can be done here? Lemir asked.

“This is a wise strategy because I repeat it over and over again: not only should the numbers reflect safety, but people should also feel safe,” Adams said.

NY Post cover
The new group is tasked with patrolling the busy shopping area along Fordham Road from Jerome Avenue to Washington Avenue Wednesday through Saturday.
New York Post

“People need to feel safe, and we need to make sure businesses in the city are safe, and that’s what the NYPD is doing. But we have a real problem with relapses in our city,” the mayor added.

A new five-man unarmed “ambassador program” is tasked with monitoring the busy shopping district along Fordham Road from Jerome Avenue to Washington Avenue Wednesday through Saturday.

According to local spokesman Democratic Councilman Oswald Feliz, retail theft has become so severe in the area that American Eagle recently announced its closure, shutting down its store after dealing with more than 20 thefts a day.

Eric Adams
Hizzoner appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and spoke about the patrol team.
MSNBC Morning Joe

Sellers on Fordham Road
Shopkeepers seem to be taking safety into their own hands as the rise in crime affects their neighborhood.
New York Post

Meanwhile, thousands of grocery and retail store owners across the city have also banded together to form Collective Action to Protect Our Stores, or CAPS, to demand tougher penalties for theft and new protections for workers.

Last month, Adams even hosted a major retail theft summit involving high-profile retailers like Target and Starbucks, as well as members of the NYPD, the city’s five district attorneys, and state attorney general Letitia James.

The mayor’s office said a report is expected to be released in the coming weeks detailing how to stop shoplifting.

attack on st.
Shopkeepers banded together to demand tougher penalties for theft and new protections for workers.

“It breaks my heart when I see people going into stores or stealing whatever they want,” Adams added when asked a second time about The Post report during a WABC radio interview with host Sid Rosenberg on Tuesday.

“Law enforcement should arrest, prosecute and hold them accountable.”

Adams said fighting repeat offenders tops his list of demands he will make Albany lawmakers focus on this year.

Last year, he pushed for changes to the state’s controversial bail reform law that Gov. Kathy Hochul signed into law, but Adams said tougher penalties for frequent offenders weren’t enough.

“This year I will have to cross that bridge again when I go to Albany and add to the repeat offender problems that we have,” he told WABC.

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