Left-leaning policies have brought about a crime crisis, pushing it into the realm of the absurd. A CVS store in the nation’s capital exemplifies the extent of the issue, compelled by widespread theft to remove toilet paper and paper towels from the shelves, replacing them with framed photos of the missing products and a buzzer system.
Customers seeking popular brands like Charmin or Bounty now have to buzz for assistance, prompting a clerk to retrieve the sought-after items from a back room. Essentially, the capital of the most powerful nation in history has regressed to employing Third World-style security measures to sell basic goods.
Mayor Muriel Bowser has responded to the detrimental effects of the pro-crime policies implemented by the DC City Council, policies she had previously supported. These policies garnered bipartisan disapproval in 2022, with President Biden vetoing one such measure (while also signing a law to block an even more detrimental “reform” this year). The consequences of these policies provide a stark illustration of the significant social damage they inevitably cause and offer a preview of where New York City is heading.
Recent national data indicates that New York City has taken the lead in retail crime increases over the past few years. Compared to mid-2019, Gotham has witnessed a 64% surge in reported retail theft, surpassing Los Angeles’ 61% increase.
Overall petty larceny incidents have risen by almost 30% over 2021 in New York, according to official statistics, although many retailers may have ceased reporting the constant thefts. Numerous chain retailers are already securing items like toothpaste, and it seems inevitable that they will adopt the approach witnessed in the DC CVS with toilet paper.
The persistence of the hard-left factions in our city council and in Albany, determined to maintain their disastrous criminal justice “reforms,” suggests that a turnaround is unlikely unless and until legislators who endorse these policies face severe political consequences.