(Headline USA) A New York City supermarket chain said it has had to hire a private security firm to combat a “network” of thieves looting its stores.
“These people come in with the idea of stealing as much as they can, to go and sell it to other people,” Gristedes CEO John Catsimatidis told Fox News. “There’s a whole network.”
Theft and looting has only gotten worse over the past few weeks because of the city’s leftist district attorney, Alvin Bragg, who has reduced charges and sentencing for most crimes, and Democrat politicians who refuse to hold him to account.
“He believes that these people don’t deserve to get arrested, which is wrong,” Catsimatidis said of Bragg.
“You know what I say to these politicians? The eight and a half million people that live in New York City deserve to be safe. The 3,000 criminals deserve to be put away,” he said.
Catsimatidis said he is prepared to spend millions on private security, but that cost is still less than what would have been lost in stolen goods.
Bragg sent out a memo to city prosecutors earlier this year informing them that his office would no longer seek prison sentences for non-violent crimes.
“The Office will not seek a carceral sentence other than for homicide or other cases involving the death of a victim,” Bragg wrote.
For example, armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to stick up stores and other businesses will now only be prosecuted for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were seriously injured and there’s no “genuine risk of physical harm” to anyone.
Normally, armed robbery, a class B felony, would be punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison, while petty larceny subjects offenders to up to 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.