Gristedes/D'Agostino's, NYC's largest grocery chain, beefs up security amid shoplifting wave

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- New York City's largest grocery chain announced Thursday it is beefing up security amid a wave of shoplifting across the city.

John Catsimatidis, Chairman and CEO of Gristedes/D'Agostino's Supermarkets, cited an NYPD report of a 15% spike in retail thefts since two years ago in adding the extra security measures.

According to the NYPD Citywide Crime Statistics, the city has seen a 23.3% increase in incidents of petit larceny, year to date.

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Store employees say they see people walk in and just walk out with items as if it's no big deal.

The chain has 28 stores city wide, and the hot ticket items that are being stolen include Tide, soap, meats and ice cream, specifically the smaller containers.

Employees even stock a reduced number of containers so they won't disappear.

"We are hiring more and more security," Catsimatidis said. "We are hiring a lot of retired cops. And the other thing we're doing is we're putting less in the meat cases, in other words we replenish more often."

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Store managers say because of it, they plan to have a security guard at the entrances to their stores with employees on high alert for shoplifters.

Their big concern is the financial hit on the business, which could mean a trickle down effect to the consumer.

Catsimatidis said bail reform has contributed to increases in crime throughout the city and state, leaving shop owners with little recourse and criminals with no fear of repercussions.

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