Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a Democrat has written a letter to Rep. Jerry Nadler (House Judiciary Committee Chairman), requesting a hearing to address crime and theft in retail stores across the country.
Jordan, the top-ranking member of the committee, wrote that major cities have seen a dramatic increase in theft in retail stores. These criminals are encouraged by progressive prosecutors and soft-on-crime policies that refuse to enforce the law. Retail businesses already suffer from record inflation, massive labor shortages, and supply chain problems. Some retail stores are now closing permanently due to theft. We urge you to call a hearing of our Committee as soon as possible, due to the importance of this matter to American commerce.
Jordan stated his belief that the rise in retail thefts in the United States is due to the progressive District Attorneys in New York City and San Francisco reducing sentencing requirements while declining to prosecute criminals.
Jordan wrote that New York City and San Francisco are among the U.S. cities experiencing a surge of retail theft. “In September 2020, San Francisco law enforcement seize $8 million worth of goods that were stolen by a group of criminals from Walgreens and CVS stores. Walgreens executives claimed that theft in its San Francisco stores was at four times the national average. The company had to close 17 of them.
Jordan said, “In Manhattan a Rite Aid was closed as staff reported that thieves stole over $200,000 worth of goods in December 2021, January 2022, and 2023 alone.”
Jordan also stated that the country’s progressive-backed bail reform laws have contributed to an increase in retail thefts.
Jordan stated that “this surge in retail theft has been exacerbated [by dangerous bail elimination measures].”
“For example, the New York Legislature passed in late 2019 a law eliminating money bail and pretrial incarceration for most misdemeanors and non-violent felonies. The law had real-world implications. In 2021, a New York City resident was cited 46 times for shoplifting. In 2021, he was arrested for shoplifting 57 times. He also had been charged with 74 other offenses since 2015. Prosecutors claim that the repeated offenses of this crime were not eligible for bail under New York’s new law. The consequences of New York’s state’s bail elimination law were bluntly described by the New York City Police Commissioner as “insanity.” There is no other way to describe what has happened as a result of the state’s bail reform law.
Jordan’s letter is about two months after almost two dozen CEOs from prominent retailers such as Home Depot, Target, and Best Buy signed on to a petition to Congress, asking them to address “growing effect of organized retail criminality on retail workers and communities in America.”
The Retail Industry Leaders’ Association (RILA), supported by 20 top retail chief executives representing apparel and sporting goods, electronics, and home improvement, as well as health and beauty products, sent the letter.