A Rite Aid drugstore at the corner of 8th Avenue and 50th Street in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, is set to close on Feb. 8 because of numerous shoplifting incidences that have cost the store hundreds of thousands of dollars.
According to NY Post, “Thieves have ripped off more than $200,000 worth of merchandise in the past two months alone.”
A Post reporter followed one thief and even interviewed him after watching him load four cases of beer into an oversize canvas bag stride out without paying.
“Sometimes I feel bad for these guys in charge, you feel bad for the security guys,” the thief told The Post outside the doomed store.
“I know I do wrong,” he said. “If they tell me to put it back, I put it back.”
But they rarely tell him to put anything back or stop him in any way, said the man. He said he would drink the beer with a friend who lives nearby. He said he’s been stealing from stores like Rite Aid for months and has never been arrested.
Recently, actor Michael Rapaport shared footage of an alleged shoplifter casually strolling out of the New York City Rite Aid with bags full of goods.
On Tuesday, the 51-year-old actor took to his TikTok account to share the clip, which showed the security guard watching the man walk out of the drugstore on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
“I can’t believe I’m seeing this s***. This motherf*****! This f****** guy just filled his two bags up with everything in Rite Aid, right here on 80th [Street] and 1st Avenue. He was walking down the street like s*** is Gucci,” Rapaport went on. “He looked me in my face like ‘what’s good?’
@michaelrapaportI just saw this at my RITE AID♬ original sound – michaelrapaport
The video has been viewed more than 325,000 since it was uploaded, and numerous news networks have highlighted it in response to New York’s shoplifting problem.
The shocking thievery sprees have devastated this particular store. Numerous employees at the store, including security guards, said their bosses forbid them to engage the shoplifters in any way.
“They come in every day, sometimes twice a day, with laundry bags and just load up on stuff,” one store employee told The Post, as two other employees stood by nodding in agreement. “They take whatever they want, and we can’t do anything about it. It’s why the store is closing. They can’t afford to keep it open.”
“If we say anything or try to stop them (thieves) and the store finds out about it, they’ll fire us,” the clerk said.
A Rite Aid spokesman didn’t directly address shoplifting concerns at the Hell’s Kitchen location.