Holzapfel: Lock up the Criminals not the Merchandise

Holzapfel: Lock up the Criminals not the Merchandise

Senator Jim Holzapfel is calling on the New Jersey Legislature to approve his bill that would impose strict penalties for engaging in gang shoplifting.

“What’s it going to take to get Trenton Democrats to stop being soft on crime? Earlier this week, a gang of shoplifters cleaned out a Dior store in Short Hills, and just yesterday, Target announced that it lost over a billion dollars in merchandise because of flash mobs of shoplifters,” said Holzapfel (R-10). “Not only do these crimes have an immediate impact on item inventory, but they can also erode investor trust and slowly destroy a company’s stock valuation. Now is the time for the Legislature to approve my bill so that we can put a stop to this reckless behavior.”

In a shocking report, Target revealed that retail crime will fuel $500 million more in stolen merchandise this year compared with a year ago. Target’s inventory loss, called shrink, totaled $763 million last fiscal year. With the anticipated increase, shrink this year would surpass $1 billion.

Major retailers throughout the nation have complained of increased theft and some even lock up everyday personal hygiene products in an effort to combat it.

Holzapfel is the co-sponsor of bill S-3048, which creates the third-degree crime of gang shoplifting, and would be punishable by at least a year in jail during which the person would not be eligible for parole.

“The fact that major retailers have to put basic items, like toothpaste and soap, behind glass should be a giant red flag to legislators that gang shoplifting has gotten completely out of control,” Holzapfel added. “New Jersey won’t be safe until people know they’ll face real jail time for participating.”

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