Rep. Jim Jordan demands Democrat chair hold judiciary hearing on spike in retail crime

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Republican Rep. Jim Jordan has sent a letter to the House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, demanding a hearing to address the rise of crime and theft at retail stores across the country.

“Retail stores in major cities are suffering from an unprecedented spike in theft,” Jordan, the ranking member on the committee, wrote in the letter. “The criminals carrying out these acts are emboldened by ‘soft on crime’ policies and progressive prosecutors who refuse to enforce the law. These retail businesses are already suffering due to record inflation, a massive labor shortage, and supply chain issues. Now this surge in theft is forcing some retail stores to close permanently. Given our Committee’s jurisdiction and the importance of this issue to American commerce, we urge you to convene a hearing of the Committee soon so that we may examine and begin to address the surge in retail theft in our country.”

A security guard outside a Gucci store in San Francisco, California as retail theft increases across the United States.

A security guard outside a Gucci store in San Francisco, California as retail theft increases across the United States.

STORES DEPLOYING UNIQUE METHODS TO COMBAT RETAIL THEFT

Jordan outlined his belief that the surge in retail thefts across the country is related to progressive district attorneys in cities like San Francisco and New York City easing sentencing requirements and declining to prosecute criminals. 

“San Francisco and New York City are among the U.S. cities suffering from a surge in retail theft,” Jordan wrote. “In September 2020, San Francisco law enforcement seized $8 million in goods that a group of criminals had stolen from Walgreens, CVS, and Target stores. In May 2021, Walgreens executives stated that theft at its San Francisco stores was four times the national average, forcing the company to close 17 stores.”

Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks to the press in the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, D.C.

Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican from Ohio, speaks to the press in the Rayburn House Office building in Washington, D.C.
(Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Jordan added, “In Manhattan, a Rite Aid closed as staff reported thieves had stolen over $200,000 in goods in December 2021 and January 2022 alone.

Additionally, Jordan said that progressive backed bail reform laws across the country have contributed to the rise in retail thefts.

SAN FRANCISCO LOSING ANOTHER WALGREENS STORE MONTHS AFTER ‘RETAIL CRIME’ SHUTTERED 5 LOCATIONS

“This surge in retail theft is exacerbated by dangerous bail elimination measures,” Jordan wrote. 

“For example, in late 2019, the New York Legislature passed a law that eliminated money bail and pretrial detention for most misdemeanor and non-violent felonies. This law has had real-world consequences. One New York City resident was arrested 46 times for shoplifting in 2021 alone. He had been arrested 57 times in 2021 and had been arrested for 74 offenses dating back to 2015. According to prosecutors, this criminal’s repeated offenses were not ‘bail-eligible offenses’ under New York’s new law. New York City’s Police Commissioner bluntly described the consequences of the state’s bail elimination law: ‘Insanity. No other way to describe the resulting crime that has flowed from disastrous bail reform law.'”

Nadler’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News.

Jordan’s letter comes roughly two months after nearly two dozen CEOs of prominent retailers like Home Depot, Target, Best Buy, and CVS signed on to a letter to Congress, urging them to address the “growing impact of organized retail crime on retail employees and communities” in America.

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The letter was sent by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and supported by 20 leading retail chief-executives representing apparel, sporting goods, electronics, home improvement, and health and beauty supplies.

FILE - In this May 8. 2019 file photo, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

FILE – In this May 8. 2019 file photo, House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The National Retail Federation reported an increase in shoplifting and robberies — linking both to organized retail crime (ORC). The NRF said that 69% of retailers reported an increase in organized retail crime in 2021, citing the COVID-19 pandemic, policing, changes to sentencing guidelines and growth of online marketplaces for the increase in ORC activity.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report

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