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Update October 3, 2013- DNAinfo reports that a worker in a boutique retailer was punched in the face trying to stop a shoplifter.
July 31, 2013- DowntownExpress is expanding on our coverage and reporting today on the spike in grand larceny in upscale SoHo retail shops. Handbags costing more than $1,000 have been the favorite targets. As the NYPD has done in Battery Park, they are increasing patrols of the area. According to the report, “A First Precinct officer, speaking on background, confirmed the crime spike, noting that the number of larcenies alone increased last week by 58 percent in the first precinct, mostly from incidents in Soho. About 72 percent of this year’s serious crime in the precinct, which covers much of Lower Manhattan up to Houston St., is classified as grand larceny.”
Similar to the crime seen in Tribeca and Battery Park, the thefts are being perpetrated by organized gangs of men who are assigned different roles in the schemes. They target small stores that do not pay for costly full-time security guards. A Chanel store on Spring Street was robbed three times in one week.