Freezers locked due to astronomical thefts in convenience stores

With food prices soaring, supermarkets are going so far as to put locks on their refrigerators due to the huge increase in thefts in New York.

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This is observed in the Big Apple, where thieves are interested in, among other things, a very specific commodity: premium ice cream.

Quarts of ice cream now come with special sealed lids at some companies, reports the New York Post.

An Upper West Side supermarket put these special wraps on boxes of Haagen-Dazs that sold for $6.

Robert Miller via New York Post

At checkout, customers who purchase it can remove this protection mechanism with a special device.

Other stores have simply opted to put locks on their ice cream refrigerators.

A message is written there to attract the attention of consumers.

“To help keep costs as low as possible, a protective lock-down has been placed on some ice cream units,” the statement reads. “This padlock will be removed at checkout by the shop assistant. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

The New York store that closed its refrigerators to protect its ice cream offerings from Breyers has made clear its decision.

People would bring garbage bags and fill them with ice cream. “They were emptying our refrigerators,” said a store clerk.

Robert Miller via New York Post

In another store, the situation is the same.

Another employee adds, “We had to put the padlocks because people kept stealing our Red Bulls and ice creams.”

Other stores have literally put permanent locks on their refrigerators, annoying customers who have to wait for help from an employee to make their purchases.

Shoplifting rates have skyrocketed across New York City with 13,738 retail thefts reported in the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest NYPD data.

In contrast, only 8,750 retail thefts were reported on average per quarter in 2019 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This robbery crisis has been fueled in part by the bail reform law of 2019 that requires judges to release offenders who commit misdemeanors and certain non-violent offenses.

Police say the soft-handed approach encourages repeat thefts. A third of last year’s shoplifting involved the same 327 people, who were rearrested thousands of times.

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