Organized retail theft trend hits Sephora in Brighton

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BRIGHTON, NY – Brighton Police are investigating several major thefts at the new Sephora on Monroe Avenue. The store has only been open since September of last year and has already lost thousands of dollars to theft.

Similar crimes have occurred at other big-name stores, such as Ulta Beauty in Victor. Both stores sell high-end and trendy beauty products.

“Everything in that store is very high value, so it doesn’t take much to go over the $1,000 mark to make it a felony,” said Brighton Lt. Timothy Karch.

Karch described a spree that took place on March 23, in which four unknown suspects wore masks.

β€œOne individual stood outside, waited in the suspect vehicle, the getaway car, I guess you could call it. Three others entered the store with bags, filled the bags with various goods,” said Karch.

On April 1, police received another call at the store in which they said a woman stole several thousand dollars worth of merchandise. Elected officials and law enforcement agencies are already expressing frustration about this latest trend, where suspects aren’t just stealing an “essential” item or two.

On Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Schumer called on the Justice Department to investigate organized retail theft as he stood in front of an Ulta Beauty that lost $100,000 to theft last year.

Police say that oftentimes, suspects receive appearance tickets and are back on the streets.

“I wish I could say it was just the big brand stores,” Karch said. “But it’s not like that, it’s almost all retail stores. Any country that has items that are easy to resell and exchange for money.”

Assemblywoman Sarah Clark, oversees the district for Sephora on Monroe Ave. She said at the state level, they are urging judges to use a new tool they passed last year β€” which gives them more leeway in granting bail in cases where there is concern about a repeat offender.

“But it’s our hope that judges understand that these are tools they can use to help secure and crack down on repeat offenders,” Clark said.

But she said these large retail schemes require help from the federal government, which can provide various tools. Schumer said the DOJ can help by making sure they have increased federal penalties, and most importantly – they can go after the entire organized crime operation.

Cost of Ericetta:When people hear about burglary and bail reform, what’s going on? Maybe they jump to the conclusion that it’s a partisan issue – Republicans say one thing, Democrats say another. How are the two sides working together and are there plans to work together and make more changes?”

Assemblywoman Sarah Clark: “Everything seems political these days. It’s hard to ever feel like you can have a conversation and feel like it’s not political. I think last year when we made the changes for the second offenses, which involved property or person damage, that was definitely a bipartisan thing from a lot of people in our community that were really pushing for it. I would point out where I think we all really agree, is that we can do a lot more in our community to prevent these things. We really need to invest in mental health services, substance abuse services. Our youth need more ways to keep them off these paths.”

Clark said in the proposed budget, Hochul is considering creating some sort of task force to investigate this organized crime, with state resources.

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