Survival Message: Avoid New York City

Shoplifting has become a crisis, one stemming from changes to New York criminal law and in how New York prosecutes that law. In 2019, the New York legislature and then-governor Andrew Cuomo reformed state criminal-justice laws to ensure that virtually no repeat shoplifters, whether suspected or convicted, go to jail awaiting trial. In 2022, new Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg said that no matter what the law said, he wouldn’t prosecute shoplifting, anyway. A person who “shoplifts and makes a minimal threat to a store employee while leaving poses no genuine risk” he directed staffers upon taking office. Since then, petty theft has exploded in New York’s Midtown North precinct.
It’s even gotten iffy just to walk by the Duane Reade: a disorderly environment creates danger, and vice versa. The building housing the store has been covered in scaffolding for years—long predating the pandemic—despite no apparent construction going on, and despite city laws governing how long scaffolding can stay up. The scaffolding provides a handy shelter for the shoplifting crowd—illegal vendors of counterfeit luxury pocketbooks and watches—and for other vagrants. Last weekend, a man sat underneath, nodding off in a discarded office chair; another lay slumped on the sidewalk. The area is constantly littered with trash, either discarded by vagrants or dumped from nearby trash cans as scavengers look for something valuable.
The criminals now attracted to the area can become violent. A year and a half ago, I walked through the aftermath of a non-fatal stabbing at this corner, when a street vendor suffered injury as he fought back against an armed robber. Bloody clothes added to the area litter. This past Sunday, when I took pictures of this disorder from several feet away, a counterfeit-goods vendor approached me, tried to grab my phone, and snarled at me to leave (I did).

(Reminder: Alvin Bragg is the vicious DA persecuting Donald Trump with spurious and absurd charges.)

More, as bad and worse, here:


Yes, the credit for this entire disgrace goes to Soros funded leftists, but of course Trump is the real “danger to our democracy”!