Data from Philly DA's office shows decline in arrests, serious charges at Macy's in Center City

John Paul Image
Friday, December 8, 2023
Data shows decline in arrests, serious charges at Center City Macy's
Data from Philly DA's office shows decline in arrests, serious charges at Macy's in Center City

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Data released by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office on Friday shows a decline in the number of arrests and the seriousness of the charges for retail theft at Macy's in Center City since D.A. Larry Krasner took office.

The data comes four days after two security guards were stabbed, one fatally, by a man police said had shoplifted from the store at 1300 Market Street.

The data includes thefts that happened at the address which includes the street and an eyeglass store nearby, but a vast majority were retail theft at Macy's.

There was a dramatic drop in how thefts have been charged since D.A. Larry Krasner took office in 2018.

Felony and misdemeanor charges declined sharply. A vast majority of thefts were treated as summary offenses, which is basically a ticket.

It should be noted that shortly after taking office, the D.A. announced that most retail theft would be treated as a summary offense if it was under $500.

Another notable trend in the data was the arrest rate: it has been on a steep decline over the years.

Sixty-nine percent of cases resulted in arrests in 2023, the lowest in 13 years of data when you discount COVID.

The D.A.'s office also pointed out that Macy's has a higher arrest rate than other areas of the city.

While this data is specific to Macy's in Center City, other retailers are seeing similar issues.

"Increase shoplifting, increase brazenness of shoplifters and the physical threat," said Darren Nowicki, who runs sports memorabilia store Shibe in Center City.

He doesn't bother even reporting some shoplifting because it can be a waste of time.

"It's time out of our shop, it's paperwork, it's a whole ordeal and it goes on. We have one case that's open six months later," said Nowicki.

After the tragedy inside Macy's, he said many owners also may be less likely to go after criminals.

"All the retailers are scared of what physical harm may come to them after the Macy's incident," said Nowicki.

According to the D.A.'s office, theft that escalates into physical violence is rare.