Adams asks retail owners to protest bail laws in Albany

Mayor Eric Adams wants retail shop owners and workers to head to Albany to lobby lawmakers about changing the state’s bail laws and cracking down on repeat offenders.

The mayor made the plea during an unpublicized meeting with business leaders in the basement of St. Malachy’s Church in Midtown Thursday afternoon, where he asked them to head north and make their case before the state budget is due on April 1. 

Dan Biederman, the longtime CEO of the 34th Street Partnership – which recently hired a K-9 unit to police shoplifting within its Midtown shopping district – told The Post that about 75 people showed up, including Sheriff Anthony Miranda, Crime Strategies Chief Mike LiPetri, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey and other top NYPD brass.

“All of you need to get to Albany and talk to your city council people. They are the ones who need to get the message!” Biederman recalled Adams’ saying during his roughly 15-minute plea.

“It can’t just be, ‘Eric doesn’t like shoplifting and turnstile jumping.’ All of you need to get to Albany and talk to the legislators!”  the mayor said, referring to himself in the third person, according to Biederman.

Meanwhile, another group – the Collective Action to Protect our Stores (CAPS) – is heeding the mayor’s call and bussing up 100 bodega and retail owners to Albany on Tuesday for meetings with lawmakers and a rally, a rep exclusively told The Post.

Mayor Adams wants those most affected by shoplifting to go to Albany and explain the situation to lawmakers.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

“We want more support in our supermarkets where our employees are being assaulted on a daily basis. These criminals are very emboldened and they fight back,” said Nelson Eusebio of the National Supermarket Association, who spoke to The Post on behalf of CAPS.

Eusebio thinks the NYPD isn’t responding quickly enough to retail theft, which puts store workers in danger and encourages criminals.

“The thing is the police response takes a while so we are here holding these criminals, they’re getting violent,” he said. “We either have to let them go or take the merchandise off them and wait longer.”

That message was echoed by Nallely Dejesus, who owns five supermarkets in NYC.

“When I call the cops and I’m holding shoplifters for 20, 30 minutes and when things get aggravated and it upgrades to something a little more dangerous – I have at times just taken a photo or recuperated the items and let the shoplifter go to keep my employees safe,” she admitted.

Picture of the New York State Capitol building.
Albany Democrats recently rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed “fixes” to bail laws.
Getty Images

The mayor’s Thursday appeal comes after Albany Democrats outright rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul’s proposed overhaul of bail reform this week, which would have made it easier to jail accused criminals.

Hochul said the bail laws set “an absurd standard” by requiring criminal defendants to get the “least restrictive conditions” ahead of their trials.

Biederman said he hopes sending retail owners and workers to Albany will convince lawmakers to actually change the bail laws.

“I was thinking – why hasn’t anyone organized us to go up and flood the hallways and call for a change to the bail laws?” he said. “People upset about retail crime and shoplifting should go up there.”

A spokesperson for the mayor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.