Sheriff’s office creates ‘Retail Theft Detail’ to combat local theft

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office fighting retail theft

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office fighting retail theft

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office created a special detail to fight retail theft. It’s called the Retail Theft Detail and so far this year, they’ve operated three separate times and have found some pretty surprising things.

The sheriff’s office estimates about $71 million has been lost in merchandise here in Monroe County over the past two years.

“I didn’t think it would ever happen to me. Although we were robbed in the past, but not very much,” East Ave Liquor owner Nelson Habecker said.

Habecker says he’s had people smash their front door and take off with a bottle or a few. But what happened in January of this year was a bit different.

“What they made off with, no cash. They took the register. The register was empty. We always remove our cash from there at the end of the day. But the damage that they did was actually to the front door and the entrance way into the equipment that I had up front,” Habecker said.

This video it’s a bit grainy, but you can see two people smash through the front door with a rock and crawl inside.

“And that’s the thing. These businesses can’t sustain this type of loss. You know, people say that these big box stores and you can afford that. But let’s talk about the mom and pop stores. Let’s talk about the little family of businesses that are getting hit just as hard,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Favata said.

MCSO started the Retail Theft Detail to try and deter these crimes and acts of violence. And so far, they’ve had some success, making 49 arrests at different stores during the details.

“In fact, from the people that we’ve arrested and these details, we can attribute about $250,000 of loss to the people that we arrested on these details. And that’s just a loss that we could identify just from that small slice of stores. Right. So that loss is it’s huge,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant David Bolton said.

The Retail Theft Detail started earlier in 2023 and the Sheriff’s Office says they have plans to continue these details as long as their staffing permits.