Adams urges mask removal upon entering stores to deter crime
Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has urged shoppers in New York City to remove their face masks upon entering stores in an effort to deter shoplifting, particularly among repeat offenders.
“Do not allow people to enter the store without taking off their face mask and then once they’re inside they can continue to wear if they so desire to do so,” Adams told 1010-WINS.
“When you see these mask-wearing people, oftentimes it’s not about being fearful of the pandemic. It’s fearful of the police catching [them] for their deeds,” he said.
Adams’ call for unmasking at store entrances comes amid an investigation into a suspect accused of murdering a bodega worker on the Upper East Side on Friday.
The alleged perpetrator arrived to the bodega on a scooter in a hazmat suit, and authorities said in a Monday press conference that they expect the robbery is connected with three others in the Bronx.
A recent report by the New York City Police Department that showed a 10% drop in retail theft reports in February compared to the previous year without a clear explanation, according to the New York Post.
The mayor’s guidance also comes after the New York City Police Department told businesses they should require customers to take off their face masks as a “condition of entry” amid a surge in robberies.
NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said during a press conference last week that masks are making it possible for thieves to escape detection on video surveillance, according to local PIX 11.
“People are coming up to our businesses, sometimes with masks, sometimes masks, hoods and latex gloves, and they’re being allowed, they’re being buzzed in and allowed to enter the store and we have a robbery,” Maddrey said.
“We are asking the businesses to make this a condition of entry, that people when they come in, they show their face, they should identify themselves,” the police department chief continued.
Robberies, burglaries, felony assault, grand larceny and other crimes continued in the city, marking an increase of such crimes by 22% compared to 2021.