Michael Rapaport video shines light on New York City shoplifting problem

With two large bags in his hands, the suspected shoplifter was caught on video calmly walking out of a Rite Aid.
NEW YORK -- A video taken by actor Michael Rapaport is shining a light on an increase in shoplifting incidents in New York City, including a Rite Aid in Manhattan.

New York City's drug stores are lifesavers.

"The most convenient ... I worked different shifts and Rite Aid was always here for me," Sheila Margaret O'Doherty.

It's a huge disappointment for many as a Rite Aid in Hell's Kitchen is closing. Employees say it's because of an increased number of thefts.

"There are a lot of people in need and they just don't know how to get what they need, but there really is no excuse for stealing," a Rite Aid shopper named Jeffrey said.

Just this week, actor and comedian Michael Rapaport posted a video on Instagram, and it's been viewed thousands of times after he says he saw a man stealing. With two large bags in his hands, the suspected shoplifter calmly walked out of a Rite Aid on the Upper East Side.

The guy walked right past a security guard - who didn't say a word.

Rite Aid confirms the store is also closing next month, citing a decline in earning.

"I'm going to miss it terribly. I'm sad right now because all the stores are in trouble. It's not getting easier," O'Doherty said.

Now retail theft is also a big concern. In 2019, police reported almost 38,000 thefts in the city. Last year, it increased to just less than 44,000. That's a 15% increase.

"It will affect communities and businesses, because it's a store, it's a public place," Jeffrey said.

Rite Aid confirms they have seen an increase of shoplifting at their stores. The company is investigating the alleged shoplifting incident on the Upper East Side.

Company officials said they are working with police and other cases brought to their attention.

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