New York City mayoral candidate Eric Adams declared his administration “won’t be sitting back” amid a spike in shoplifting that has emboldened thieves stripping some store shelves bare.
The Democrat running to be the city’s next mayor is hoping a pro-law enforcement attitude will be kryptonite to people like the “Man of Steal” who has been nabbed for shoplifting 46 times this year but kept getting put back on the streets.
“On Day One, I’m going to visit my precincts and tell my officers I have your backs,” Adams said Thursday during an appearance on Fox 5 New York.
“I know what it is to wear that bulletproof vest to protect children and families in the city,” the retired NYPD cop said.
“And I’m going to let them know that we’re not sitting back, watching people walk into Duane Reades and other stores and grabbing garbage bags full of supplies. And ATVs driving up and down our roads.”
Adams will face the GOP candidate and Guardian Angels founder Curtis Sliwa in this year’s election amid claims from top law enforcement that criminals are feeling empowered to break the law while cops and prosecutors are hobbled to stop them.
“So they’re going to get a mayor that understands the difficulty of policing but most important to say if you don’t understand the nobility of public protection you can’t serve in my department,” Adams said.
“We can have the justice we deserve and the safety we need. That’s the balance that we must show.”
The Post exclusively reported on Isaac Rodriguez, a 22-year-old Queens man who was arrested 57 times this year, including 46 times for retail theft.
Rodriguez is one of many shoplifters who allegedly march into stores, fill up bags and walk right out, sources said. Some pharmacy stores that are targets say they report the thefts but don’t allow staff to try to stop them over safety concerns.
Small-time bandits arrested for shoplifting are usually back on the streets, potentially allowing some to go right back to their sticky-handed ways. Drug store shelves throughout the Big Apple have been left barren partially because of the increased thefts, The Post reported.
Adams, the Brooklyn borough president, was asked during his appearance on Fox about high-profile alleged gang violence in the five boroughs. The latest incident in the city came earlier in the day, when a 14-year-old boy was grazed in the head by a bullet as he jumped onto a bus in Harlem.
“We must redeploy our police officers, look at those dangerous locations, and then we have to reinstitute an anti-gun unit, plainclothes, and zero in on those gang members that they are really driving crime in our city,” Adams said.