OPINION

On the Sidewalks of New York: Capitalism Thrives in New York City

New York City.

On the Sidewalks of New York is a weekly feature at Human Events wherein Jacqueline Toboroff, a native New Yorker, will share her observations and candid commentary on the goings-on in our nation’s largest city.  Wherever you live, and whatever you feel, there is no escaping the fact that New York City matters.

In Manhattan, there’s a new and precious constituency of the Democrat party; criminals. It‘s counter intuitive; these people are looters and shoplifters. Masquerading as “Capitalists”, they’ve seized a market niche created by City Council and the Mayor defunding the NYPD, Soros backed prosecutors, entrenched ideologue judges, and the Governor’s cashless bail.  Exempt from covid lockdown, spacing, masking, vaccines, boosters, and punitive measures, they’ve a critical advantage during hunting hours.  

A cottage industry has formed via crafty use of the loopholes in our criminal and judicial systems and our leaders’ refusal to enforce the law.  

Here’s how it works: 1) Gain entry into any high-end store. 2) Scoop up all the merchandise and cram it into a hefty bag. 3) Casually walk by any “security” the shop may have and into a getaway car.  4) Sell booty in any available black market or on eBay. 

There’s no chance of being stopped in the store. Risk of arrest is remote. And if arrested, cashless bail means back out on the street in no time to hit up the same shop again.

I was recently on Madison Avenue accompanying a friend shopping for a wedding dress. We stopped by Carolina Herrera, surprised to find the store locked closed with the lights off during the afternoon on a weekday. We looked inside, knocked on the door and just as we prepared to leave, a salesperson came to the front.  He peered at us through the glass entrance, looked left and right, and opened the door enough to wedge his head out with his hand firmly on the handle.

Many stores on Madison Avenue give the impression they’re closed for business. His response, “They” identified a team of 15 men routinely targeting the store. Carolina Herrera isn’t the only one. These men come in and grab everything they can, mainly the expensive bags retailing for thousands of dollars. Then he opened the door entirely to show us the door jamb. Wood was stripped off and broken by the lock due to forced entry. 

The workers have been instructed to hide in the rear, with the lights off, and the doors locked.

Days later, the same friend’s parents came to Manhattan for four days to assist her in finding a wedding dress. Seated at Le Charlot, a trendy restaurant on Madison, a waiter warned the mother, “Don’t wear any jewelry. They won’t ask you for your diamond studs, they’ll rip them out of your ears. Also, don’t wear a fancy watch.”

With the words barely out of the waiter’s mouth, my friend’s mother noticed suspicious activity across the street.  A sketchy looking man was circling a store like a lion circling prey. A salesperson came to the door and within minutes, the thief pushed his way inside and ran out with all he could carry.  

Day two was no less dull.  The mother and daughter went to Rescue Spa for a mani / pedi.  Sometime between filing and color, the spa gang struck.  Treating the display case with expensive creams and products like a personal buffet, they grabbed all they could.  The looters were organized, aware of the expensive items, and flagrant. The saleslady said it wasn’t the time.

On day three, the mother and daughter duo did a tour of the luxury stores.  For those still left with money to burn, prepare to wait longer than usual to try on merchandise.  Salespeople in stores like Gucci and Hermes disappear to hidden back rooms where goods are stored. Stores have bent backwards trying to minimize the definite threat of looters they’re helpless against. Clothing is tethered to wires affixed to walls.  Jewelry is padlocked and accessories are scant.  Gucci keeps only a couple of candles in view; to smell or see the remaining pieces in the collection, sales people vanish off in a labyrinth returning with limited merchandise at a clip.  

The RealReal, a retail store selling previously owned designer labels, is like Fort Knox.  Only a couple of racks of inventory are kept on the floor.  In February, 7 thieves went shopping for free making off with over $500,000 dollars worth of goods.

During a shakedown at Dolce & Gabbana, looters told the employees, “if you don’t want to get hurt, don’t touch us.” Salespeople are trained in sales. Maybe they should be trained alongside police instead.

On day four, the conclusion of the mother’s trip, no robberies occurred.  The Manhattan sendoff; an obese homeless man in a tank top and underwear having sex with his hand, interrupted by a cyclist going the wrong way and getting run over by a truck.  

Wealthy neighborhoods are a battleground. Salespeople have become frontline workers. Doing triage, they’re meant to be the face of calm, and commerce giving the impression that The Big Apple is back and open for business.  But it’s all smoke and mirrors.  

Via policies laser focused on a social justice platform and our elected local leaders refusal to follow the law, the Left has inflicted its version of utopia on the highest socioeconomic demographics in a backdoor version of reparations for criminals. Radical AG Letitia James is unbothered, stating, we should “resist the urge to overreact to spikes in crime” 

Written By:

Jacqueline Toboroff, Manhattan native, divorced mother of two, is throwing caution to the wind and raising her family in Manhattan. A private citizen who ran for City Council as a Republican, she connects how policy shapes reality. A published writer, rotating panelist on Newsmax, and guest speaker, Mrs. Toboroff is focused on NYC issues, finding solutions and providing a voice to the void.