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Manhattan District Attorney Announces Organized Retail Theft-Related Indictments

Manhattan DA Announces Organized Retail Theft Indictments

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office indicted a business and two individuals as part of an effort to fight organized retail theft.

District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of Bibi Rehana Khan, 54, Aaron Khan, 40, and Rehana’s Cosmetics, alleging that they possessed more than $1 million in stolen goods and served as a retail theft fencing operation, the District Attorney’s office said in a Thursday (May 9) press release. The defendants were charged with criminal possession of stolen property.

“We must use every tool in our toolbox to address the root causes of retail theft, and a critical piece of that is upstream, proactive investigations into those who stand to profit,” Bragg said in the release.

Rehana’s Cosmetics operated online and from a location in Manhattan, according to the release. When search warrants were executed in January, the District Attorney’s office recovered cosmetics, clothing, household items, toys and other items.

The indictment followed a long-term investigation that was aided by Macy’sUlta BeautyCVSWalgreens and Rite Aid, according to the release.

“Proactive fencing investigations are one of several strategies the office is using to combat retail theft,” the release said. “In 2022, the office created the Manhattan Small Business Alliance to reduce shoplifting and commercial robberies in partnership with small business leaders in every neighborhood of Manhattan.”

Retailers lost $112.1 billion to shrink in 2022, up from $93.9 billion the previous year, the National Retail Federation (NRF) said in September.

They’ve also seen a rise in violence associated with organized retail crime (ORC), with 67% of retailers reporting an increase in violence and aggression from ORC perpetrators compared to the previous year, NRF said.

“Retailers are seeing unprecedented levels of theft coupled with rampant crime in their stores, and the situation is only becoming more dire,” David Johnston, vice president for asset protection and retail operations at NRF, said at the time in a press release.

One organized crime ring reportedly stole as much as $8 million in cosmetics over the course of a decade, reselling those items on Amazon.

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