Michael Rapaport Films Brazen Thief Sauntering Out of Upper East Side Rite Aid With Bags Full of Stolen Goods
Brian Stieglitz, Daily Mail, January 25, 2022
Michael Rapaport filmed the moment a bold thief sauntered out of a Rite Aid on the Upper East side of New York City with two shopping bags full of stolen goods, calling it ‘pathetic’ that brazen crime continues to spiral in the Big Apple because of soft-on-crime policies.
The actor and comedian, who posted footage of the incident on Instagram, told DailyMail.com that he was ‘disgusted’ and ‘surprised’ when he saw the thief stocking up on items from three different sections of the pharmacy before deciding he was satisfied.
Michael Rapaport caught a shoplifter in the act today in a NYC Rite Aid 😂 pic.twitter.com/rQKvG4R9Nk
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) January 26, 2022
‘These criminals know there are no ramifications. We have to put more of these mfers in jail,’ he said.
The Rite Aid in the video, on 80th Street and 2nd Avenue, is hit with thefts of the same nature on an almost daily basis, a security guard told Rapaport. The store will be closing on February 15, and 63 other locations will close in the coming months with thefts a major reason, the pharmacy chain announced in late December.
‘You see all these videos on Instagram of people shoplifting like they’re going for a walk in the park. It’s pathetic that this is happening in the greatest city in the world,’ Rapaport said.
Rapaport’s video, which has since garnered more than 165,000 views, starts with Rapaport filming the thief sauntering out of the Rite Aid, while the exasperated actor fumbles with his words before shouting, ‘I can’t believe I’m seeing this s**t!’
‘He’s walking down the street like s**t is Gucci, he looked me in the face like ”what’s good.” I was watching him the whole time! My man just went Christmas shopping in January.’
The Heat star captions the video: ‘Duke just went CHRISTMAS SHOPPING at @riteaid I’m TRIPPING this happened in broad day like it was nothing. New @iamrapaport discusses it all. I was just informed this Rite Aid is closing 2/15 because of this, leaving the workers JOBLESS. @ericadamsfornyc YO,’ tagging the drug store chain and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
He told DailyMail.com that he initially thought the thief was an employee because ‘he was just so deliberate and casual.’
Rapaport put the blame on former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who embraced soft-on-crime policies such as bail reform and police budget cuts.
However, Rapaport said that new Mayor Adams could right the ship: ‘I think Eric Adams knows what’s going on, he knows how to deal with crime. I’m just hoping he lives up to our expectations.’
The actor said he relies on that Rite Aid, where he buys his mood stabilizers, and that he and many others in the community are now losing their neighborhood pharmacy – and its workers are losing their jobs – because of the rampant shoplifting.
‘These people are gonna be out of a job because of guys like this scumbum,’ he said, using the invented word as a combination of ‘scumbag’ and ‘bum.’
The Rite Aid in the video will be closing on February 15, with thefts a major reason, the pharmacy chain announced late December
Speaking about the Rite Aid incident on Tuesday, Rapaport said it was the first time he saw such ‘blatant’ theft in person, but that the security guard in his video is all too familiar.
He told Rapaport that, just yesterday, two men walked in and took a six-pack of beer before acknowledging the security guard and leaving without paying anyway.
The security guard is seen in Rapaport’s video nonchalantly watching the thief walk out with his bags of looted goods. It is unclear what Rite Aid’s security policy is, but chains like Walmart have insurance over stolen products and discourage their security guards from trying to engage with the thieves and risking injuring themselves or others.
A similar theft at a Rite Aid in New York City went viral on TikTok in October after a woman named India, who was a security guard at the store, posted footage of thefts pilfering Halloween candy before fleeing.
People asked in the comments why she isn’t stopping the thieves if she is supposed to be a security guard, to which she replied: ‘Because it’s illegal to touch, grab or use any physical force to stop them.’
Instead, she said, her job is to ‘observe and report.’
When asked what he thinks needs to be done to curb the spike in shoplifting incidents, Rapaport said that there needs to be ‘more ramifications’ and penalties for shoplifting.
‘Criminals know they could get away with it. This whole thing is just a mess,’ he said.
Robbery in New York City has spiked by about 33 percent in the week ending on January 23, according to the NYPD’s most recent data, with 944 incidents compared to 709 incidents reported during the same timeframe last year.
Overall crime has gone up by nearly 39 percent, with 7,230 incidents this year as compared to last year’s 5,211.