Manhattan Cosmetics Retailer Charged with $1M Retail Theft Operation

Manhattan Cosmetics Retailer Charged with $1M Retail Theft Operation

Marcus Santiago
2 min read

Manhattan Cosmetics Retailer Charged with Possessing $1M in Stolen Goods

A cosmetics retailer in Manhattan, Rehana's Cosmetics, and its owners have been charged with operating a retail theft fencing operation, possessing over $1M in stolen goods from major retailers. The investigation, conducted with collaboration from retail giants, uncovered stolen goods from Macy's, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens, Duane Reade, Ulta, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, and the NHL Store. The resale of these stolen items reportedly motivated shoplifters. However, a report from the Brennan Center for Justice suggests that evidence for a surge in organized retail theft is unreliable. New York has implemented new penalties for assaulting retail workers and allocated funds for retail theft teams to address the issue.

Key Takeaways

  • Rehana's Cosmetics and its owners have been charged with criminal possession of stolen property worth over $1M.
  • Stolen goods from shoplifters, including $212,000 worth of items from Macy's, were intended for resale.
  • The investigation received support from Macy's, Ulta Beauty, CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, and others.
  • Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg emphasizes the significance of proactive investigations of fencing operations to address the root causes of retail theft.
  • New penalties for assaulting retail workers and a $40.2M allocation for retail theft teams are part of New York's crackdown on retail theft.


Rehana's Cosmetics' alleged involvement in a fencing operation underscores the widespread issue of retail theft, impacting major retailers like Macy's, Ulta, and CVS. This incident may prompt the imposition of stricter regulations affecting retailers nationwide, potentially resulting in lawsuits and diminished consumer trust. The rise in shoplifting may be attributed to inadequate security measures, leading to financial losses and reputational damage. New York's actions to combat retail theft may serve as a model for other states, but skepticism remains due to the questionable data on organized retail theft provided by the Brennan Center for Justice.

Did You Know?

  • Fencing Operation: In this context, a fencing operation involves the receipt and sale of stolen goods to unsuspecting customers or businesses. Those involved, known as fences, obtain stolen items at lower prices, organizing complex networks to facilitate the resale for profit.
  • Criminal Possession of Stolen Property: This charge applies to individuals or businesses knowingly possessing stolen goods for their benefit, in this case, exceeding $1M. It constitutes a form of larceny, involving the unlawful taking and carrying away of another's property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of its possession.
  • Organized Retail Theft: It entails coordinated shoplifting, encompassing various forms such as cargo theft, store walkouts, and fencing operations. The Brennan Center for Justice highlights the unreliability of the data regarding the surge in organized retail theft despite growing concerns about retail theft.

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