BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- Police in Broome County are cracking down on shoplifting this holiday season.
Officers will be out in full force, using new strategies with the goal of stopping larcenies before they happen.
"There's no license to steal. If you steal and you get caught, you're going to be punished. If you continue to steal, you're going to be punished more aggressively. We're not going to sit back and wait to get a phone call that somebody's been stealing from a store again," said Steve Cornwell, Broome County District Attorney.
The month of November typically sees the highest number of retail arrests.
Last year, there were 152 in the month alone.
This year, anyone with a trespassing charge who attempts to steal again will have their charge upgraded to burglary; a felony.
"Don’t be fooled by the name. Petit larceny now is pretty serious business and you're going to be dealing with a burglary which is a pretty serious crime," said Cornwell.
There were more than 1,200 total shoplifting arrests last year.
While most targeted big box stores, others focused on small businesses.
"Quite honestly, some of the big stores can absorb it and work it into their business model. Some of the small stores can’t do that. So we're going to make sure that we're there for them, that we're preventing it across the board," said Cornwell.
Petit larcenies made up 25 percent of the misdemeanors last year.
District Attorney Steve Cornwell says crimes like these are keeping police away from more important issues.
"We need to reduce that number and prevent the petit larcenies from occurring in the first place so we're not spending all that time and money because everybody's guaranteed a lawyer paid for by the taxpayers. If they do go to jail, it's being paid for by the tax payers," said Cornwell.
Cornwell says shoplifting arrests are down so far this year.
In New York, petit larceny is defined as unlawfully taking property or services valued at no more than $1,000.