Friday, March 5, 2021

Walgreens shutters 10 stores in San Francisco as residents point to rampant shoplifting

Pharmacy giant Walgreens has closed its 10th store in the San Francisco area, prompting residents to blame rampant shoplifting caused by the city's soft-on-crime policies.

The store is set to permanently shut its doors on March 17, and the move has drawn an online petition against the closure, which accrued over 200 signatures at the time of publishing. The closure is the third since mid-October 2020, and those living in the area reported brazen thefts at Walgreens pharmacies throughout their hometowns.

“All of us knew it was coming. Whenever we go in there, they always have problems with shoplifters, ” a regular customer, Sebastian Luke, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

One October incident was caught on video as Inside Edition reporters were following a story on the rampant larcenies. A thief, donning black clothing, was seen on video scaling a counter, grabbing an air vent, and leaving the store on a scooter as shelves in the store were left bare from similar sprees.

“I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted,” Luke said. “The clerks say there is nothing they can do. They say Walgreens’ policy is to not get involved. They don’t want anyone getting injured or getting sued, so the guys just keep coming in and taking whatever they want.”

At the time, Walgreens declined to provide a reason for the store closures but indicated “the safety of our team members and customers is our top concern.” The drug store chain did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner.

When a store employee was asked about why the shelves were empty, he said, “Go ask the people in the alleys, they have it all.”

One store in the San Francisco area reportedly lost $1,000 a day to theft, and some have pointed to the city's homeless as a potential culprit. Law enforcement at the time responded by stationing uniformed officers near the businesses, but the move didn't last, and officers were quickly pulled away from the post.

The San Francisco Police Department told the Washington Examiner that it is "aware of incidents of retail theft there where groups of suspects enter stores, grab product and merchandise and flee," and insisted "larceny crimes are down significantly" in the city and "officers routinely check in with merchants."

Read and see more:

No comments: