Countless stores closing shop in San Francisco thanks to law that effectively legalizes shoplifting up to $950

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA- Brazen shoplifting in San Francisco has forced more than a dozen Walgreens drug stores to close over the last five years thanks to a law that legalizes shoplifting of up to $950 worth of goods.

The City Council passed Prop 47, which is the ordinance that prevents police officers from arresting or even stopping anyone who steals less than $950 worth of goods.

Now, organized gangs of thieves gather together and run into a store as a group to grab everything and anything they can carry out of the store knowing full well that the police nor the store owners can do a thing to stop them.

According to reports, authorities stated that criminal gangs are responsible for the vast majority of thefts, which are of course causing businesses millions of dollars in losses. District 11 Supervisor for CVS, Ahsha Safai, said in a statement:

“85 percent of their loss is committed by organized criminal activity. That to me was just shocking.”

Safai added:

“They will rob about maybe $1,000-$2,000 worth of goods from each store from 10 stores or more in a single day.”

Reportedly, 17 Walgreens stores have closed over the last five years because of shoplifting. San Francisco has become one of the epicenters for organized retail crime in the United States and the repeated closures of these stores hurt Walgreens’ neighbors. Safai said:

“It impacts everyone. Impacts seniors, impacts families, impacts the small businesses in the area. It’s bad all the way around.”

Safai added that the theft is completely out of control and local residents are afraid to enter the store because of the gangs roaming the aisles. Safai said:

“This has been uncontrolled. Individuals are scared to enter these shops. Seniors, folks with disabilities, kids. It’s simply taking place overtly. We aren’t able to simply as a metropolis throw up our arms and say that is OK. We now have to provide you with options.”

Safai is calling on police and prosecutors to do a better job at protecting these businesses, like in a large bust in 2020 that uncovered $20 million in stolen products. Safai said:

“It’s not that nothing has been done, but certainly we need to do better.”

Law Enforcement Today recently reported that although shoplifting did decrease during the COVID-19 pandemic, police also stated that the shoplifting incidents have been “underreported” and “have become more violent and brazen.”

Stores such as Walgreens, CVS, and other convenience store chains are closing their doors in several locations in the city because their product loss rate has climbed more than 100 percent.

CVS revealed just how lopsided the theft is in the city. Brendan Dugan, director of organized retail crime and company investigations with CVS said:

“At CVS, 42 percent of losses within the Bay Space got here from 12 shops in San Francisco, that are solely 8 percent of the market share.”

These closures happening around the city hits vulnerable elderly residents the most since these stores are also pharmacies and when these locations close so do their pharmacies, leaving the elderly patients unable to get their life-saving prescriptions filled. 

The closures also hurt people who do not have access to cars because instead of being able to walk down to the corner store, they now have to travel several miles to find a place to shop. It seems that this is just another instance where Democrats care more about criminals than they do the taxpayers and law-abiding citizens of their city. 

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Officer shot four times, hit in the face and the top of the head, after responding to shoplifting call

March 13th, 2021

OMAHA, NE – An Omaha Police officer was listed as being in critical condition after being shot by a suspect while police were responding to a shoplifting call at the Westroads Mall on March 12th. 

According to officials from the Omaha Police Department, Officers Jeffrey Wittstruck and Joseph Kunza had responded to a reported shoplifting incident at approximately 3:30 p.m. on March 12th at the JC Penney store at Westroads Mall. 

Store security had reportedly apprehended a male suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Kenya Jenkins Jr., for allegedly trying to steal a package of t-shirts. 

Apparently, Officer Wittstruck was the first to arrive on scene and went to interview Jenkins at the store, which police officials say that he was initially being uncooperative with the officer.

Officer Wittstruck had reportedly told Jenkins to remove the backpack he was wearing at the time, which is when police say that Jenkins stood up from where he was seated and placed his right hand into his sweatshirt pocket. 

Police say that Officer Wittstruck told Jenkins to show his hands numerous times, to which Jenkins reportedly refused to do so.

Kenya Jenkins Jr. - Omaha Police Department
Kenya Jenkins Jr. – Omaha Police Department

At this point, Officer Wittstruck informed Jenkins that he was under arrest, but Jenkins allegedly became combative with the officer and was pushing him away while Officer Wittstruck was trying to place him in cuffs. 

Officer Wittstruck had reportedly tried using a taser on Jenkins during this struggle, but it proved ineffective. At this point, Jenkins allegedly reached back into his sweatshirt pocket and produced a handgun – firing off four rounds during the struggle. 

Police officials say that Officer Wittstruck was struck in the face and the top of his head by the assailant’s gunfire. 

The suspect reportedly ran out of the mall security office and fled the scene in a white BMW. 

Officer Kunza had arrived after the shooting occurred, and was helping to render aid to Officer Wittstruck alongside mall security. He was later transported to Nebraska Med and was initially listed as being in critical condition. 

The entire incident was reportedly captured on Officer Winnstruck’s body camera. 

Jenkins was later apprehended by police during the evening of March 12th, following a high speed chase on I-80.

The suspect was said to have exceeded speeds of 140 mph before the chase came to an end after stop sticks were deployed and Jenkins’ vehicle became stuck on the railroad tracks on Highway 6. 

Authorities were said to have recovered a Taurus .380 firearm on Jenkins while taking him into custody. The suspect is now facing charges of attempted murder and use of weapon to commit a felony.

In a statement provided by Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer, the following was noted: 

“Our prayers are with Officer Wittstruck and his family for a full recovery. On behalf of all Omaha Police Officers, thank you for the showing of support and concern.”

“Omaha Police Officers answer 911 calls over and over again throughout the day to keep Omaha safe. It is important to remember the dangers officers put themselves in on each and every call; calls that must be answered because someone was in need.”

As of March 13th, Officer Wittstruck was said to be in stable condition and recovering in the hospital. 

In other recent incidents involving injured officers, a police officer in Nashville, Tennessee is recovering after having been shot during a traffic stop that occurred on March 12th. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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NASHVILLE, TN – A Metro Police officer was reportedly in critical condition after being shot during a traffic stop on the morning of March 12th. 

Later updates from officials note that the officer has since been stabilized following surgery, but the investigation into the incident is still ongoing. 

Officials from the Metro Nashville Police Department say that the incident started out as a traffic stop at around 9:30 a.m on March 12th, which the traffic stop occurred in the parking lot of a Dollar General on Brick Church Pike near Ewing Drive. 

Officer Josh Baker had pulled over a vehicle whose registered owner was reportedly wanted on six outstanding warrants. Officials say the person behind the wheel during the traffic stop was later confirmed to not be the registered owner of the vehicle.

MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron stated that the traffic stop had then “devolved” into a shootout between the woman driving the vehicle and Officer Baker.

The driver inside of the vehicle, later identified as 31-year-old Nika Holbert, was said to have opened fire on Officer Baker – striking him in the torso. 

Officer Baker reportedly returned fire on Holbert, striking her in the process. 

Holbert was said to have tried driving away after being shot, where she later crashed her vehicle shortly thereafter at the intersection of Brick Church Pike and Moorehead Drive. 

Emergency crews were deployed to the scene to render aid to the officer and suspect. Both Officer Baker and Holbert were transported to nearby hospitals, where the suspect later died from her injuries. 

Officer Baker was initially reported as being in critical condition following the shooting – but after having undergone surgery, he has since been listed as being in stable condition. 

Investigators working the scene of the incident were said to have recovered a pistol from the parking lot – which investigators believe to be the gun allegedly used by the now-deceased suspect. 

In a statement delivered by Mayor John Cooper regarding the shooting incident, he offered condolences to both the injured officer and to the family of the recently deceased: 

“What happened today is a reminder that being a police officer anywhere can be a dangerous job. My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Baker and with the families of everyone involved.”

Officer Baker, who has been with the MNPD for 14 years, was reportedly wearing a body camera during the shooting and investigators are actively retrieving and reviewing the footage from the incident. 

No details have been shared as to a possible motive for the shooting as of this writing, nor have officials shared the relationship details between the deceased suspect and the owner of the vehicle she was driving at the time the shooting occurred. 

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations is currently taking the lead on this investigation.  

Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further updates on this developing case. 

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