Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”. While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers. And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.
And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA– On Tuesday, October 12th, Walgreens announced that they will be closing yet another five stores in San Francisco, California due to constant thefts that have plagued the locations, and the rest of the city for that matter.
A Walgreens spokesperson released a statement to FOX Business which read in part:
“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco,”
“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco.”#Walgreens says it will be closing 5 more #SanFrancisco locations due to the rampant, organized theft across the city. https://t.co/Y4rdrUEcqY
— The Epoch Times (@EpochTimes) October 15, 2021
They went on to say:
“Each store will transfer prescriptions to a nearby Walgreens location within a mile radius and we expect to place the stores’ team members in other nearby locations.”
The spokesperson continued, saying:
“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,”
They then added:
“Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”
Over the course of the next several weeks, the Walgreens locations at 2250 Ocean Ave, 4645 Mission Street, 745 Clement Street, 300 Gough Street and 3400 Cesar Chavez Street will close their doors for good.
This is not the first time Walgreens has had to close down some of their locations in San Francisco due to brazen and consistent shoplifting.
Following an announcement by retail chain Walgreens that it's closing five of its San Francisco stores due to retail theft, Supervisor Ahsha Safai said he's hoping legislation he recently proposed can prevent stores from further closing locations. https://t.co/4t2s36q734
— Fox5NY (@fox5ny) October 14, 2021
In May, Law Enforcement Today reported that Walgreens was forced to close down 17 of their locations for the very same reason over the last five years.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, shoplifting did decrease during the coronavirus pandemic, but police also told the news outlet that “incidents are often underreported and have become more violent and brazen.”
San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the San Francisco Chronicle that the situation is “out of control,” adding:
“People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly.”
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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Legislation is being proposed in San Francisco that would allow for sheriff’s deputies to work as added security at retail stores throughout the city, a measure being entertained with the ongoing organized retail theft that has been taking place in recent months.
As we’ve previously reported here at Law Enforcement Today, retail theft in San Francisco has become a serious problem since the summer of 2021 – instances of retail theft have become all the more brazen and are posing risks of smaller stores possibly closing due to the impact of losses.
In San Francisco, currently only police officers are allowed to obtain overtime by picking up extra shifts posted at retail stores working as security – but proposed legislation would allow for sheriff’s deputies to do the same, if passed.
Supervisor Ahsha Safai, who is proposing the legislation, said that various other retailers refer to San Francisco as being “the epicenter” of retail theft in the country:
“We heard from retailers that San Francisco is the epicenter of organized retail crime in the United States, in their opinion.”
Safai also added that the way his legislation would work would impose no costs to taxpayers, explaining that retail outlets would directly contract with the sheriff’s department to organize compensation for the deputies who’d opt-in for these overtime opportunities:
“Essentially a private entity or an event contacts the city, in this situation, the sheriff department or police department and they would say they are going to pay for these services so they contract with the city.”
Sheriff Paul Miyamoto noted that if the legislation passes, his hope that the mere presence of deputies would make it so would-be offenders wouldn’t even consider attempting to shoplift:
“Our intent isn’t to go out and make a lot of arrests, our intent is to deter people from even thinking about committing the crime in the first place.”
This legislation will be further discussed and voted on by the Board of Supervisors as early as this upcoming November.
As mentioned earlier, we at Law Enforcement Today have previously reported on the impact of organized retail theft in San Francisco. Earlier in September, the mayor and chief of police announced new strategies they’ll be employing to also curb said criminal activity.
Here’s that previous report.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In response to the uptick and brazenness of retail theft in San Francisco, Mayor London Breed, along with San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott, announced a new initiative to address retail theft that has been impacting businesses all over the city.
Over the past summer, numerous videos and reports of theft occurring in San Francisco wound up going viral. One incident from July involved numerous suspects shoplifting dozens of handbags from a Neiman Marcus in San Francisco’s Union Square.
Video was captured from the July 5th shoplifting incident, showing multiple suspects running out of the Neiman Marcus with stolen goods in hand.
Perhaps one of the more brazen instances of shoplifting caught on camera in San Francisco over the summer occurred at the Walgreens back in June.
The video in question depicted a male suspect bring a bicycle and a garbage bag inside of the Walgreens and start filling up the garbage bag in full view of customers and employees – seemingly unbothered by his crimes being filmed on cellphones by onlookers.
Mayor Breed and Police Chief Scott acknowledged the impact of these crimes, as well as the videos of them, with Chief Scott saying that because of the brazenness of these acts, “people then start fearing crime, even if they haven’t been victimized.”
Under the newly announced organized retail theft initiative, San Francisco Police and the city will rollout the following:
- San Francisco Police will expand their retail crime unit from 2 to 6 full-time investigators
- Expanding San Francisco’s ambassador program from 8 to 25 employees
- Updated online crime reporting features where tipsters can include a suspect description through the online form
Chief Scott said that instances of retail theft seem to be getting under reported as well, so authorities hope that improving reporting in conjunction with response efforts will help curb these sorts of offenses.
The police chief said that in the meantime, locals will have to employ “the eye test” while out about their business, to see whether things are changing through increased efforts:
“In the meantime, a lot of it is the eye test. If you are out shopping and doing what you do in the city, and you’re seeing these things occur, we want you to see less of it, we don’t want you to see it all!”
Margaret O’Leary, the owner of the 12-store chain of the same namesake, remarked that her store location on Fillmore Street in San Francisco had never been robbed in 20 years – until this past year, where it has been robbed three times.
Video surveillance captured during one of the robberies show multiple suspects running off with roughly $10,000 worth of merchandise in a matter of seconds.
O’Leary says that she’s had to limit visible inventory in the store to reduce the potential impact if robbed again:
“It looks like I’m going out of business, but this is what I have to do.”
O’Leary says that there have been no arrests in any of the three instances her store location was robbed, and notes that some of her employees are both frightened and have quit over the flagrant robberies:
“My employees are scared, some of them have actually quit.”
O’Leary added that the store in San Francisco is the only one that has ever been robbed out of the 12 total locations:
“Not in Mill Valley, not in Berkeley, not in Palo Alto, just Fillmore Street.”
The store owner has employed new anti-theft methods for the Fillmore Street location, such as keeping the entry locked and only opened for knocking customers, placing hangers backwards on clothes racks to make it harder to quickly yank items, and also providing employees with panic buttons.
However, O’Leary says that if the thefts continue at the store location, she’ll be forced to shut down the Fillmore Street store.
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