Walgreens Closes 17 San Francisco Stores Amid ‘Out of Control’ Theft

Bay Area shops 'ravaged by shoplifting'

Image Credits: Liz Hafalia/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images.

Rampant shoplifting has prompted Walgreens to close 17 stores in San Francisco in the past five years, according to reports.

While the chain still has 53 locations open in the city, its scope of operations continues to dwindle as vagrants and dangerous thieves clean the shelves with impunity.

“This has been out of control,” said San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí during a hearing last week with local officials and retailers.

“People are scared to go into these stores – seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly. We can’t just as a city throw up our hands and say this is okay. We have to come up with solutions.”

San Francisco Walgreens shops reportedly have a theft rate at four times the national average for the chain and the company spends 35 times more on security in San Francisco than other markets around the U.S.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

A statement from Safeway read at Thursday’s hearing blamed Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for thefts under $950, for ‘dramatic increases’ in shoplifting losses. Safaí said he is proud of Prop. 47 and supports criminal justice reform and rehabilitation, but also urges prosecution for organized crime and community ambassadors to prevent opportunistic shoplifting.

Professional shoplifters can work the system by stealing items under the threshold from one store and hitting several retailers in the same day. To prosecute, the district attorney has pursued aggregated charges for multiple petty theft incidents by the same person, such as a recent case of stolen scooters. Police said a person could also be charged with possession of stolen property worth more than $950.

Infowars has reported frequently on the collapse of San Francisco and the effects upon on local commerce.

Rampant lawlessness in the city has heavily affected retail shops, as bums help themselves to merchandise with few to no consequences under California law changes that reclassified theft involving under $950 of goods as a nonviolent misdemeanor.

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