It was clear something had to be done about the crime problem faced by San Francisco-area retailers such as Target and Walgreens.
According to the California Retailer’s Association, three of the state’s cities – Los Angeles and Sacramento join San Francisco – are among the top 10 in the country in organized retail crime.
Some stores shut down; others are closing early.
Target said San Francisco is the only U.S. city in which it’s decided to close some stores early due to the rising crime.
Walgreens has closed several stores for the same reason and a report from the Bay Area’s abc7news.com included a discussion with security guard Kevin Greathouse, who said he’s been told not to physically engage with the thieves.
“It’s going to be lawsuits, obviously they don’t want ourselves or anybody else to get injured while we’re out here attempting to make these apprehensions and leave it to law enforcement,” he told the outlet.
“I don’t have any intention of getting stabbed for $60 worth of stuff.”
Theft at Walgreens stores in San Francisco was four times the average of its stores across the country, Walgreens representative Phil Caruso told CNN a couple of weeks ago via email.
San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai is now putting the onus on the police department and the District Attorney’s office to provide a blueprint for how to solve the crisis.
“These are people who are recruited, organized and are reselling these goods and San Francisco is hurting for it,” said Safai, who wants a plan within a week.
Safai referenced the peripheral danger at a hearing in June.
“This has been out of control,” he said. “People are scared to go into these stores. … We can’t just as a city throw up our hands and say this is OK.”