The latest business casualty of the seemingly dying city, the Walgreens location in question, which is the seventh to close down in the city since 2019, serves mostly older people who live in the Opera Plaza area of the city.
“All of us knew it was coming,” stated longtime customer Sebastian Luke, who lives one block away from the store and is a frequent customer who has been posting photos of the thefts for several months now.
Just a few days ago, Luke photographed a man who he witnessed clearing several shelves in the store and putting the stolen products in a backpack, which he walked out with unscathed.
“I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted,” Luke added.
“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.”
For security reasons, Walgreens has declined to provide any details about its store security policies, though company spokesman Phil Caruso reportedly told local media that “the safety of our team members and customers is our top concern.”
Mandatory mask-wearing facilitates more crime because thieves cannot be identified
When reporters from the San Francisco Chronicle paid a visit to the Vann Ness and Eddy Walgreens store, they noticed aisle after aisle that had been cleared of goods. Beauty supplies are apparently a very popular item to steal.
Most of the goods that were not stolen live behind locked plastic theft guards, which clearly have helped to deter thieves from trying to steal them.
Before deciding to close the store, those in charge at the Walgreens location in question tried locking up more items, including laundry detergent that is now looped with anti-theft cabling. Still, it is not enough to keep the store from hemorrhaging.
“Go ask the people in the alleys, they have it all,” was one clerk’s response when asked where all the stolen goods have gone.
A “sanctuary” city for criminals and vagrants, San Francisco is littered with human feces and homeless encampments, which in many ways have made it unlivable.
Just two streets away from the Walgreens, in fact, there is a large homeless encampment that feeds criminals directly into the store.
During the reporters’ time there, one homeless man who was wearing a virus mask strolled in, emptied out two shelves of snacks into a bag, and walked right out of the store, upon which the clerk jokingly asked, “Sure you don’t want a drink with that?”
The face mask, by the way, helped the thief remain unidentified, facilitating his crime and encouraging others to do the same under the guise of “protecting others” against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
This is the state of San Francisco as it descends into total and utter lawlessness. Part of the reason is that under new California law, theft of less than $950 worth of goods is now treated as a nonviolent misdemeanor, the maximum prison sentence of which is just six months.
In most cases, however, offenders are released with certain conditions attached, which effectively incentivizes them to continue committing more crimes.
“Organized retail crime in San Francisco has increased the challenge for all retail, and Walgreens is not immune to that,” Caruso added in a statement, suggesting that many other stores, including a CVS right down the street, face similar obstacles to continuing to do business in San Francisco.
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