San Francisco Crime Wave: Rampant Shoplifting, Theft Forces Stores to Cut Hours or Close


    The crime wave in San Francisco, California, continues as police presence dwindles and thieves brazenly loot stores, causing Target properties in the Bay Area to announce they are cutting hours to reduce losses.

    Target stores, which normally stay open until 10 p.m. in most cities around the country, will be closing at 6 p.m. in San Francisco, according to ABC7:

    The company says that for more than a month their stores have experienced an alarming rise in theft and security incidents.

    San Francisco Mayor London Breed says cutting hours is not the answer.

    “We need to make sure when these crimes occur that there is an accountability component. When police make an arrest which they have – which you saw on the news with the guy on the bike and arrest has been made. Will they be held accountable for what they did?” said Mayor Breed.

    This development comes after Walgreens announced it is closing stores because of the inability to keep people from continuously stealing from its stores.

    The ongoing thefts have been dubbed “organized retail theft,” but it appears more like looting when several people invade a store and grab as much merchandise as possible before fleeing.

    ABC7 reported Walgreens emailed the outlet and said the company told the San Francisco Board of Supervisors that theft in their San Francisco stores is four times more than the average in stores across the country. The company also spends 35 times more on hiring security personnel.

    Walgreens has closed 17 stores in the Bay Area in the past five years.

    The Public Policy Institute of California's research shows San Francisco has the lowest arrest rate of any police department in California, according to the ABC7 report.

    “That answer does speak to staffing. I mean it's direct and this is not an excuse, this is a reality,” San Francisco Police Chief William Scott said. “In order for us to be at these locations when these things happen, the officers have to have time to be there.”

    “In 1994, voters passed Proposition D, which mandated that there be 1,971 full duty officers,” ABC7 reported. “San Francisco has never reached that goal.”

    Last year, the board of supervisors changed the police department's budget, but now Mayor London Breed is proposing an increase to the budget and has urged supervisors to support the move.

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