‘Off The Charts’: Major Retailer In San Francisco Cuts Hours Due To Rampant Shoplifting

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Jorge Velasco Contributor
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Another retailer in San Francisco announced it would alter its operating hours as the city faces a retail theft wave, according to KPIX5.

The supermarket Safeway in the Castro District, which was open 24/7, began operating from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Oct. 24 after San Francisco dealt with a spike in shoplifting and property crime, KPIX5 reported.

Safeway’s San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said he believes “a lot of retailers [have] been experiencing increasing property crime and theft from their stores,” adding that he has personally seen a rise in theft at his stores. “I think the last 6 months from what they say has been sort of – off the charts in terms of how bad it’s been. It’s sad, upsetting and frustrating.”

Earlier in October, Walgreens closed various stores after facing a multitude of organized retail theft in their San Francisco stores, SFGATE reported. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average,” Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso told the outlet.

“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.”(RELATED: San Francisco’s Shoplifters Are Flipping Stolen Merchandise Online)

San Francisco launched an initiative in late September in an effort to crack down on retail shoplifting, such as increasing investigation staff and updating the San Francisco Police Department’s reporting system to facilitate reported crime, according to The Associated Press.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at a press conference September that organized crime in pharmacies and markets hurt those who are dependent on such establishments and that while the city is known for gentleness, she hopes the initiatives will fix the city’s reputation of being soft on crime.

“We care about criminal justice reform. We care about second chances. We care about making sure that people are not wrongly accused,” Breed said. “But don’t take our kindness for weakness, our compassion for weakness.”