SF Walgreens Store Suffers 20 Thefts a Day, Chains Up Freezer Section

Jason Blair
By Jason Blair
July 20, 2023California

SAN FRANCISCO—The Walgreens store at 16th Avenue and Geary Boulevard started using chains and locks in the freezer section to protect food from being stolen. One employee, who chose not to reveal his name, told The Epoch Times the shoplifting happens 15–20 times every day.

“This year is the worst,” the senior employee told The Epoch Times, especially after the downtown Walgreens store closed.

According to the employee, the shoplifters include homeless people and drug addicts. Under company policy, he is not allowed to intervene.

In the store, two freezer sections filled with pizzas and waffles are chained with padlocks, beginning from one and a half weeks ago, the employee said.

Another food section adjacent to one of the chained freezers has been intentionally left empty. Employees chose not to fill the shelf with merchandise such as food, beer, soda, or toilet paper which is more likely to be stolen.

The senior employee explained that if store workers fill the shelves with merchandise, it will be stolen in 12–24 hours. On July 18, from the store opening to 11 am, there had already been five or six shoplifting incidents, the employee said.

Most other sections are also locked with plastic shields, but this measure has not been enough to keep things safe. The employee showed some plastic shields that had been burned away.

“It’s a major inconvenience for the community,” Walgreens customer Justin Van Zandt told reporters outside the store.

Van Zandt said it’s not fair for everyday people to wait 10 minutes in line for a Walgreens worker to get merchandise. “How disheartening and soul destroying, to be a worker who works all day for minimum wage, and you see some person come in, put a bunch of stuff in a sack and they’re [grabbing] like $500 [worth].”

They are not even from San Francisco, Van Zandt said. They are stealing $500 or $700 worth of merchandise and reselling it online.

Passed in 2014, Proposition 47 reduced the classification for shoplifting goods worth less than $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor. Proposition 47 is often cited as a contributor to the theft problem in California.

From The Epoch Times

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