Mon, 29 Nov 2021

SAN FRANCISCO, California: Five more Walgreens stores in San Francisco face closures next month because of organized retail theft, which continues to plague the city, which has become infamous for widespread and brazen shoplifting.

SFGATE.com reports Walgreens has closed at least 10 stores in the city since the start of 2019.

"Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average" despite large increases in security, Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said.

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai expressed his disappointment at the loss of a Mission Street store that "has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades."

Last year, Walgreens closed one store where the chain said it was losing $1,000 a day to thefts.

This summer, masked shoplifters carrying armfuls of designer handbags were caught on video sprinting from a downtown Neiman Marcus department store and into getaway cars.

In June, a masked man was caught on video at a Walgreens stuffing items into a trash bag before rushing out of the store on a bicycle. A suspect was later arrested.

Last month, Mayor London Breed and Police Chief Bill Scott announced that they would dedicate more police, beef up coordination and make it easier to report shoplifters, aimed at countering stealing that has added to the liberal city's reputation as being soft on crime.

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