Walgreens to Shut 5 Shops in San Francisco, Citing ‘Organized’ Shoplifting

Walgreens to Close 5 Stores in San Francisco, Citing ‘Organized’ Shoplifting

2021-10-14 03:55:25

A safety guard and a tv reporter have been recording him, however the thief was undeterred, raiding a Walgreens retailer in San Francisco on a bicycle, a rubbish bag in hand stuffed with stolen merchandise.

Thousands and thousands watched a video of the brazen shoplifting in June, which critics stated illustrated the epidemic of retailer thefts that had bedeviled retailers throughout town. It was at the least the fifth time that the person, who was later arrested on a raft of housebreaking and theft costs, had focused that exact Walgreens retailer, on Gough Road within the Hayes Valley neighborhood, the authorities stated.

Now, 4 months later, Walgreens says it’s going to shut that retailer and 4 others in San Francisco subsequent month, citing what it described as a seamless downside of “organized” shoplifting within the metropolis.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a problem dealing with retailers throughout San Francisco,” Phil Caruso, a spokesman for Walgreens, stated in an e mail on Wednesday. “Retail theft throughout our San Francisco shops has continued to extend previously few months to 5 occasions our chain common.”

Walgreens stated its San Francisco shops had been focused by skilled thieves who resell the products they steal, primarily by means of on-line marketplaces. The San Francisco Chronicle has reported that legislation enforcement officers have attributed a lot of town’s retail crime to organized theft rings.

Along with the shop at 300 Gough Road, the Walgreens places which might be closing are at 2550 Ocean Avenue; 4645 Mission Road; 745 Clement Road; and 3400 Cesar Chavez Road, the corporate stated.

Walgreens representatives beforehand stated at a board of supervisors listening to in Might that it had closed 17 shops, largely as a result of thefts had made doing enterprise at these places untenable.

Ahsha Safaí, a member of the San Francisco board of supervisors, stated on Twitter on Tuesday that the closure of the Walgreens retailer at 4645 Mission Road would go away an incredible void.

“I’m utterly devastated by this information — this Walgreens is lower than a mile from seven colleges and has been a staple for seniors, households and kids for many years,” Mr. Safaí stated. Town, he added, “must act with a way of urgency to scale back and deter the variety of incidents of economic retail theft.”

Walgreens stated it had elevated its “investments in safety measures” at its San Francisco shops “to 46 occasions our chain common in an effort to supply a protected setting.”

The workplace of Mayor London Breed of San Francisco didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for Chesa Boudin, the San Francisco district lawyer, stated in an e mail on Wednesday that, along with prosecuting shoplifting instances, the workplace had been working with the California Freeway Patrol and ALTO, a company that works to deal with retail theft.

“Our workplace takes retail theft very significantly and we’ve taken a number of steps within the final yr to higher stop and prosecute these crimes,” the spokeswoman, Sara Yousuf, stated. “Final yr, our Retail Theft Taskforce labored with legislation enforcement companions in an operation that led to the restoration of greater than $8 million in stolen gadgets.”

Ms. Yousuf stated that town was making progress in addressing such thefts.

“Whereas larceny charges in San Francisco are decrease than they have been in 2019, District Lawyer Boudin is dedicated to working daily to make San Francisco even safer,” she stated.

A spokesman for the San Francisco Police Division referred questions on the matter to Walgreens.

The closures, that are scheduled for November, will convey the variety of Walgreens shops which were shuttered in San Francisco in recent times to 22, in keeping with the corporate. Walgreens has greater than 50 shops within the metropolis, The Chronicle reported.

Walgreens disclosed in an August 2019 submitting with the Securities and Trade Fee that it will be closing 200 places in america as a part of a cost-savings initiative.

Staff on the 5 San Francisco shops which might be closing subsequent month will proceed to work at different Walgreens places, and clients may have their prescriptions transferred to close by shops, the corporate stated.

On June 19, the San Francisco Police Division stated that it had arrested the person within the shoplifting video that was recorded on the Walgreens location on Gough Road. Investigators stated that they linked the person, Jean Lugo-Romero, 40, to a string of thefts from retailers within the Northern and Mission districts.

Mr. Lugo-Romero faces theft and housebreaking costs in reference to 5 separate events by which he focused the Walgreens retailer on Gough Road, together with on 4 consecutive days in late Might and early June, the authorities stated.

It was not instantly clear whether or not Mr. Lugo-Romero had a lawyer. The San Francisco Public Defender’s workplace in San Francisco didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Wednesday.

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