State Watch

San Francisco grocery store closing earlier due to shoplifting

A 24-hour San Francisco grocery store will now be closing early due to excessive thefts at night, joining other retailers that have been forced to alter their hours due to rampant stealing.

The Safeway grocery in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco has moved from operating 24 hours a day to closing from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., KPIX reported.

The news station reported that customers were surprised by this decision.

“I feel like it’s definitely an inconvenience, not everybody can make it to the supermarket between those hours, so it’s a little frustrating, especially for me personally. I like to shop later on,” Castro resident Chris Rankins told KPIX.

“I think like a lot of retailers they’ve been experiencing increasing property crime and theft from their stores,” San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman said. “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.”

This decision by the Castro Safeway comes less than a month after pharmacy retail giant Walgreens announced it would be closing some locations in San Francisco due to organized retail theft. One San Francisco Walgreens that was closed last year was reportedly losing $1,000 to theft a day.

“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.” a Walgreens spokesperson said.

According to KPIX, Mandelman characterized the changing hours of the Safeway as an equity problem. “There’s a lot of low-income folks, seniors, folks with disability, who rely on that Safeway and other Safeways around the city,” he said.

In September, San Francisco announced a new initiative to crack down on retail theft. These new measures included increasing the staffing of the police department’s Organized Retail Crime Unit and updating the department’s reporting system to allow businesses to more easily report thefts online.

“Retail theft and commercial burglaries are not victimless crimes,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said at the time. “They hurt working families due to reduced work hours, shuttered stores and lost jobs. They hurt customers and seniors who are losing convenient access to prescription medications and vaccinations because of pharmacy closures. They hurt neighborhoods suffering from fewer local retailers and more empty storefronts.”

Tags California KPIX-TV retailers Safeway Safeway Inc. San Francisco Supermarket Theft
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