Hot Air is reporting today that Target is cutting back its store hours in San Francisco in an effort to limit shoplifting.
The article reports:
Normal store hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. They’re cutting back to 6 p.m. because, the company claims, “for more than a month, we’ve been experiencing a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents at our San Francisco stores.”
Only a month? Walgreens has closed 17 stores in San Francisco since 2016 because it didn’t pay to keep them open with so many locals taking the five-finger discount. Target’s new policy raises the ominous possibility that the problem is getting worse, which would make sense. With the pandemic all but over in the highly vaccinated Bay Area, more thieves may be out and about lately.
Read this post for background on San Francisco’s problem with shockingly brazen shoplifting. A state law that passed several years ago made it a misdemeanor to steal less than $950 worth of goods, a wrist-slap that’s encouraged repeat offenders. Go figure that three California cities (San Fran, L.A., and Sacramento) are among the top 10 in the United States for organized retail crime. Not all of the theft is organized, of course — sometimes it’s random homeless people or addicts acting alone — but a surprising amount is being driven by rings selling the stolen merchandise on the black market.
The article notes that the shoplifting problem in San Francisco has gotten so bad that the 7-Eleven on Drumm St. in the Financial District does business only through a metal door.
The article also notes:
SFPD’s Central Station reported auto burglaries skyrocketed 753% in May compared to the same time last year during lockdowns and they’re still up 75% compared to the same period in 2019…
“They don’t even care. They tell us what the hell are you going to do,” said [a] tourism operator who did not wish his business to be identified.
One family who did not wish to be identified showed KPIX 5 pictures they took as they witnessed thieves in action just before pulling into a parking lot on Embarcadero and Bay Street.
What is needed is a Mayor and City Council that will make shoplifting and theft unprofitable again. We know this will rapidly change the city because we saw it happen when Rudy Giuliani took over as Mayor of New York City. The turnaround was rapid and obvious. San Francisco needs a Mayor and City Council who understand broken windows theory.