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

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

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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.

Tens of millions 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 fees, had focused that specific Walgreens retailer, on Gough Avenue within the Hayes Valley neighborhood, the authorities stated.

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

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

Walgreens stated its San Francisco shops had been focused by skilled thieves who resell the products they steal, primarily by way 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 Avenue, the Walgreens areas which are closing are at 2550 Ocean Avenue; 4645 Mission Avenue; 745 Clement Avenue; and 3400 Cesar Chavez Avenue, the corporate stated.

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

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

“I’m fully devastated by this information — this Walgreens is lower than a mile from seven faculties 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 cut 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 instances our chain common in an effort to offer a secure atmosphere.”

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 electronic 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 handle retail theft.

“Our workplace takes retail theft very critically and we now have 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 each day 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 deliver the variety of Walgreens shops which have been shuttered in San Francisco lately 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 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it might be closing 200 areas in america as a part of a cost-savings initiative.

Workers on the 5 San Francisco shops which are closing subsequent month will proceed to work at different Walgreens areas, and clients can 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 man in the shoplifting video that was recorded on the Walgreens location on Gough Avenue. 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 fees in reference to 5 separate events during which he focused the Walgreens retailer on Gough Avenue, together with on 4 consecutive days in late Could 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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