Actions have consequences. Pro-crime policies work.
And electing leftists who call themselves progressives and promise to protect criminals from being locked up in the name of criminal justice reform while regulating and taxing the businesses they prey on more than ever has inevitable consequences.
Progressives in California in recent years have strengthened property rights—to other people’s property. Shoplifting has essentially been decriminalized, and retailers that apprehend thieves can be sued. The result: Another Walgreens store in San Francisco, the seventh this year, is closing after its shelves were cleared by looters.
“All of us knew it was coming,” longtime customer Sebastian Luke told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Whenever we go in there, they always have problems with shoplifters.”
Mr. Luke has been posting photos of the shoplifting sprees. “I feel sorry for the clerks, they are regularly being verbally assaulted,” he said. “The clerks say there is nothing they can do. They say Walgreens’ policy is to not get involved. They don’t want anyone getting injured or getting sued, so the guys just keep coming in and taking whatever they want.”
Several retailers in the state have been sued by people caught shoplifting who claimed to be victims of racial profiling. Businesses understandably fear bad publicity and hefty payouts that may exceed their losses from the theft.
That was 2020. It’s getting really catastrophic now.
For years, John Susoeff walked from his home two blocks to the Walgreens at Bush and Larkin streets — to pick up prescriptions for himself and for less mobile neighbors, to get a new phone card, and to snag senior discounts the first Tuesday of the month.
That changed in March when the Walgreens, ravaged by shoplifting, closed. Susoeff, 77, who sometimes uses a cane, now goes six blocks for medication and other necessities.
“It’s terrible,” he said. On his last visit before the store closed, even beef jerky was behind lock and key. A CVS nearby shuttered in 2019, with similar reports of rampant shoplifting.
“I don’t blame them for closing,” Susoeff said.
Last year, burglaries increased in most San Francisco neighborhoods. Shoplifting decreased under pandemic lockdown and dropped slightly the year before, but incidents are often underreported and have become more violent and brazen, police said.
Since this coverage is coming from the San Fran Chronicle, they’re blaming “organized crime”.
“This has been out of control,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safaí, who held a hearing Thursday with retailers, police, the district attorney and probation departments. “People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It’s just happening brazenly. We can’t just as a city throw up our hands and say this is OK. We have to come up with solutions.”
If only there were some sort of ‘force’ whose job it was to detain criminals, and some sort of system for then keeping them locked away.
It’s worked for thousands of years. Let’s give it a shot.
The cost of business and shoplifting led Walgreens to shut 17 locations in San Francisco in the past five years — an “unpopular and difficult decision,” Jason Cunningham, regional vice president for pharmacy and retail operations in California and Hawaii, said at the hearing. The company still has 53 stores in the city.
Theft in Walgreens’ San Francisco stores is four times the average for stores elsewhere in the country, and the chain spends 35 times more on security guards in the city than elsewhere, Cunningham said.
At CVS, 42% of losses in the Bay Area came from 12 stores in San Francisco, which are only 8% of the market share, Brendan Dugan, director of organized retail crime and corporate investigations, said at the hearing.
It’s okay. This is just wealth redistribution. Capitalist enterprises are being forced out. They’ll be replaced by BIPOC equity-based communal enterprises.
Also known as drug dealers.
A statement from Safeway read at Thursday’s hearing blamed Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for thefts under $950, for “dramatic increases” in shoplifting losses. Safaí said he is proud of Prop. 47 and supports criminal justice reform and rehabilitation, but also urges prosecution for organized crime and community ambassadors to prevent opportunistic shoplifting.
Residents tried to save the Walgreens at Bush and Larkin in March, circulating a petition and arguing that the next closest store was not handicapped-accessible.
“This has become a lifeline for many seniors, people with disabilities, and low income residents who cannot go further out to other stores to get what they need,” the petition said.
The store still wound up closing.
If you want to save your stores, don’t sign petitions to keep stores open that are being robbed every 5 minutes. Vote for elected officials who will fight crime instead of pandering to criminals.
If you want civilization, you have to support it. If you want to support the friends of the criminals who implement a criminal dystopia where theft is legal, then expect the stores to close.
And daily assaults on Asian seniors. Along with all the other wonders of 70s urban life.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Netflix and all the criminal justice reform backers will be fine. The senior living on a fixed income won’t be.