Thursday, October 14, 2021

Organized Retail Theft

This will brighten up your day; or, maybe it won’t. As the saying goes, policies have consequences. In large cities like San Francisco and even New York, the soft on crime approach to policing and prosecution has produced an explosion of crime. Looting and robbing have gotten out of control. Who would have thunk it?

The result, major retail drug store chains are closing. The woke crime coddlers have produced what they seem to have wanted to produce. Doing business in certain neighborhoods in New York and San Francisco has become too expensive. 

So, naturally, residents of poorer neighborhoods now find themselves lacking drug stores. Then again, one assumes that they voted for the politicians who have visited these disastrous policies on them, so one’s outrage is mitigated. In a democratic political system, you have every right to vote against your own self-interest. And no one is going to shed a tear.

The New York Post reports on what has now been dubbed: “organized retail crime:”

Walgreens is closing five more San Francisco locations as drug stores from the Bay Area to the Big Apple are besieged by rampant shoplifting and lax enforcement.

San Fran shoplifters have been emboldened by a referendum that lowered the penalty for stealing goods worth less than $950 from a felony to a misdemeanor, cops and prosecutors have said.

A spokesperson for the company confirmed the latest closures to SFGate.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso told the outlet.

The companies tried to increase security, to no avail:

“Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

The retailer had previously shuttered 17 stores in San Francisco during the past five years, Fox News reported.

So, Walgreens is leaving San Francisco. It is not quite as momentous as the loss or Tesla or Hewlett Packard or Oracle, but it directly impacts the everyday lives of residents:

A member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors said the new closures will “significantly impact” the community.

“I am completely devastated by this news – this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades,” Ahsha Safai tweeted Tuesday.

Apparently, New York City has seen the beginnings of a serious problem:

Drug store theft in New York City has spiraled into a similar crisis. Last week, The Post visited a dozen Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade and Rite Aid locations to find largely barren shelves where staples like tampons, toothpaste, face wash and hand sanitizer should have been stocked.

“They’ve all been stolen,” a CVS employee said.

In San Francisco it’s all about making shoplifting a misdemeanor, but it must also be about the fact that the people running the city, like Mayor London Breed and leftist radical prosecutor Chesa Boudin believe that crime is a form of righteous protest.

Hot Air explained:

Once California effectively decriminalized shoplifting of goods worth less than $950, making the offense a misdemeanor instead of a felony, the welcome mat was rolled out for organized gangs of thieves as well as individual junkies and other shoplifters. Since these are now considered “minor crimes” that don’t warrant bail, gang members and other criminals know that they can loot the stores at will. Store policies prohibit employees from trying to thwart these thefts out of fear of being accused of racism. And even if they do manage to get caught somehow, they will be back out on the street in under an hour, after which most of them will simply ignore their summons to appear in court.

Most of these stores report that insurance companies will no longer cover them against theft. Or if they do, they drive up the insurance premiums so high as to be unaffordable. (This also drives up the cost of everyone else’s insurance as well.) It’s not a sustainable business model when you can no longer expect the public to act in a civilized fashion and pay for their purchases.

In New York City, it's about the bail reform law, which becomes a catch and release program for criminals. 

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea has blamed the shoplifting surge on the state’s “disastrous bail reform law.”

“Insanity,” the top cop tweeted earlier this month in response to a Post exposé about a prolific Queens shoplifter who was arrested 46 times in 2021, only to be released to continue stealing under Albany’s bail reform overhaul.

The city recorded 3,709 retail theft complaints in August, the most the boroughs have ever seen in a single month.

If you want to look at the brighter side, the Bill de Blasio administration will be over and done with early next year. One can only hope that New York's incoming mayor will show some good sense and crack down on crime.

1 comment:

JPL17 said...

It's a longstanding tradition among revolutionaries. "The worse, the better."