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Barbarians storming the gates of San Francisco’s Walgreens

Written By | Jun 2, 2021
Walgreens, theft, san francisco

A woman brazenly shoplifts at San Francisco Walgreens. YouTube screen capture of video by AcidSmooth.

WASHINGTON. The San Francisco petition said that since the international corporation has an annual revenue of $139.5 billion, it should be a little more understanding of those homeless souls prone to availing themselves of five-finger discounts. The company in question is the pharmacy and convenience store Walgreens. The chains San Francisco locations have a serious shoplifting problem. The company losses in revenue reached a staggering 25 percent in 2020. Its petty theft problems only prompted Walgreens to cut its losses by shuttering at least 17 locations in the city by the bay, with more on the way.

Walgreens has encouraged brazen lawlessness through its official policy, which says employees must not attempt to stop shoplifters. They fear injury to staff and thieves alike could further impact the company’s declining bottom line by way of lawsuits.

A homeless man shoplifts a stuffed animal from a San Francisco Walgreens. Screen capture of YouTube video posted by Colin Hussey.

But as mentioned above, San Francisco residents are clearly more perturbed by the store closures and less so by the shoplifters.

A Walgreens clerk told the San Francisco Chronicle that thieves prefer beauty products and laundry detergent, but finger foods come in a close third.

“A man wearing a virus mask walked in, emptied two shelves of snacks into a bag, then headed back for the door. As he walked past the checkout line, a customer called out, ‘Sure you don’t want a drink with that?’”

Walgreens says shoplifting at its San Francisco stores is four times higher than its locations in other US cities.

San Francisco Deputy District Attorney Matthew Donahue said what fuels the shoplifting craze is “homelessness, poverty, drug addiction.” He also said his office would deal with the problem by focusing “only on stopping serious, repeat offenders, especially violent ones.”

Peaceful repeat offenders (can anyone really tell the difference?) are free to rob Walgreens blind.

Shoplifters’ empty shelves at San Francisco Walgreens. Inside Edition screen capture.

So, who’s to blame? The simple answer is California voters.

Back in 2014, Golden State voters passed Proposition 47.

The initiative’s proponents said the measure would help the state achieve a court order to decrease the state’s prison overcrowding by reducing some felony offenses to misdemeanors. Among them was shoplifting items less than $950 in value.

Before the state rescinded its mandatory three-strike law, more than a few repeat felony shoplifters were in stir for life.

The folks at Walgreens no doubt wish the three-strike felony laws were still in effect.

And local, elderly residents would join them if they thought about it a little more clearly. They’re the ones who’ll suffer the loss of a nearby convenience store to pick up their prescriptions and sundries.

But petition-circulating activists say they “cannot allow profit-driven greedy Corporations to further traumatize and abandon their responsibility to the community. People over profits!”

It’s funny they direct their ire at the victim, Walgreens. Yet the brazen thieves victimizing soon-to-be jobless store employees and elderly San Franciscans who’ll lose the convenience of having a neighborhood pharmacy are blameless.

1890 painting “The Sack of Rome in 410 by the barbarians” by Joseph-Noël Sylvestre.

It’s San Francisco’s airheaded socialist activists who put shoplifter’s ill-gotten profits over people. And the most vulnerable of these people – the sick and elderly – are the ones that suffer most.

A reader of the online San Francisco journal Mission Local tried to introduce a little sanity to the debate by offering advice to local activists:

“If you want stores to stay open then enforce the laws. Otherwise, open your own store and give your stuff away to the creeps you keep propping up.”

And you wonder why there’s a homeless crisis in California.



Read more from Steve Lopez

About the Author:

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area, and now resides in South Florida. A cigar and bourbon aficionado, Steven is a political staff writer for Communities Digital News and an incredibly talented artist.

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Steven M. Lopez

Originally from Los Angeles, Steven M. Lopez has been in the news business for more than thirty years. He made his way around the country: Arizona, the Bay Area and now resides in South Florida.