Rising Rate of Organized Theft Forced Stores to Limit Hours

Retailers are forced to close their stores and limit their operating hours, as coordinated crime sprees storm major cities in New York, California, and elsewhere. 

Organized gangs of shoplifters are storming major cities in the country

Shoplifters are howling major cities, regularly running off with hundreds of dollars worth of items that they usually resell online, in street markets, or in exchange for gift cards. 

As managers seek to ensure employees’ safety and secure merchandise, five Target stores reduced their operating hours. They are now closing earlier at 6 pm instead of their usual store hours of up to 10 pm. 

Organized gangs in various stores all over the country boldly steal branded items even with security personnel present. This comes after California raised their threshold for a felony charge to $950 in stolen goods compared to the lower amount of $450 before. 

William Scott Chief Police of San Francisco told NBC News that thieves would calculate the worth of the goods shoplifted to make sure it falls below the $950 threshold.

Meanwhile, officers cannot take action for misdemeanor theft; thus stores should hire their own security guards and make private person arrest. 

San Francisco Target stores have been experiencing an alarming and significant rise in theft and security incidents for over a month.

A spokesman of Target told Fox News that other retailers in the Bay Area including Gap, H&M, Marshalls, and Walgreens, also decided to reduce their store hours due to incidents of theft. 

The spokesman of Target also added that the company is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and partners in the community to address these alarming concerns.

He added that their top priority is the safety of their guests, communities, and team members. The spokesman also declared that they temporarily reduced the store hours of Target in five locations in San Francisco. 

Theft in Walgreens stores in San Francisco is 4x higher than average

According to a report by San Francisco Chronicle, in the last five years, Walgreens has also closed 17 store locations around San Francisco, citing theft. 

Jason Cunningham, Walgreens’ regional vice president in California and Hawaii, stated that the theft in Walgreens stores in the San Francisco area is four times higher than the average stores anywhere else in the country. 

Accordingly, Walgreens spends 35 times more on security in San Francisco, compared to any other areas where their stores operate. 

In a viral video last week from San Francisco, it showed a gang of thieves running out of Union Square carrying designer bags before riding in a getaway vehicle. 

This latest incident provoked Rachel Michelin, the president of California Retailers Association, to call for a statewide approach to this rising organized theft in the state.

She argued that local officials can no longer afford to snub law enforcement.