Walgreens decided to shut down five additional stores due to widespread stealing and insufficient enforcement from the Bay Area to the Big Apple.
“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said in a statement.
“Each store will transfer prescriptions to a nearby Walgreens location within a mile radius and we expect to place the stores’ team members in other nearby locations.” Caruso went on to say, according to FOX Business.
Opponents point to a 2014 California referendum that reduced property theft from a felony to a misdemeanor if the value of the stolen property was less than $950.
“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 spokesperson added according to the New York Post.
According to a San Francisco Board of Supervisors member, Ahsha Safai, the recent closures will have a “significant impact” on the area.
“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,” Safai wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, Oct. 12.
The state’s “disastrous bail reform law,” according to Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, is the reason for the increase in stealing.
The city received 3,709 retail theft reports in August, the most in a single month in the boroughs’ history.
According to the San Francisco Gate, Walgreens has closed at least 10 pharmacies in the city since the start of 2019.
Walgreens was also damaged by a Georgia father and daughter, who were jailed by the federal government on Tuesday, Oct. 12, for raking in millions of dollars by selling stolen retail goods in recent years.
According to the Department of Justice, Robert Whitley and Noni Whitley managed online enterprises that sold items stolen by paid shoplifters who targeted Walgreens, CVS, Kroger, and Publix in Atlanta.
The two were imprisoned for five years or more in federal prison and compelled to pay over $4 million in reparations to the harmed retailers.