California Store Takes Unusual Measure Against Shoplifting

A store in San Francisco is giving each customer a personal security escort to end “rampant shoplifting” in another example of a business finding the operating environment hostile in Southern California, a local news outlet reported Thursday.

Fredericksen Hardware and Paint now asks customers to wait in line behind a table at the front of the store until an employee is free to personally escort each shopper around the store, San Francisco’s KRON4 reported. Shopping is also limited to four hours each business day — two hours service in the morning and two hours in the evening.

“Due to the rampant shoplifting, Fredericksen has introduced a one-on-one shopping experience,” the store tells customers on a sign on a table blocking entry to the store. “Wait here, and a clerk will be right with you to help you with your shopping needs. We’re sorry for the inconvenience!”

According to Manager Sam Black, the San Francisco store designed the new policy to make thieves feel uncomfortable to shoplift with an employee standing next to them, because the severity of the store’s shoplifting problem is getting dangerous for customers and employees.

“It’s pretty bad,” Black told KRON4. “I mean, the dollar amounts are pretty significant, and with the tools and now we’re getting snatch-and-grabs when they take whole displays, so it’s getting kind of dangerous for the employees and the customers.”

“We need more police on our streets, and we need them now,” said neighborhood Supervisor Catherine Stefani.

The crime problem in San Francisco mirrors similar developments in Democrat-run big cities in President Joe Biden’s fourth year in office. In Minneapolis, local businesses in the George Floyd Square sued the city and police in November for abandoning them to street criminals by avoiding the area.

“Criminals know the area lacks police protection, and they have now made the area so dangerous that it has become known as the ‘No Go Zone,’” the lawsuit says.

According to the lawsuit, “The mayor, the city, the city council, and the Minneapolis Police Department collectively agreed to severely limit police response in the barricaded area surrounding plaintiffs’ businesses.”