While filming at a Walgreens in San Francisco, California, a CNN film crew witnessed three different people stealing from the store within a span of 30 minutes.
This particular San Francisco store is one of the most robbed Walgreens in the U.S. — and has had to resort to keeping most of its products locked up behind chains or plexiglass.
During the crew’s visit to the store, CNN senior national correspondent Kyung Lah spoke with customers who said that they had never seen anything like it in their lives.
In a video clip shared to Twitter, Lah is heard explaining that theft at this store is “so typical that in the 30 minutes we were at this Walgreens, we watched three people, including this man, steal. Did that guy pay? Did that guy pay? He didn’t pay?”
“Walgreens says this Richmond neighborhood store with aisles of products like mustard locked behind plexiglass has the highest theft rate of all their nearly 9,000 U.S. stores, hit more than a dozen times a day when thieves turn to cleaning out ice cream and frozen burritos, workers grew so frustrated, they resorted to the chains,” she added. “They were ordered down by corporate because of the negative messaging.”
Between 2019 and 2022, shoplifting skyrocketed 20% in San Francisco, according to data from the California Department of Justice.
A major reason behind the staggering increase in shoplifting in San Francisco and across California is Proposition 47 — a law approved by voters in 2014 that made the crime of theft of merchandise under $950 a misdemeanor that is often not even investigated, let alone prosecuted.
Walgreens is not the only San Francisco store taking extreme measures to protect their merchandise from thieves, as many other businesses have begun locking up their products as well — including a nearby grocery store that was even forced to lock up bags of coffee.
CNN also spoke with a man inside the grocery store, who told the film crew that he doesn’t even know how to describe what was happening in San Francisco.
“It’s become kind of like a police state in San Francisco,” he said of the growing trend of locked down stores.
The city’s far-left leadership is even admitting that its policies have caused issues, with San Francisco supervisor Matt Dorsey telling the CNN reporter that the complaints he has been hearing from residents are that it was time for “tough love.”
“We are not doing any addict in this city favors by enabling behavior that is potentially deadly in ways we have never seen,” Dorsey added.
In San Francisco, we went to the Walgreens that is the #1 spot for theft in all the 9000 US stores, per Walgreens. This is where chains once shut the freezer section. And we saw 3 thefts right in front of us. But across SF, coffee, mustard, nail polish– are all locked up: pic.twitter.com/IfYBVgpeI2
— Kyung Lah (@KyungLahCNN) July 25, 2023
Amid the crime crisis in San Francisco, many stores have also permanently closed their doors — including Westfield Mall, AT&T, Nordstrom, Whole Foods and two prominent hotels.