Walgreens recently closed its 10th store in San Francisco, as continued shoplifting has made the stores unprofitable to operate. The company’s stores have apparently been frequent targets of shoplifters, with some stores losing as much as $1,000 a day to theft. The situation is exacerbated by weak California laws and molly-coddling on the part of San Francisco prosecutors.
Under California law, theft of less than $950 worth of goods is considered a nonviolent misdemeanor. And San Francisco’s District Attorney Chesa Baudin hasn’t helped matters. The Soros-supported prosecutor, formerly a public defender, has like most Soros-supported prosecutors around the country taken a decidedly soft approach to prosecuting theft.
As a result, thieves know that they can shoplift with impunity. Store clerks aren’t going to stop them, and police may not even arrest them. Even if they do get arrested, they’ll likely get released in no time, so that they can get back on the streets shoplifting again. And if they ever do get found guilty, they’ll get a slap on the wrist, maybe some sort of counseling rather than prison time. Without serious consequences for their actions, they’ll continue stealing because in today’s San Francisco, crime pays.
The impact on consumers is quite negative, however, as they will soon face more business closures and fewer opportunities to buy food and medicine. Already the Walgreens closures are causing angst among customers, who complain that the Walgreens locations taking over their prescriptions are less accessible.
Big city liberals whine about businesses not wanting to set up shop in high crime areas, or about food deserts in urban locations. There’s a reason for that, because businesses aren’t charities, and they can’t keep stores open if they keep getting victimized by thieves. Liberals try to blame the companies for that, rather than accepting responsibility for the problem by their encouragement of theft through policies designed ostensibly to rehabilitate criminals rather than punish them. The reality is that unless crime is punished, it will continue, and the innocent law-abiding citizens will end up being doubly victimized.