Back in May, the pharmacy Walgreens announced the closure of ten stores in San Francisco because rampant shoplifting made it impossible for them to turn a profit. In the past five years a total of seventeen of the chain’s stores have closed in the city.
It’s not hard to see why shoplifting would be so damaging. Walgreens has a gross margin of 18.7%, so for every dollar of product they lose to shoplifting they need to sell at least $5.34 to earn it back. Selling enough volume of product to make up losses to shoplifting is impossible when your customers can simply steal from you without consequence, and that’s what San Francisco’s policies have done.
A new viral video is shining insight on the surreal lawlessness environment businesses in San Francisco face in a city that prioritizes the interests of criminals above its citizens. Stories identical to what can be gleaned in the video below have been around for years, but it’s still shocking to see on video.
According to the Daily Caller:
A man was caught on camera brazenly stealing a bag full of items Monday night from a San Francisco Walgreens as two people and a security guard stood by helplessly.
An unidentified man who obscured his face with a face mask can be seen shoveling items into a garbage bag as a woman and a security guard stand mere feet away recording, according to footage captured at a Walgreens in San Francisco by ABC 7 reporter Lyanne Melendez.
After taking his fill of items, the thief hops onto his bike and rides past the security guard and woman, seemingly undeterred. The security guard attempts to knock the bag out of the thief’s hand but to no avail.
Back in 2014 a San Francisco ballot referendum passed that downgraded the theft of property of less than $950 from a felony to misdemeanor. While some states classify shoplifting below a $1,000 threshold as a misdemeanor, the enforcement of such charges has fallen off a cliff in San Francisco, effectively legalizing shoplifting as a result. One study found that immediately after the referendum was passed, even as crimes unaffected by it fell 9%, larceny thefts increased 15%.
Priorities are so twisted that retailers who apprehend thieves can be sued. And several shoplifters have sued business owners, with some claiming to be victims of racial profiling.
San Francisco’s District Attorney is Chesa Boudin, who the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association calls the “#1 choice of criminals and gang members.” Both his parents were members of the radical Weather Underground, and he was raised by Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn because his parents were impassioned, convicted of murder.
Boudin won by a slim 3,000 votes to get the position, and even more serious crimes are going unprosecuted now.
Since taking office in January 2020 through March 2021, Boudin tried 23 cases resulting in 16 convictions. In 2019 during the same timeframe, his predecessor (interim DA Suzy Loftus) tried 294 cases, and got 203 convictions. In 2020, the San Francisco Police Department presented 6,333 felonies to Boudin’s office, and 40% of cases were dropped. In neighboring Alameda, only 11.4% of cases were dropped, and there were 1,413 convictions.
Unsurprisingly, many residents are heading for the exit, as evidenced by rent prices collapsing 30% since mid-2019.
Matt Palumbo is the author of Dumb and Dumber: How Cuomo and de Blasio Ruined New York, Debunk This: Shattering Liberal Lies, and Spygate
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