A thief rode his bicycle into a San Francisco Walgreens and filled an entire trash bag with goods as security stood by and did nothing.
The thief was confident that there would be no consequences as the extremely liberal city has essentially stopped prosecuting people for theft and shoplifting after a 2014 ballot referendum downgraded the theft of property less than $950 in value from a felony charge to a misdemeanor.
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) June 14, 2021
ABC7 reporter Lyanne Melendez tweeted a video of the incident, which she said took place at the Walgreens on the corner of Gough and Fell streets.
A shocked witness who was filming the incident asked the security guard, who was also filming, if he was going to call 9-1-1. He didn’t.
The guard half-heartedly attempted to grab the bag as the thief casually cycled by, but was unsuccessful.
In May, the Independent reported that Walgreens has closed 17 of its stores due to rampant stealing, and CVS has called the city “one of the epicenters of organized retail crime.”
Speaking to the New York Times, Brendan Dugan, the director of the retail crime division at CVS Health, called San Francisco “one of the epicenters of organized retail crime” and said employees were instructed not to pursue suspected thieves because encounters had become too dangerous.
“We’ve had incidents where our security officers are assaulted on a pretty regular basis in San Francisco,” Dugan said.
The situation is so out of control that shoplifters often sell their stolen goods on the street – not far from the store where they stole them.
Ahsha Safaí, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, recalled to the New York Times seeing thieves selling their stolen wares just around the corner from the store they robbed.
“Half of Walgreens was on the sidewalk. I’m not kidding,” Safaí said. “I was blown away. I’ve never seen anything like it in this city.”
Thieves “are obviously choosing locales based on what the consequences are,” Safaí added. “If there are no consequences for their actions, then you invite the behavior. Over and over.”