An investigation by Inside Edition has found that blue city shoppers are having to wait as long as 40 minutes to buy essential items. Why? Because all the essential items have been placed behind lock and key due to massive theft.
“Brazen shoplifting has led to stores locking pretty much everything. There’s often so much wait time for help it feels like you shop until you drop,” an Inside Edition reporter revealed during a segment that aired online this week.
“Thanks to brazen thieves, retailers are locking up more products than ever. Baby formula, razors, tooth paste. And that’s creating frustration for customers across the country,” the reporter added.
I’ve never seen a Walmart with so many items locked up.
Where I live, it’s just video games and guns that are caged.
Flagging an employee to get your game for you is a hassle as is. I couldn’t imagine asking an employee to grab every single item. pic.twitter.com/l1Nj9QCQJK
— TrashQueen’s Spooky Booty (@Trashqueen_01) January 11, 2021
The investigation involved the outlet’s reporters visiting five Targets, five Walmarts and five CVS stores in New York and New Jersey, and then timing how long it took to retrieve items from their locked containers.
At one New Jersey Walmart, the reporters had to wait 15 minutes to buy some baby formula and 24 minutes to buy a toothbrush. In total, they had to wait 40 minutes just to buy just three items.
Over at a Target in Manhattan meanwhile, one would-be customer told Inside Edition he waited 13 to 14 minutes inside the store for assistance with a locked item before giving up.
These blue city blues have coincided with a massive uptick in blue city theft crimes. The New York Post reported in June that retail theft in New York City was so bad that one supermarket had decided to even lock up $6 cartons of Haagen-Dazs.
“To help maintain the lowest possible cost, a protective lock has been placed on some units of ice cream. This lock will be removed at checkout by a store associate. We apologize for any inconvenience,” a sign inside the Fairway supermarket read.
Walgreens in San Francisco has chained up the freezer section to deter shoplifters ⛓️
Workers said normally shoplifters clean out all the pizza and ice cream every night. They’re usually hit 20x a day. The whole store is virtually locked up.
— BAY AREA STATE OF MIND (@YayAreaNews) July 18, 2023
“This is the age we live in now, unfortunately. This is the New York that we know. This has nothing to do with anything other than people coming in and ripping off places that are trying to make money,” one local resident told the Post.
Over at a Manhattan Duane Reade, which is a chain owned by Walgreens, the store “fastened a chain across a freezer door with a padlock to protect tubs of Breyers [ice cream] along with Oreo Cookie ice cream sandwiches and other frozen desserts,” the Post notes.
“People used to come with garbage bags and fill up the garbage bags with ice cream. Clear out our freezers. We had to put the locks on because people kept stealing our Red Bull and Ice cream out the fridge,” a Duane Reade employee told the paper.
“Having to wait for an available worker to get my ice cream is a turn off,” another local shopper told the Post.
It’s such a turn-off that some customers have taken to social media platforms like TikTok to complain about the locks and call out retailers like Target, among others:
Here’s one example:
@dr.ems It literally felt like @target doesn’t even want us to shop there anymore #targetrun #dystopia #endstagecapitalism ♬ original sound – Emily Long, MD
The problem with these complaints, though, is there appears to be no recognition of the root cause of the locked goods: Crime.
And not just any crime, but the crime that has specifically been allowed to flourish in big cities thanks to the inane policies of the lawmakers that people like the woman above have voted into office.
“The shoplifting crisis was fueled in part by the state’s controversial 2019 bail reform law, which requires judges to cut loose criminals who commit misdemeanors and some nonviolent felonies, critics say,” according to the Post.
“The soft-on-crime approach encourages repeat theft, according to police — who reported that nearly a third of all shoplifting busts last year involved the same 327 people, who were rearrested thousands of times,” the Post notes.
Nearly 15,000 retail thefts in the NYC area were recorded in the first quarter of 2023 alone, according to NYPD data. Prior to the Black Lives Matter riots of 2020, on the other hand, retail thefts totaled just a bit under 9,000 quarterly.
The San Mateo Target has cetaphil locked up and… vacuum cleaners? pic.twitter.com/ysGGxDMybb
— Dennis T Cheung (@dtc) September 16, 2023
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