A shocking video making the rounds online showcases a Target store in San Francisco that has virtually all of its merchandise on lockdown.
Retail theft is a major problem in much of California, with critics saying this is the product of Prop 47, which reduced the felony threshold for petty theft and shoplifting — Gov. Gavin Newson supported Prop 47 back in 2014 when he was lieutenant governor — along with Democrats in the state subsidizing homelessness to the tune of billions of dollars and all but legalizing drug use.
And make no mistake, the actions taken by Target were designed to curtail shoplifting:
This is what Target in San Francisco looks like pic.twitter.com/7mVnnbO8cK
— Clown World ™ (@ClownWorld_) April 21, 2023
Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association (CRA) told the New York Post that “people who are drug addicted, who have mental health issues, they candidly will go into stores and they will steal.”
“They will sell those items out on the street, they then make money, they then continue their habit or continue a destructive lifestyle,” she said.
In a statement to Fox News, a Target spokesperson said media reports about all the store’s products being locked up were not true — the video appears to show cosmetic and toiletry products under lock and key.
“Like other retailers, organized retail crime is a concern across our business. We’re taking proactive measures to keep our teams and guests safe while deterring and preventing theft,” the spokesperson said. “These mitigation efforts include hiring additional security guards, adding third-party guard services at select locations, and using new technologies and tools to protect merchandise from being stolen.”
“We are working with legislators, law enforcement, and retail industry partners to support public policy that would help achieve our goals of creating a safe environment in our stores and keeping our doors open in communities across the country,” the rep continued.
Michelin points to the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, also known as Prop 47, which downgraded crimes like theft of goods under $950 from felonies to misdemeanors, according to the Post. The problem is compounded by soft-on-crime prosecutors, resulting in repeat offenders preying on retail chains in California.
San Francisco/Oakland is ranked only behind Los Angeles as the most hard-hit metropolitan area by theft in 2020 and 2021, according to the National Retail Federation’s 2022 retail security survey.
“That’s where there is a flaw in Prop 47 because Prop 47 was promised to say, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have safe schools and communities,’” Michelin said. “Well, we don’t.”
“When they made the changes, particularly to the retail theft… they opened this huge loophole where there’s zero consequence for the behavior because I’m not going to be held accountable for going in and stealing,” she added.
Michelin also called attention to California “pouring money” into housing and programs to help homeless people, before stressing that drug addicts don’t avail themselves of this help.
“Californians are gonna continue to suffer and, what I’m afraid of is that you’re gonna continue to see… armed guards in front of our stores, which nobody wants,” she said. “But we have to protect our employees and we have to protect our customers. And unfortunately, I think there are folks in California who are more interested in protecting the people committing the crimes than the law-abiding citizens of our state.”
On that note, just last week a Home Depot loss prevention employee was shot and killed just south of San Francisco when he tried to stop a shoplifter who fled the scene with her boyfriend and 2-year-old child.
Blake Mohs (26) had plans to get married to his fiancé in August
Today he was shot and killed trying to stop shoplifters in Home Depot pic.twitter.com/KWMiNKZWuX
— End Wokeness (@EndWokeness) April 20, 2023
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