SPAM meat product is locked up at NYC store among high inflation-related thefts: ‘I’ve never seen that before!’

With inflation and crime spiraling out of control, a New York City store has taken to locking up even the cheapest of meats, including the all-American can of mystery, SPAM.

Though just $3.99 a can, Duane Reade’s Port Authority bus station store is protecting its SPAM, canned ham, and other easily-pocketed foods under lock-and-key, surprising shoppers and sparking a “life is art” conversation about the economy on Twitter.

“The thoroughly revamped loss-prevention regime at the Port Authority Duane Reade has finally created something of beauty, a sort of Jeff Koons homage,” stated blogger Willy Staley. “I’d love to have one to keep, case and all — but there’s only one way to do that…”

Even the store’s employees were surprised by the security measures.

“I’ve never seen that before!” a cashier told the New York Post.

It’s one of the “many things in boxes” noticed by Jenny Kenny, a visitor from Louisville, KY.

While she knew crime waves were plaguing cities like New York and San Francisco, she still felt the precautions were excessive.

“Some of these things are pretty ridiculous,” she said.

As BizPac Review reported in February, stores such as Walgreens in San Francisco started locking up anything of value after brazen shoplifters, emboldened by soft-on-crime policies, simply waltzed in, cleared their shelves of items, and waltzed out with bags full of stolen goods.

Similar progressive policies in the Big Apple, coupled with soaring prices, have led to a string of meat heists, BizPac reported.

Still, many feel caging SPAM against would-be thieves is a bit much.

“To put SPAM in a cage is stupid — and kind of insulting to the customers that would buy it,” shopper Dennis Snow told The Post. While he doesn’t believe the canned meat is being stolen to “sell it for crack,” he does think the local homeless population may lift it for a quick and easy meal.

Teacher Delia Kemph agrees.

“Someone is stealing this because they need it,” she said.

And according to employees at the store, the anti-theft cases have done little to stop shoplifters, who they say have been hitting the store with greater frequency over the past two -plus years. One employee estimated that at least four shoplifters lift something from the store every evening shift.

“I don’t think they stop anything,” said store clerk Iggy. “It’s security theater. If you really needed it, you would stomp on it.”

For some, the lockdown of SPAM is just annoying.

“If you’re gonna catch a train, you wanna grab something quick, it’s not quick anymore,” said Liz Tawfik. “You might as well have someone take your order at the door and get you what you want.”

And on Twitter, many think it’s a disturbing sign of the times.

“Ok…. I think #inflation has officially gotten out of control….” wrote one user.


Melissa Fine


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