San Francisco, CA

California Stores to Close Over Rampant Shoplifting

Toni Koraza
Photo by Pxfuel

Videos of brazen shoplifting frenzies circulate on social media.

You've probably seen clips of audacious people snatching stuff from Walgreens, TJ Maxx, and similar shops in California. Here's one.

Retail workers are not paid enough to deal with organized crime

And police say their hands are tied when it comes to petty theft. In this case, stealing property worth less than $950 is considered a misdemeanor. So, police claim they rely on citizens to prevent such incidents.

"Shoplifters get off easy in California, where stealing goods worth less than $950 is a mere misdemeanor—if the crime is prosecuted at all. Bad actors have taken advantage, and this week Walgreens announced the closure of five SF stores plagued by theft," writes WSJ.

Shoplifting is one big party in California, according to the above claims. So, why pay for anything under $950 when you can just take it?

Your weekly groceries are probably cheaper than $950.

Can you fill up your shopping cart and walk away without paying?

No, not really.

I wouldn't advise anyone to commit any crime, being a petty one or a severe felony. Don't break the law. Just don't.

While individuals get away with stealing at their local shops, many face a different outcome. A video of four officers beating a teen to a pulp also circulates the ethos. You can find similar videos on the web too. So, does that make California a police state?

Again, not really.

Social media can bend the truth in any direction

For example, Walgreens' spokesperson claims they're closing locations in California over shoplifting issues. They can't deal with the amount of stolen property.

"Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco," stated a Walgreens representative.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed is pushing against the claims. Many are railing behind her.

One narrative makes it seem like property theft is your classic Tuesday in California. However, crime statistics and data uncover a different truth.

San Francisco Shoplifting has been in steady decline since the early 1990s, according to California DOJ.

Other states have a higher threshold for misdemeanors

Stealing $1,000 in Texas would get you a fine. You'd need to walk out with over $2,500 worth of goods to earn a felony charge. Does that mean grand shoplifting is legal in Texas?

Well, no. Of course not. Theft in Texas is not legal the same way theft in California is not legal. Most people will end up in trouble if caught stealing. So, don't break the law.

Luckily, property crimes are in steady decline in the United States, following a global trend.

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