A brazen San Francisco man bragged that it was ‘easy’ to shoplift from a crime-hit Safeway store while being interviewed by a TV crew about its new security features.
The unnamed man, clad in a mask, made the bold admission while being questioned about new anti-shoplifting measures deployed at the supermarket in the crime-ravaged California city’s Castro neighborhood.
He declared: ‘I think that they’re not very good because I’ve personally been able to shoplift from here with relative ease.’
When asked by an incredulous KPIX reporter why he would do that, the young man simply replied: ‘I was hungry’ and warned that the new security features would not deter him from stealing again.
The store’s new features include barriers aimed at making it harder to run from the store after looting, poles added to shopping carts, and an increase in security guard numbers. The new measures comes as crime in San Francisco has been at a high, recording more than 10,000 car robberies and almost 600 commercial burglaries in 2021 alone.
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The upgrades in security were not so impressive for a young man who blatantly admitted that he has previously shoplifted at the store due to hunger
This Safeway revealed a host of new security features in a bid to deter shoplifters – but one prior offender said he could make light work of them
Barriers like these are intended to make it harder for looters to flee, with extra security also drafted in
Crime in San Francisco has been climbing steadily, with larceny theft outweighing any other infraction. There was a 13.4% spike in larceny from the start of the year through November 14, as compared to the same time last year, according to the city police department’s most recent data.
Homicide is also on the rise, by 9.3%, human trafficking has gone up by 27.3%, assault has spiked by 8.7%, and arson has risen by 7.8%. Overall crime has spiked by 7.5%.
But the upgrades in security were not so impressive for a young man who blatantly admitted that he has previously shoplifted at the store.
In addition to the gates and guards the supermarket also added barriers around the self-checkout area, closed off a side exit, and added a wall of water bottles that directs customers to the front exit. KPIX 5 reported.
The store, which used to be open 24 hours a day, now closes at 9 pm.
In addition to the gates and guards the supermarket also added barriers around the self-checkout area
The San Francisco supermarket also added a wall of water bottles that directs customers to the front exit
Some shoppers are glad extra measures are being taken to combat theft.
‘Honestly, I think it’s probably good that they did that cause there was a really bad shoplifting problem almost every single time I came here, there was some type of ruckus happening,’ Chris Mejia told KPIX.
‘Lots of times there was people running and security following or trying to stop them,’ Mejia added.
Safeway told KPIX 5 in a statement that the new measures are meant to discourage shoplifting and to keep customers safe.
‘Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and to foster a welcoming environment for our customers. Their safety remains our top priority. These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind.’
The San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles have been among the hardest hit regions in a series of robberies undertaken by gangs of thieves.
Police in Los Angeles had announced 14 arrests last week in connection with 11 recent smash-and-grab robberies at stores where nearly $340,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, but all the suspects have been released.
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said that most of the accused robbers suspected of ransacking businesses between November 18 and 28 were bailed out or met no-bail criteria, and one is a juvenile.
At a joint news conference, both Moore and Mayor Eric Garcetti called for an end to a no-bail policy for some defendants aimed at reducing overcrowding at Los Angeles County jails during the coronavirus pandemic.
In California, a statewide policy of imposing $0 bail for misdemeanors and lower-level felonies ended last year, but it was kept in place within the LA County Superior Court system.
‘You could be arrested for a crime such as burglary, a serious felony… and that’s zero bail, meaning that we book and process and identify you, and then your arraignment day is three to four months from now,’ Moore said.
LAPD’s top cop said at least $338,000 in goods were stolen over ten days from stores and malls across the city that incurred $40,000 in property damage. Investigators are searching for multiple outstanding suspects, he said.
There were 7,386 robberies in Los Angeles this year through November 20, the LAPD’s most recent data, as compared to 7,386 last year.