5 Walgreens Locations in San Francisco Close Due to Shoplifting

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The company said it had increased security measures at locations in the city to try to stop the major losses.

Five Walgreens locations in San Francisco are scheduled to close permanently after the company cited “organized” shoplifting in the city as the reason, The New York Times reported.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco,” Phil Caruso, a spokesman for Walgreens, said in an email to the paper. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average.”

The company says the thieves who are shoplifting from the stores are professional and resell the items they steal online.

The San Francisco district attorney’s office told the paper that they had been prosecuting shoplifting cases, and working with California Highway Patrol and ALTO, an organization that works to address retail theft.

“Our office takes retail theft very seriously and we have taken several steps in the last 

year to better prevent and prosecute these crimes,” spokeswoman Sara Yousuf, said. “Last year, our Retail Theft Taskforce worked with law enforcement partners in an operation that led to the recovery of more than $8 million in stolen items.”

Walgreens said it had increased “investments in security measures” at stores in San Francisco to try to stop the thefts, but it appears that wasn’t enough.

The San Francisco stores aren’t the only locations closing, however. In 2019, Walgreens announced that they would be closing 200 locations across the United States as part of a cost-save initiative, The Times reported.

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