Target store locks aisles of merchandise in response to crisis in San Francisco

The Target store in San Francisco has implemented a strict security measure as a result of the city’s shoplifting crisis.

On TikTok, a video was posted showing the store’s aisles containing toiletries and cosmetics kept under lock and key.

Usually, only small, valuable items like razors are locked away, but due to the high rate of shoplifting, even larger items such as mouthwash, shampoo, and lotion were taken off the shelves and secured. This practice has been in place since October 2020 in the Folsom Street store near the Mission District, as stated by WNCT-TV.

The Bay Area is one of the most affected areas in the country when it comes to organized retail crime, and even Walgreens had to close 5 stores due to theft. The National Retail Federation’s 2022 retail security survey ranked San Francisco/Oakland as the 2nd most affected metropolitan area from theft, only behind Los Angeles.

Shoplifters usually target body wash and other over-the-counter medications that can be sold in the black market. New York City is now the 3rd most affected area after Chicago. 71% of the surveyed retailers reported a “substantial” or “moderate” increase in organized retail crime, and 55% of them attributed this to the policies that reduce or essentially eliminate cash bail for non-violent crimes in cities such as San Francisco and New York.

The city has seen an increase in violent crimes, highlighted by the stabbing murder of Cash App founder Bob Lee and the unprovoked crowbar attack of Fire Commissioner Don Carmignani. This has caused a Whole Foods Market in downtown San Francisco to close 2 weeks ago.

In order to address the staffing shortage and to mitigate crime, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted last week to approve a new police contract. The city’s police department is currently understaffed by 25%, with 562 officers retiring or resigning, as stated by Police Chief Bill Scott. Mayor London Breed commented that people want officers to focus on open-air drug dealing, retail theft, home burglaries, and violence, but they need more police officers to deliver.