Brazen theft at San Francisco pharmacy captured on video highlights city-wide problem

Shoplifting has been a major issue in San Francisco in recent years

Chantal da Silva@chantaladasilva
Tuesday 15 June 2021 19:33

Video posted to social media has captured a brazen shoplifting incident at a Walgreens pharmacy in San Francisco, highlighting a growing issue plaguing retailers in recent years.

In video reportedly captured on Monday afternoon at a Walgreens pharmacy, a man with a bicycle can be seen filling a shopping bag with different items as a customer and security guard watch on, filming the incident on their phones.

The man can be seen then placing the shopping bag in a basket attached to his bicycle before riding down the aisle towards onlookers.

A security guard appears to make a move to grab the shopping bag, but fails and the man can be seen cycling out the door not long after with his shoplifted goods.

While some have criticised the security guard for not doing more in response to the incident, others have said they feel the situation was “handled correctly”.

“The security guard got it all on video and no store patron was injured in the process. Win-Win,” one social media user wrote. “The video will be circulated throughout the Bay Area Law enforcement. Dude is screwed. This was handled correctly.”

In a tweet, Ahsha Safaí, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors representing Supervisorial District 11, condemned the incident, writing: “This is exactly why I held a hearing on organized retail theft and am pushing for greater accountability on shoplifting”.

According to The San Francisco Chronicle, Mr Safaí held a hearing last month on retail crime with District Attorney Chesa Boudin, police and retailers.

The hearing sought to address the issue of shoplifting in San Francisco as Walgreens and CVS locations have closed pharmacies across the city following a reported uptick in thefts.

According to The Chronicle, the pharmaceutical’s chains in the city have seen four times the average of shoplifting in locations elsewhere in the country.

Over the past five years alone, Walgreens has reportedly had to shutter 17 stores in San Francisco.