SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Target has cut its store hours in San Francisco due to rampant and increasingly brazen incidents of shoplifting in certain locations across the city.
A Target spokesperson sent the following statement to KPIX 5, confirming that the decision to adjust the opening hours of stores in San Francisco was related to theft.
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“For more than a month now, we’ve seen a significant and alarming increase in theft and security incidents in our San Francisco stores, similar to other retailers in the area. Target is engaging local law enforcement, elected officials, and community partners to address our concerns. With the safety of our guests, team members and communities a top priority, we have temporarily reduced our opening hours in six stores in San Francisco. “
Target stores in San Francisco have switched to a 9am to 6pm schedule, while most of the other Target stores are open between 7 or 8am and 10pm
“I wasn’t surprised because we saw other retailers in San Francisco close. I take pride in the fact that they are trying to hold on and keep business open, ”said Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association.
Michelin told KPIX that San Francisco is the fifth worst city in the country for retail theft, with Los Angeles taking first place. She says the shoplifters don’t work alone. Often it is young people and people without shelter who are tapped by organized crime to do the dirty work.
“There comes a point – with what we’ve shared with the city’s elected leaders – where these kinds of decisions need to be made,” said Michelin. “The bottom line is when these people don’t feel safe coming to work. Then they have to take these drastic measures. “
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KPIX asked the Mayor of San Francisco, London Breed, to consider Target’s move.
“I think part of that is a combination of our collaboration and the right security and staff to ensure that the customer experience is improved. Cutting hours is not a solution, ”said Breed.
The mayor also said enforcement needs to be addressed.
“The question is, will this person be held accountable for what they did? And that has to be part of the equation too, ”she explained.
Stores like CVS and Walgreens have been major San Francisco destinations for the past several months, as have smaller retail stores. Companies say the thefts, many of which are linked to major criminal fencing operations, are escalating at a rate they have never seen before.
The problem was highlighted recently in a viral video in which a man rummaged through the shelves of a Walgreens store in San Francisco and quietly rode a bike out the door while a security guard and customers watched.
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Andria Borba contributed to this story.