Post by John Kuthe
It was just late a little!
But now I have plenty of CBD Balm again! Good emollient based on beeswax and cannabis, which is gonna be nationally legalized SOON! Because it is what We The People want!
John Kuthe, RN, BSN...
The Shoplifting Capital of the U.S.A.
Maybe someday San Francisco will stop favoring criminals over law-abiding businesses.
t ought to be possible to operate a retail store in one of America’s largest and most iconic cities, but this
most basic commercial proposition is in doubt in San Francisco.
The erstwhile Golden City is beset by an ongoing tide of theft that is closing down retail locations and
demonstrating again the city’s unwillingness to govern itself.
Cities around the country dub themselves “the capital” of this or that signature product: artichokes in
Castroville, Calif.; earmuffs in Farmington, Maine; spinach in Alma, Ark.; fried chicken in Barberton, Ohio.
San Francisco, and the larger Bay Area, could now easily claim the title of Shoplifting Capital of the
U.S.A., should it want the honor.
Hey, look — here are 80 people engaged in a large-scale, smash-and-grab robbery of a Nordstrom in
Walnut Creek outside of San Francisco last weekend, one of a series of jaw-dropping thefts over the
past several days, including an operation that cleared out a Louis Vuitton on San Francisco’s Union Square.
Check this out — people with fancy handbags running out of a Neiman Marcus into waiting cars.
You won’t believe it — this guy loads merchandise from a Walgreen’s into a big trash bag and jumps
on his bike to ride down the aisle and out of the store.
These aren’t episodic crimes. Walgreens says that its San Francisco stores experience a level of
theft five times the national average. As a consequence, the chain has been steadily closing locations. It
has shuttered 17 already and last month announced five more closures, including the one hit by the
man on the bike (who was finally arrested after robbing the store one too many times).
Target and Safeway have been reducing hours to try to limit the exposure of their locations to theft.
Stores often put the likes of toothpaste and shampoo behind security locks, as if they are high-end
goods or the outlets are operating in Caracas, Venezuela.
The shoplifting problem represents a deliberate choice rather than an unstoppable tide. Modern societies
long ago figured out how to maintain civil order such that law-abiding people could buy and sell goods
without being systematically preyed on by thieves. It’s just that the Bay Area has chosen to forget.
California adopted Proposition 47 in 2014 that made thefts of $950 or less a misdemeanor. Once
people realized that they were unlikely to be arrested or prosecuted for stealing less than $1,000, they,
of course, responded to the incentive. For their part, the stores advise employees not to interfere with
shoplifters, lest they get hurt. Many crimes don’t even go reported.
And so, it is open season for people to take whatever they want.
New York City famously reestablished order in the 1990s based on “broken windows” policing, or a focus
on offenses that degraded the quality of life; San Francisco and similar locales are engaged in “broken
windows” neglect — the broken windows being at high-end stores struck by emboldened robbers.
This is a polity deciding that it is more important to stay its own hand from arresting and jailing criminals
than to protect businesses from getting robbed, protect duly employed people from having to watch
reprobates flout the law, and protect neighborhoods from losing retail outlets that they depend on.
The stance of San Francisco isn’t exactly anti-business. No, it is, in effect, privileging one business model
over another. On the one hand, there are the legitimate businesses that buy their goods and sell them in
legal market transactions. On the other, there are the organized-crime rings that oversee the theft of vast
amounts of merchandise that is turned around and sold online.
The former model should be given the environment to thrive, the latter ground to dust. A rational society
knows this, and perhaps, one day, San Francisco will again as well.
© 2021 by King Features Syndicate