SF pledges to crack down on retail shoplifting
» The mayor and police chief of San Francisco announced Wednesday they’ll dedicate more police, beef up coordination and make it easier to report shoplifters in an attempt to crack down on brazen commercial thieving that has added to the city’s reputation as soft on crime.
Mayor London Breed said at a news conference that organized shoplifting results in closed pharmacies and markets, hurting people who rely on those establishments for work, medication and food. She said that while San Francisco is known for its compassion, stealing will not be tolerated.
“We care about criminal justice reform. We care about second chances. We care about making sure that people are not wrongly accused,” she said. “But don’t take our kindness for weakness, our compassion for weakness.”
The frustration and fear have been fueled by widely circulating images of shoplifting caught on video. This summer, shoplifters in masks carrying armfuls of designer handbags sprinted from a downtown Neiman Marcus department store and into getaway cars. In June, a masked man was caught on video at a Walgreens, stuffing items into a trash bag before cruising out of the store on a bicycle.