California Store Adds Barriers to Combat Recent Wave of Smash-and-Grab Thefts

( Breitbart )

A Safeway supermarket in San Francisco, California, installed new barriers and security gates to deter shoplifters amid a recent state-wide wave of Smash-and-Grab thefts.

Automatic security gates, extra security guards, and barriers are measures Safeway is taking to combat shoplifting. The automatic gates at the store’s entry allow for quick access into the store, but they quickly shut behind them to stop thieves from dashing out tof he store with stolen merchandise.

The self-checkout areas now have barriers surrounding them, and a side exit to the store was blocked off. Additionally, security guards patrol both inside and outside the store.

Safeway said in a statement:

Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft to ensure the wellbeing of our employees and to foster a welcoming environment for our customers. Their safety remains our top priority. These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind

Although the company claimed their new security measures were “long-planned,” the same Safeway location cut its hours in October due to “out of control” shoplifting. As a result, what was once a 24-hour store now closes at 9:00 p.m.

Safeway’s enhanced security measures come amid a two-week wave of smash-and-grab thefts in the Golden State. Primarily impacting the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas, thieves have stolen tens of thousands of dollars from various retailers.

A Lululemon store 50 miles outside of San Francisco was robbed of $40,000 worth of merchandise last month. A Nordstrom 25 miles outside of San Francisco was hit with $125,000 in merchandise stolen around the same time. Iceberg Diamonds in the Bay Area had its inventory “wiped out” by thieves in mid-November.

Traveling south, A Nordstroms’ location in Canoga Park, Los Angeles, saw “an organized group” ransack their store and make away with $25,000 in merchandise. Another Nordstrom location in Los Angeles suffered $5,000 worth of losses in merchandise and $8,000 in cash following a robbery.

Crimewave observers highlight California’s 2014 Proposition 47 as the reason for increased retail robberies, as that law made thefts of $950 or less a misdemeanor as opposed to a felony.

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