The effects of allowing chaos to prevail in Democrat-controlled cities across America might not be evident to liberals and social justice warriors now, but when businesses close up, it's going to be very transparent then.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Walgreens Pharmacy locations have shuttered their doors in San Francisco during the past five years. At least ten of the stores in the city have closed since 2019.
Like many other retailers, Walgreens is blaming Proposition 47, which lowered penalties for thefts under $950 and sparked dramatic increases in shoplifting across the metro area over the last several years. Prop. 47 is supported by criminal justice reformers and the liberal establishment, who have also managed to defund the local police.
Combining the two has allowed professional shoplifters, homeless, and drug addicts to easily work the system and steal items under the monetary threshold from store to store with limited penalties.
Walgreens San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the Chronicle that the situation is "out of control," adding:
"People are scared to go into these stores — seniors, people with disabilities, children. It's just happening brazenly."
The cost of business and shoplifting is staggering for Walgreens. Despite closing 17 stores, the company still has 53 open in the metro area but could close more by the end of the year.
Thefts at Walgreens' in the city are four times the average for other stores across the country. The pharmacy chain spends 35 times more on security guards in the city than elsewhere, said Jason Cunningham, regional vice president for pharmacy and retail operations in California and Hawaii.
To address the widespread shoplifting problem, Safaí held a hearing Thursday, May 13, with other retailers, local police, District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and probation departments. The Chronicle said retailers at the hearing blamed "professional thieves instead of opportunistic shoplifters who may be driven by poverty."
The penalty for shoplifting is a "nonviolent misdemeanor" that carries a maximum sentence of 6 months. But in most cases, for simple shoplifting, the criminal is released with conditions. Stay under the $950 threshold, and repeat offenders can continue running amuck in shopping districts.
Other retailers are likely to follow Walgreens' lead and exit the city as it descends into a socio-economic hellhole. San Francisco has likely peaked.