San Francisco police covertly seized retail stores and pharmacies to prevent shoplifting.

San Francisco police have raided retail and grocery stores to catch thieves and have arrested 60 people since an undercover operation began last month, officials said.

“Retail theft is not a victimless crime. It hurts our local businesses,” SFPD spokesman Adam Lobsinger said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“It’s hurting our workers who are cutting hours or losing their jobs,” Lobsinger added. “It hurts people who shop to support their families and our seniors who depend on neighborhood pharmacies that are forced to close.”

Details of the operation are sketchy, but police say officers have been deployed across the city to monitor pharmacies, grocery stores and retail stores. The stores include Walgreens, Old Navy, Target, Whole Foods, CVS and Macy’s, the Chronicle reported.

“These operations have resulted in 13 felonies, over 47 misdemeanors and will continue,” the SFPD said in a statement.


San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott speaks to reporters about the home invasion and assault at the home of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on October 28, 2022 in San Francisco.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Of the 60 suspects arrested, about half were charged with burglary, while the other half were charged with crimes ranging from shoplifting to grand larceny.

Raj Vaswani, deputy head of the department, said the operation would take at least another month.

“We will evaluate it and see how successful it is,” Vaswani said. “Of course, we also have to look at the overall resources and how sustainable it is.”


Both the mayor and the district attorney have released statements supporting the crackdown on theft crimes.

“Solving retail theft is a priority for my office, and we have worked closely with the San Francisco Police Department to ensure accountability and appropriate consequences in all cases,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement.

London Mayor Brooke Jenkins speaks during a news conference at City Hall on Thursday, July 7, 2022, in San Francisco.

London Mayor Brooke Jenkins speaks during a news conference at City Hall on Thursday, July 7, 2022, in San Francisco.
(Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

“Such operations not only result in arrests and pursuits, but they also send a message that there are consequences when you cross the border in San Francisco,” added San Francisco Mayor London Brad in a statement, the Chronicle’ according to “This is a city responsibility and we will continue to build strong partnerships with our retailers to tackle shoplifting in their stores so we can create a safer place for residents and workers.”

San Francisco has seen a rash of shoplifting crimes in recent years, prompting some stores to close or reduce hours. Walgreens, for example, announced earlier this year that it would close four stores in the city because of “organized retail crime.”

The Bay Area has been plagued by a spate of hit-and-run crimes since last year, with criminals rushing into high-end stores armed with bats and other weapons and making off with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

San Francisco shoplifting: Caught on video stealing resumes with bags full of stolen goods

San Francisco Police Department logo over city photo.

San Francisco Police Department logo over city photo.
(San Francisco Police)

Proposition 47, passed in 2014 by West Coast police unions, defined violent crimes. Under the law, charges for theft of $950 or less were downgraded from misdemeanors to misdemeanors. The measure was supported by various Democratic state leaders as well as the ACLU.

“San Francisco voters were misled by the ACLU. Voters were told that criminalizing burglars is really a racist attack on people of color whose only crime is poverty. So the Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act “Proposition 47 has reduced crimes. Misdemeanors for theft of goods valued at $950 or less,” Tony Montoya, president of the San Francisco Police Officers Union, said last year.

The offices of Breed and Jenkins, as well as the police department, were contacted Monday morning but did not immediately receive a response.

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