By Stephen Sorace

July 28, 2021

-Fox News


A witness captured a group of women running out of a San Francisco CVS Pharmacy with bags allegedly stuffed full of stolen items as a spree of retail thefts continue to plague the city.

The incident, first reported by KTVU FOX2 reporter Henry K. Lee, happened around 5 p.m. Monday at the drugstore located at Van Ness Avenue and Jackson Street.

Witness Steve Adams told Lee that the four women were “picking the place dry” and that when he asked store employees if they were going to call police, “they just shrugged.”

“This sort of thing is becoming so normal,” the witness told Lee.

Retail thefts have been troubling major cities in recent months, forcing some stores to close their doors or limit operating hours.

Multiple incidents in California have been captured on camera, including a viral video from earlier this month that shows a group of shoplifters dashing out of a Neiman Marcus department store in San Francisco and jumping into idling getaway cars.

Meanwhile in Los Angeles, another video that began circulating online last week appears to show two men in the suburb of Granda Hills casually leaving a TJ Maxx store with their arms full of items.

Authorities and retail officials in San Francisco have said that packs of shoplifters have regularly made off with merchandise to be resold.

Shoplifters aren’t stealing “one or two items that someone might need to get by,” San Francisco Police Department spokesman Robert Rueca told Fox News last week. “Our investigations have shown that there are organized fences where people are selling these products that they steal.”

Millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise has been stolen from retailers in San Francisco, California Retail Association President Rachel Michelin told Fox News, adding that the funds from stolen items are ultimately used by crime syndicates.

State officials have begun making efforts to crack down on retail thefts and other crimes following the recent surge of incidents involving shoplifters.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is facing a recall vote, signed a bill last week to create crime task forces around the California Highway Patrol and local agencies to address organized theft rings. Opponents including recall candidate Kevin Faulconer, a former San Diego mayor who blasted the governor at an event outside a shuttered San Francisco drugstore Tuesday, have said it’s clear the governor has failed to rein in crime hurting already-struggling small businesses.