San Francisco's Organized Shoplifting Surge Prompts Target to Cut Operating Hours

Target said it will begin closing some of their San Francisco stores earlier than normal because of the city's rise in shoplifting and thefts.

The company said there has been such an alarming rise in crime at their San Francisco stores that they will reduce nighttime hours. Target also added that San Francisco is the only city in the country where its stores' new closing times will take effect.

The early closures of Target stores in San Francisco's Financial District follow similar moves made by 7-Eleven and Walgreens locations in the city due to increased retail thefts. In the case of a 7-Eleven store on Drumm Street, business would only be conducted through a metal door after 10 p.m.

"This window was installed like two to three months ago because it was not safe. Sometimes they would break that glass of the door," 7-Eleven store manager Bobby Singh told KGO-TV.

Meanwhile, Kevin Greathouse, a Walgreens security guard, said he and his colleagues were instructed not to physically engage with shoplifters. Greathouse said he carries a handgun, a taser and pepper spray on him at all times while on duty, and described one alleged shoplifter recently threatening him with a knife.

"I don't have any intention of getting stabbed for $60 worth of stuff," he told KGO. "It's going to be lawsuits, obviously they don't want ourselves or anybody else to get injured while we're out here attempting to make these apprehensions and leave it to law enforcement."

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai said that the city and the district attorney's office have gotten involved in the case. Safai described the alleged perpetrators as part of an organized retail crime group.

"These are people who are recruited, organized and are reselling these good and San Francisco is hurting for it," Safai said.

In addition to San Francisco, the California Retailers Association announced this week that Los Angeles and Sacramento are also in the top 10 nationwide in terms of organized retail crimes.

Newsweek reached out to Target's corporate offices for any additional remarks about the San Francisco store hours on Saturday afternoon.

Correction July 8, 2021, 9:25 AM ET. A previous version of this story misstated that Kevin Greathouse and Bobby Singh are employed at Target. Greathouse is an employee of Walgreens while Singh works at 7-Eleven.

Target store
Target has said there has been such an alarming rise in crime at their San Francisco stores that they will reduce nighttime hours. In this photo, a woman exits Target store on March 2 in New York. Emaz/VIEWpress/Getty Images