A thief robbing a San Francisco Walgreens in full view of someone recording with a smartphone. …
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) June 14, 2021
Two obvious questions. Why didn’t the security guard do more to intervene? The answer, per this NYT piece from a few weeks ago, is that it’s too dangerous. …
The state claims a monopoly on violence in return for providing protection for persons and their property. Here the state is clearly not even trying to uphold their end of the social compact.
Even if a security guard were feeling brave and inclined to intervene, retailers who try to stop a theft in progress … can be sued. …
Oh brilliant. A progressive state is anti-business, pro-shoplifter.
Why San Francisco? Critics have pointed to a 2014 ballot measure that essentially decriminalized theft of less than $950 worth of goods by making it a misdemeanor, allowing thieves to get off with a wrist slap. But that was a state law and San Fran appears to have a unique problem with shoplifting. Walgreens has closed 17 stores there in the past five years due to rampant theft. Back in May, the company’s VP for California retail operations said at a hearing that theft in their remaining SF stores is four times the average than it is in the rest of America and that it spends 35 times more on security guards in the city than it does elsewhere. The Times asked a city supervisor why that is. What’s unique about the Bay Area that encourages this behavior relative to, say, Sacramento or Los Angeles?
It’s the local culture of impunity, he said frankly:
He talked about what he called a laissez-faire attitude in San Francisco.
“It has become part of the landscape,” he said of thefts. “People say, ‘Oh, well, that just happens.’”
Thieves “are obviously choosing locales based on what the consequences are,” Safaí said. “If there are no consequences for their actions, then you invite the behavior. Over and over.”
Critics have pointed the finger at Chesa Boudin, San Francisco’s far-left district attorney. (He’s the son of Weather Underground member Kathy Boudin and was raised by fellow Weathermen Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.) Boudin has pointed the finger at the San Francisco police in turn, complaining about their low case clearance rate. I can’t prosecute someone unless they’ve been arrested, Boudin has said. …
Again, government failure in a city and state that has always voted left for decades. Many residents want it that way:
A very progressive city is destined not to care much about derelicts ripping off major corporate chains. Cynthia Nixon … doubtless spoke for many with this tweet a few weeks back: “… As so many families can’t make ends meet right now, I can’t imagine thinking that the way to solve the problem of people stealing basic necessities out of desperation is to prosecute them. …”
If you think Nixon was out on a limb, take five minutes and scroll through the Twitter replies to the shoplifting video posted above. You’ll find a variety of excuses from “Doesn’t Walgreens have insurance?” to “What do you want the security guard to do, shoot him?” to “It’s only shampoo” to “The Bay Area is an expensive place to live, you know.”…
Upon watching the clip, a friend peered into the future and emailed me to say, “Cue the whining about out-of-control insurance rates, and companies refusing to open stores in inner cities in about 2-3 years.”
Guess it doesn’t pay to live in an area with too many lefties.