Fox Business| by Jon Brown | June 25, 2023
Safeway in Vallejo joins other locations in San Francisco Bay Area taking measures against rising theft
A grocery store in the San Francisco Bay Area has installed metal emergency gates at its entrance in an attempt to deter rampant shoplifting.
A Safeway in Vallejo also shuttered one of its entrances, according to KPIX reporter Betty Yu, who tweeted an image of the safeguard, which sounds an alarm if a shoplifter attempts to leave.
The supermarket chain location, which is owned by Albertsons Companies, joins other locations in the San Francisco area that have taken similar measures in recent years amid the city’s rise in thefts.
The Bay Area, which has seen property crime rise 10.4% since last year, has also been afflicted with a spike in smash-and-grab robberies, where shoplifters armed with bats and other weapons make off with thousands in merchandise from high-end stores.
The gates are part of “long-planned security improvements” for the store, a Safeway spokesperson told FOX Business.
“Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft so we can ensure the wellbeing of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our customers. These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind,” the company said.
Last fall, the police chief of San Francisco and Democrat Mayor London Breed said they would address the city’s rampant shoplifting crimes by dedicating more police and beefing up coordination to make it easier to report theft.
Pharmacies such as Walgreens have closed down in response to the increased theft, which Breed has said is detrimental to those who rely on such establishments.
FOX Business’ Daniella Genovese contributed to this report.