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‘Rampant theft’ closes techie brand Cotopaxi’s only San Francisco store

Exterior of Cotopaxi, an outdoor clothing and equipment shop, at 549 Hayes Street in San Francisco, Calif. The CEO announced on Oct. 18, 2022 that it is closing the store due to rampant organized theft and lack of safety for our team. | GoogleMaps

A clothing brand beloved by Bay Area tech workers has closed its San Francisco store due to "rampant organized theft and lack of safety for our team."

Founder Davis Smith took to LinkedIn to break the news that Cotopaxi's Hayes Street store would close on Tuesday.

Smith said a string of vandalism incidents, thefts and safety issues affecting his staff and wife were to blame for the closure.

Smith wrote: "Our store is hit by organized theft rings several times per week. They brazenly enter the store and grab thousands of dollars of product and walk out."

The company had started keeping the door locked to deter criminals, but criminals would have a woman go to the door before springing from hiding places and rushing into the store as soon as the door would open, Smith said.

Smith added: "Last time my wife and I went in 2020, a drugged up person ran up to my wife’s face and started screaming some of the most obscene things I’ve ever heard. She was terrified. During a previous trip, my rental car was broken into and everything was stolen out of our trunk."

The brand had recently been tipped to surpass Patagonia as the tech worker's favorite outfitter.

Cotopaxi staff member Grace Carter confirmed the store will reopen when security improvements are made.

SFPD have been contacted for comment.

Joe Burn can be reached at