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SF store closed due to ‘rampant theft’ reopens as police step up patrols

The CEO of Cotopaxi announced on Oct. 18, 2022, that the company would be closing its store at 549 Hayes St. in San Francisco due to rampant organized theft and the lack of safety for its team. | Google Maps

A high-end outdoor clothing store, popular with techies, will reopen its doors Thursday, after “rampant organized theft” forced it to shut down in October.

Cotopaxi said it is reopening after reaching an agreement with local police to increase foot patrols in the area. The store has also beefed up its own security.

The closure followed a viral LinkedIn post by Cotopaxi CEO Davis Smith raised safety concerns about San Francisco generally, as well as repeat incidents at the store.

“We have hired a full-time security company to safeguard the store and there is an agreement with local police to increase supervision in the area, for the safety of employees and customers of all local businesses,” a Cotopaxi spokesperson said in an email.

The news comes after a Downtown San Francisco Whole Foods store slashed its hours to combat theft and “hostile people.”

Lloyd Silverstein, president of the Hayes Valley Merchants Association, said that police foot patrols are important to deter shoplifters, as private security can sometimes fall short against thieves.

“The foot patrols on the blocks have made all the difference,” Silverstein said. 

Nearby merchants said the issue isn’t just with the Cotopaxi store. “It’s around the whole block honestly,” said Timbuk2 manager Lissette Lopez. “They’re just running in and out, and then they disappear.”

The San Francisco Police Department has been contacted for comment.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at