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Police guarding San Francisco Best Buy after rampant thefts

A police car parked in front of a San Francisco Best Buy on Harrison Street. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

San Francisco’s Best Buy now has a police officer stationed at the store to combat rampant retail theft. 

The officer has been stationed at the SoMa electronics store since Sept. 19, according to police.

A Best Buy worker, who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to speak with the press, said they typically only see one or two thefts daily but that thieves commonly go after laptops and air purifiers.

“Anything that’s out on the floor,” the worker said. “Sometimes they’ll pretend they’ve bought it and walk out the door while security is busy doing something else.”

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Thieves often target laptops at San Francisco's Best Buy, staff say. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The worker said yesterday she saw a man put a laptop inside a suitcase before walking out of the store, although security went after the man and got the stolen computer back.

Paolo Cuevas, a Mexican exchange student at the Academy of Art University, said he thinks the added police presence will be ineffective.

“I don’t think it’s going to change anything,” Cuevas said. “People are crazy.”

Police can be stationed as private security as part of the 10-B plan, which sees businesses cover overtime costs for officers plus an administrative fee to the city.

Police will now guard San Francisco's Best Buy store on Harrison Street. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

"[Best Buy] started 10-B Sept. 19,” said police spokesperson Kathryn Winters. “The officers are able to sign up for a full or partial shift during normal business hours. I do not track how many incidents officers are involved in at each location of 10-B. The 10-B assignment will be available for as long as Best Buy wants.”

The Best Buy store is just across Harrison Street from San Francisco’s new Total Wine & More, which opened at the end of August with a 7-foot tall security fence installed around its perimeter. Nearby, a Target store at Folsom Street will shutter on Oct. 21 due to retail thefts.

Best Buy’s corporate office was contacted for comment but did not respond by publication time.

Garrett Leahy can be reached at