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The Evolution of Shoplifting in San Francisco
Monday, May 16, 2022

The Evolution of Shoplifting in San Francisco

Incidents of shoplifting in San Francisco have taken a prominent place in both local and national dialogue. Public perception of the crime has been fueled by viral videos, media coverage and the outraged calls of some residents. Yet according to statistics from the San Francisco Police Department, incidents of reported retail theft are down compared to years prior.

So we wanted to know: How has the city been talking about—and addressing—shoplifting over the past 15 years?

We took a look back at Board of Supervisors meetings, Police Commission meetings, and other legislative forums, scouring for major milestones in San Francisco’s long-running effort to stem retail crime. 

And what we found might surprise you. Watch the video above for a rundown of that evolution.

Jesse Rogala can be reached at [email protected].
  • I have direct knowledge of this, since I work in a major luxury retailer in san francisco (15 years). Our company has lost many upscale brands, because as soon as we receive the product, it is stolen (sometimes within hours after hitting the sales floor.)
    Both organized and casual thieves have decimated the in store shopping experience. If items are not locked away, they end up chronically stolen. For myself, it has tarnished my view of people. As much as I feel for my company, I also fault our city and state policies that only encourage criminal behavior. These days, crime does pay.

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