San Francisco

No Shopping Carts Allowed Outside San Francisco Safeway Amid Theft Concerns

NBC Universal, Inc.

Hoping to stop theft, one San Francisco Safeway is no longer allowing shoppers to take their carts outside the store.

An employee at a Market Street Safeway told NBC Bay Area that dozens of shopping carts have been stolen recently. Published reports say as many as 160 have been taken in the past few weeks.

Now, shoppers can only use the carts inside. Large poles attached to the carts are designed to prevent anyone from trying to take the carts through the front doors.

"Yeah, this store in particular has been hit pretty hard," Jim Sartori of San Francisco said. "It's been several weeks now that [there's] zero carts. That's a problem."

Retail crime has long been a problem in San Francisco, but lately retailers say it's been getting worse.

"I love my neighborhood, but the stuff that I've seen happening in these parklets, like the fights, the drug use, the harassment, it's not good," Jhia Jackson of San Francisco said.

Target recently started closing six of its local stores at 6 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. because of theft issues. Last year, Walgreens shuttered 17 of its stores in the city, saying theft had become uncontrollable.

Shoppers said the remaining stores can be a little frightening.

"My experience at Walgreens – I shop there a lot – on Church and Market, it's really scary for your own safety," Robert Meltor said. "You don't know what these people will do to you."

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