Unruly shoplifting forces SF’s Castro Safeway to adjust shop hours

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The then 24-hour San Francisco’s Castro Safeway now closes at 9:00 in the evening, blaming the adjustment to the “out of control” shoplifting, as one of the supervisors put it.

Shoppers will see the store on Market and Church streets as among the ones that close the earliest among the supermarket chains based in Pleasanton, San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The store “is one of the few affordable grocery options for people living in and around the Castro,” according to a Tweet by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman on Friday afternoon.

“A reduction in their operating hours will make it harder for working people to get groceries for themselves and their families, and will have a huge impact on the lives of the store’s employees whose hours will be cut,” Mandelman said.

The supervisor furthered that Safeway at 2020 Market Street has suffered from shoplifting that is already “out of control”. Recently, it convened with store representatives “to better understand the issues at this store.”

Mandelman said he also wants to meet with the San Francisco Police Department as well as San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin’s office “to see what is currently being done to deter theft at Safeway and to figure out a plan to do better.”

Hoodline first carried the report on the adjustment on the opening hours of the store as Safeway’s supervisor and spokesperson cannot be immediately contacted for comment.

The change in the operating hours is seen not to affect other Safeway locations in San Francisco. The Market Street Safeway is now operating from 6:00 a.m.to 9:00 p.m. daily, although there is no definite date when the change took effect.

Safeway spokesperson Wendy Gutshall, in a statement reported by Hoodline, said that the adjustment of its opening hours was due to “an increasing amount of theft at the store.”

Hoodline reported that Safeway does not offer self-checkout stalls near its entrance anymore. It also transferred its shopping carts inside as 160 of them were taken by thieves.

Market Street Safeway’s change on operating hours came after the deep issue on the theft in the city, as well as the crime at huge retail stores.