The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. (Courtesy photo)

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission St. in The City is among those slated to close. (Courtesy photo)

Walgreens closing five SF stores because of thefts

City looks at allowing sheriff’s officers to provide private security

Blaming rampant theft, drug chain Walgreens announced Tuesday it will close five San Francisco stores next month.

The stores are: 2550 Ocean Ave., 4645 Mission St., 745 Clement St., 300 Gough St., and 3400 Cesar Chavez St.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that. Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment,” the company said in a statement.

San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai said the closures would severely impact children, families and seniors, many of whom get their prescription medications from Walgreens pharmacies.

“I am completely devastated by this news. This closure will significantly impact this community. This Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for families and children for decades,” he said of the Mission Street location. “The City needs to act with a sense of urgency to reduce and deter the number of incidents of commercial retail theft.”

Safai has been working with Walgreens and other retailers to find solutions to rampant and increasingly brazen retail thefts happening throughout the city.

Two weeks ago, Safai introduced legislation that would amend The City’s administrative code to allow sheriff’s deputies to contract with businesses, private events, and community benefits districts to provide security. Under the legislation, the private companies would pay the deputies’ overtime at no cost to taxpayers.

San Francisco Sheriff Paul Miyamoto is supporting the legislation.

“With the recent rise in property crimes in San Francisco, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Office is ready to do its part in keeping our communities safe,” Miyamoto said. “Our office and members support the legislation that will allow for SFSO staff to have a presence in stores and businesses to keep everyone safe and reduce opportunities to commit crimes. It is important to help keep stores in our community for access not just to retail outlets, but pharmacies and medical services they host or provide.”

In addition to the proposed legislation, Safai has convened a Commercial Retail Theft Working Group, which includes Police Chief Bill Scott and District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and will make recommendations on policies.

Last month, Scott and Mayor London Breed announced a series of initiatives that would address retail thefts, including among others, expanding the Police Department’s Organized Retail Crime Unit and recruiting more retired police officers to patrol neighborhoods.

Walgreens said each closing store will transfer prescriptions to another nearby Walgreens location within a mile radius and customers will get a notice in the mail. Additionally, the company said it will place employees at the shuttered locations at other nearby stores.

Just Posted

The fate of San Francisco nicotine giant Juul remains to be seen, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether to allow certain flavored vape products on the market. <ins>(Jeenah Moon/New York Times)</ins>
How the vape king of teen nicotine addiction rose and fell in San Francisco

‘Hey, Juul, don’t let the door hit you on the way out’

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
<ins></ins>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Most Read