San Francisco Stores Get Rid Of Self-Checkout As Shoplifting Surges

san fran self-checkout

Under California state law, anything stolen under $950 is a misdemeanor and is not investigated.


With shoplifting now out of control in some parts of California, stores in some cities are having to change a few things.

In San Francisco that has meant ditching the relatively new phenomenon of self-checkout.

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Bye Bye Self-Checkout

There are a lot of people out there who are not big fans of the self-checkout, especially some older folks. Often you’ll see them standing in line for a real clerk rather than use open machines. But if they were looking for a way to get rid of them, the denizens of San Fran are doing their job for them.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Certain Safeway and Target locations closed their self-checkout kiosks to customers, while shoppers have been scanning their own purchases for years at the two chains.

This summer, the Safeway on Webster Street and multiple others installed security gates at self-checkout kiosks to deter shoplifting in which a receipt is scanned before exiting the store. That same location has now removed its self-checkout lanes entirely. Workers told SFGate the self-checkout kiosks were removed a few months ago.

The Target on Mission and 4th streets also disabled its self-checkout kiosks, and employees told CBS News the removal of the pay system was due to shoplifting. Target closed three stores in the Bay Area in October, citing “theft and organized retail crime” that threatened “the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance.”

“Shoplifting has been a hot-button topic in the city for years, and the San Francisco Police Department has ramped up efforts recently, launching undercover operations to arrest retail thieves, dubbed ‘Blitz ’23.” the story noted. “Police arrested 17 shoplifting suspects in one week focused on a store in the 700 block of Mission Street, a retail hot spot known for many shoplifting incidents, as part of the enforcement operation.”

Now that’s not to say that the city can’t do anything about the rampant crime. We found that out when it took just a matter of hours for them to clean up the entire cesspool for a visit from the Chinese president.

Still, even then they couldn’t prevent a news crew from being robbed at gunpoint.

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A License to Steal

San Francisco’s NBC News affiliate reported in April, “They basically opened the gates to theft,” said (former law enforcement officer Mike Leninger). “And you are seeing that in stores that are closing, chains that are lowering the number of stores under the guise of financial constraints or reasons.”

“For the state of California, for licensed security guards, they are mandated to observe and report only. They’re not to take physical action,” he said.

If this sounds crazy to you, that’s because it is.

And they wonder why so many people are leaving California.

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is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He... More about John Hanson

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