SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Target announced it will permanently close three stores in the San Francisco Bay Area before Halloween. The retail giant said organized retail crime rings have become so rampant that store employees and shoppers are no longer safe.

“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance. We know that our stores serve an important role in their communities, but we can only be successful if the working and shopping environment is safe for all,” the company wrote in a statement Tuesday.

The following Target stores will close effective October 21:

  • SF Folsom and 13th St: 1690 Folsom St
  • Oakland Broadway & 27th: 2650 Broadway
  • Pittsburg: 4301 Century Blvd

Thirty-two Target stores remain open in the San Francisco and Oakland region.

Target said it did not take its decision lightly, and the company made unsuccessful efforts to stop thieves.

Merchandise is displayed at a Target store on May 31, 2023 in San Francisco. (Photo by Justin Sullivan /Getty Images)

“Before making this decision, we invested heavily in strategies to prevent and stop theft and organized retail crime in our stores, such as adding more security team members, using third-party guard services, and implementing theft-deterrent tools across our business. Despite our efforts, unfortunately, we continue to face fundamental challenges to operating these stores safely and successfully,” Target wrote.

For its stores that remain open, Target said it will continue implementing in-store security measures, such as hiring more security guards, locking merchandise prone to theft inside cases, and training staff with de-escalation techniques.

The company said it partnered with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations division to combat retail theft, as well as utilized “advanced threat intelligence capabilities” to track organized crime groups.

Target employs 6,400 workers at its remaining 32 stores in the San Francisco/Oakland market.

The company thanked employees who work at stores slated for closures.

“The team members at these stores have worked hard to maintain our high standards by creating a positive working and shopping experience for each other, our guests and their communities. We are extremely thankful for their efforts and will be partnering closely with all eligible team members to offer them an opportunity to transfer to other Target locations,” the company wrote.

In addition to closing three San Francisco Bay Area stores, Target announced Tuesday that it will shutter three stores in Portland, Oregon, two in Seattle, and one in East Harlem, New York, due to crime and safety concerns.