Uptick in San Francisco retail theft

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Retail theft is on the uptick in San Francisco, and while luxury goods were once the focus, now it seems as if those stealing are going for lower end merchandise.

Police confirm retail theft is on the uptick specifically in parts of North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Union Square.

While luxury goods were once the prime target, groups of people are now expanding to drug stores.

Viewer video sent to KRON4 shows a robbery at the Walgreens on Columbus and Bay streets last week. But it’s not just Walgreens.

The CVS Pharmacy at Stockton and Sutter was hit back in June. People are seen taking what they want with apparently no care in the world.

And there is a video of another robbery at the same store this weekend. Once again, people are seen rifling through merchandise and sticking it in their bag before heading out the door.

A spokesman for CVS says it takes the matter of organized retail crime seriously and it partners with law enforcement and other retailers with a  goal of preventing this activity and bringing to justice those responsible for it.

In 2015 and 2016, numerous similar robberies of luxury goods at high-end stores were linked to a group known as the Rainbow Crew.

Police, working with the DA’s office, made arrests and 16 people were tied to 23 retail thefts and charged with a variety of felonies, including robbery, grand theft, commercial burglary, and conspiracy.

So far, there have been no arrests in the drug store robberies, nor any indication that those involved are connected, but police say there appears to be a lot of teenagers involved in the recent uptick in these types of crimes.

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