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Video captured by a witness appears to show at least three masked thieves allegedly grabbing items off a shelf at a San Francisco-area Walgreens before running out of the store.
The 41-second clip has gone viral online. It has been viewed more than 1.6 million times on various social media platforms. The video begins with a woman in a pink jacket grabbing items off a shelf and putting them in a bag. Another woman near her also appears to be grabbing items off the shelf. The two women then go to other parts of the store to allegedly grab more items.
About 10 seconds in, the camera pans to show a baby in a stroller. The thieves appear to continue brazenly grabbing items off shelves as shoppers watch nearby. The two women run out of the store with large bags allegedly stuffed full of stolen goods. A man in a yellow hoodie runs out of the store behind them.
Social media users said the brazen robbery happened at a Walgreens store in Millbrae, California, just outside San Francisco.
San Francisco Police and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office have not responded to Fox News Digital’s request for information at the time of this publication.
Fox News Digital has also reached out to Walgreens for comment, but has not yet heard back.
San Francisco has been dealing with a surging crime and drug crisis.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported in January that shootings jumped 33% from 2020 to last year. According to the SFPD, property crime in general is up 10.4% in San Francisco from last year.
Video captured by a witness appears to show thieves allegedly stealing from a San Francisco-area Walgreens. (SFStreets415/ Instagram)
Retail crime has been on the rise across the United States in recent years.
According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), organized retail thefts cost retailers an average of $720,000 for every $1 billion in sales as of 2020. That is up from about $450,000 five years earlier. In addition, 69% of retailers surveyed by the NRF in 2021 reported an increase in organized retail thefts over the past year.
“Reasons cited for the increase have included exploitation of new opportunities for theft during the COVID-19 pandemic, less prosecution of crimes wrongly perceived as ‘victimless,’ increased felony thresholds that let thieves steal more while facing only a misdemeanor charge if caught, and the growth of online marketplaces,” NRF noted on its website.
A witness captured a group of women running out of a San Francisco CVS Pharmacy with bags allegedly stuffed full of stolen items as a spree of retail thefts continue to plague the city. Experts say the rash of thefts in San Francisco and other cities by organized theft rings are part of a failure to prosecute criminals for such crimes. (KTVU)
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin is currently facing a recall election culminating in a vote on June 7. The Recall Chesa Boudin Committee claims that the DA has failed to enforce criminal laws and hold criminals accountable.
“Under Boudin, elected November, 2019, our city’s criminal justice system has instead been upended,” reads a statement on the group’s website. “Criminals are emboldened due to lack of accountability; those perpetrators arrested are simply let go, commit more crimes, and unfortunately, many are deadly.”
Fox News’ Matt Leach contributed to this report.