Twitter user Willy Staley pointed out that the Duane Reade branch located at the Port Authority Midtown Manhattan bus depot was following the practice.
"The thoroughly revamped loss-prevention regime at the Port Authority Duane Reade has finally created something of beauty, a sort of Jeff Koons homage," he tweeted alongside a picture of a Spam can inside a plastic case.
Staley subsequently posted a picture of canned ham from the same store, also inside a plastic case, with this caption: "I'd love to have one to keep, case and all – but there's only one way to do that."
Aside from canned meat, canned seafood products such as tuna and sardines were also stored in anti-theft cases.
Louisville, Kentucky resident Jenny Kenny said that while she was aware of the ongoing crime wave in NYC and other cities, she could not believe the sight of "so many things in boxes." The 43-year-old remarked: "Some of these things are pretty ridiculous."
Patron Dennis Snow, 46, had strong words for the practice: "To put Spam in a cage is stupid, and kind of insulting to the customers that would buy it."
Snow argued that if Spam is the most-targeted item in larceny attempts, then anybody stealing it would be looking for a quick and easy meal. Twenty-eight-year-old Delia Kemp agreed, saying: "Someone is stealing this because they need it."
Home health attendant Liz Tawfik, meanwhile, derided the added security measures – saying that they annoy customers like herself and hamper a smooth shopping experience.
"If you're [going to] catch a train and you [want to] get something quick, it's not quick anymore," she lamented. "You might as well have someone take your order at the door and get what you want."
Employees at the Duane Reade store said thefts have been surging over the past two years, with one staff member estimating a minimum of four shoplifters every evening shift. However, one store clerk expressed criticism of the anti-theft plastic cases.
"It's security theater," commented a 21-year-old store clerk named Iggy. "I don't think they stop anything. If you really needed it, you would stomp on it."
Iggy cited one instance that occurred on July 28, where a shoplifter asked an employee to open a glass case that had a $38 electric razor inside. Once the case had been opened, the male suspect darted past the security guard and out the door – with the electric razor in tow.
A spokeswoman for Walgreens, the parent company of Duane Reade, refused to answer questions why Spam cans were stored in plastic cases at the Port Authority location. However, she explained that the use of the plastic anti-theft cases was done "in response to theft data." (Related: Rampant theft, ongoing supply chain disruptions leaving drug store shelves in New York City barren.)
Another Duane Reade employee attested that the practice is not just limited to canned goods. Dariel Cepin, who is assigned to the West 44th Street location, said his branch locks up ice cream.
Not all drug stores have put Spam under lockdown. Two other Duane Reade stores and a CVS branch in the Times Square area are not putting their Spam cans inside plastic cases. Another CVS branch and a Rite Aid branch in Central Harlem also sell their Spam cans without protective cases.
Midtown Manhattan – where the Duane Reade branch that put its Spam cans in plastic cases is located – is known as one of the Excelsior State's grimiest areas. It gained a reputation as a mecca for homeless people, fueling speculations that ready-to-eat items such as canned meat and seafood are locked away due to thieves targeting them most of the time.
Watch Owen Shroyer of InfoWars as he talks about the retail crime problem in NYC that prompted the use of anti-theft plastic cases.
This video is from the InfoWars channel on Brighteon.com.