Crime-ridden San Francisco: Retail stores erecting large protective BARRIERS, forcing customers to be ESCORTED by employees in order to shop
03/03/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

Fed up with the rampant smash-and-grab looting problem throughout the region, retail stores in the Bay Area of northern California are retrofitting their operations to create a more prison-like shopping experience.

At Fredericksen's Hardware & Paint in San Francisco, store owners now require shoppers to be accompanied by an employee to prevent thefts. Upon entering the store, customers immediately encounter a table barricade with signs strewn atop telling them to "please wait for assistance."

"Due to the rampant shoplifting, Fredericksen's has introduced a One-on-One shopping experience," a sign on the table reads, preventing customers from going any further into the store until an employee arrives.

"Wait here and a clerk will be right with you to help you with all your shopping needs. We're sorry for the inconvenience!"

Store manager Sam Black told local media that it had gotten "pretty bad" at the store in terms of the sheer volume of products being stolen on a regular basis.

"The dollar amounts are pretty significant with the tools," Black explained while wearing a Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) "dust" mask over his nose and mouth.

"And now we're getting smash-and-grabs where they come in and take whole displays, so it's getting kind of dangerous for the employees and the customers."

For two hours every morning and two hours every evening before closing time, Fredericksen's customers have to be accompanied by an employee while browsing the store, otherwise they will be asked to leave.

"We just want to make it uncomfortable for the thieves so they go somewhere else," Black added about the new precautionary measures.

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(Related: Last year, Whole Foods Market left downtown San Francisco entirely, just one year after opening a store there, because rampant crime made the location unprofitable and dangerous for employees.)

San Francisco city leaders, police do nothing to stop crime

In addition to erecting table barriers at the entrance, Fredericksen's has also begun drilling items into the wall or display tables to keep thieves from nabbing them. Security locks have also been attached to some of the more expensive items in the store.

As you might expect, regulars who shop at Fredericksen's are unhappy about the prison-like shopping experience.

"Yeah, people aren't happy," Black says. "The regulars, they just can't believe it. We can't believe it, but they've been really understanding."

Unfortunately for Fredericksen's and other local retailers, nobody in city leadership in San Francisco, including the local police department, is willing to do a thing to try to stop all the rampant crime. This is why stores are now having to take matters into their own hands.

The one-on-one shopping experience at Fredericksen's is a pilot program that has been going on for several weeks now. After a month, the store's leadership will evaluate its effectiveness and decide what to do from there.

"We just had to do something," Black explained.

Local media tried to reach out to Supervisor Catherine Stefani, who oversees the Cow Hollow neighborhood of San Francisco where Fredericksen's is located, but she did not respond to requests for comment about the matter.

"California public safety is in crisis," said Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco at a recent press conference.

"This is not by accident. A radical, progressive agenda has turned law enforcement into the bad guy and criminals into victims, leading to one of the worst public safety policies in the nation."

American society is descending into lawlessness at an astounding rate. Learn more at

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