San Francisco hardware store forced to escort shoppers to combat rampant shoplifting

"Due to the rampant shoplifting, Fredericksen has introduced a one-on-one shopping experience."

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
A San Francisco hardware store has been forced to escort customers while shopping in an attempt to deter crime.

Fredericksen Hardware said they have been hit by brazen shoplifting thieves over the past several months, resulting in the store suffering significant monetary losses.

The store, which is located on Filmore Street, first established the new escorting policy three weeks ago.

Sam Black, who has worked at the store for more than 20 years, said that the store decided to enact the new police after an increase in thefts. Customers now must wait in line for assistance upon entering, after which an employee will lead them through the store to locate the item they wish to buy.

"It's something we've never done before. And I mean even during COVID, we never had to do it like this. A customer comes in and we just kind of assist them all the way through the whole process," Black told CBS SF Bay Area.

Black explained that the extreme policy has deterred some loyal customers and has decreased sales due to customers not being able to wander about the store unattended for as long as they desire.

A sign featured on a white fold-up table upon entering the store reads: "Due to the rampant shoplifting, Fredericksen has introduced a one-on-one shopping experience. Wait here and a clerk will be right with you to help you with all your shopping needs. We're sorry for the inconvenience!"

However, Black asserted that the choice was clear and slammed the Democrat city's lawlessness.

"It's just been lawlessness. Nothing's stopping them from stealing. And with the felony thing being so high an amount. I've never seen anything like this, not even close," said Black.

Black said that thieves would come into the store, grabbing, breaking, and stealing entire displays.

While the new policy might be an annoyance for law-abiding customers, Black said the policy is working and the store has not had any major incidents since it was enacted.

Although Black said he wishes that it didn't have to come to this and said he wants things to go back to what they once were.

"I just want it to be boring and normal," he said.

The hardware store plans to keep the policy in place for at least the next month, but Black said they will keep the policy for as long as they need to in order to thwart the brazen thieves.

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