In hopes of stopping the theft, a San Francisco Safeway no longer allows shoppers to take their carts out of the store.
An employee of a Market Street Safeway told NBC Bay Area that dozens of shopping carts were recently stolen. Published reports indicate that 160 have been taken in the past few weeks.
Now buyers can only use the carts indoors. The large poles attached to the carts are designed to prevent anyone from trying to get the carts through the front doors.
“Yes, this particular store has been hit hard,” said Jim Sartori of San Francisco. “It has been several weeks now that [there’s] zero trolleys. It is a problem.”
Retail crime has long been a problem in San Francisco, but lately retailers are saying it’s getting worse.
“I love my neighborhood, but what I’ve seen happening in these parklets, like fighting, drug use, harassment, it’s not good,” said Jhia Jackson of San Francisco.
Target recently began closing six of its local stores at 6 p.m. instead of 10 p.m. due to theft issues. Last year, Walgreens closed 17 of its stores in the city, saying the theft had gotten out of hand.
Buyers said the remaining stores can be a bit scary.
“My experience at Walgreens – I shop there a lot – on Church and Market, it’s really scary for your own safety,” said Robert Meltor. “You don’t know what these people are going to do to you.”