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Shoplifter struts behind counter of San Francisco Walgreens and fills bag full with stolen items

A San Francisco shoplifter was filmed filling a bag with stolen goods behind the counter of a Walgreens store as staff stood helplessly and watched.

The heist took place on Tuesday at a Walgreens in the Richmond area of ​​the city, and saw the brazen shoplifter hurl bananas and cookies at one man who confronted him.

It is the latest in a long line of shocking shoplifting outrages to hit the famously-liberal Bay Area.

San Francisco and its Bay Area neighbors have been hit hard by a wave of property crimes and smash-and-grab robberies since the start of the pandemic. That has forced multiple branches of Walgreens to close in a bid to stem their theft-related losses amid mounting criticism of soft-on-crime DAs many say are enabling the widespread criminality.

Cellphone video captured by professional photographer Nicholas Stennet shows a man dressed in all black removing items from shelves behind the counter of the San Francisco drug store with utter disregard for two store workers standing right next to him.

One of the employees is on the phone with a 911 dispatcher, reporting a robbery in progress.

Shoplifter behind counter

At the beginning of the clip, the brazen shoplifter can be seen behind the counter stuffing some of the Walgreens’ most valuable items into a huge bag, while helpless staff look on

Moments later, he was confronted by a male shopper, pictured left, but didn't take kindly to the check on his behavior...

Moments later, he was confronted by a male shopper, pictured left, but didn’t take kindly to the check on his behavior…

‘We have this person that is… taking everything from the counter,’ the woman says. ‘Can you send the cops? Can you send them right away, please?’

The looter, meanwhile, calmly moves to a different section of the counter and continues to fill a plastic bag with a variety of goods, including COVID tests, batteries and electronics, according to one eyewitness.

After ransacking the shelves to his heart’s content, the criminal emerges from behind the counter and makes it for the exit.

When a bystander makes an attempt to stand up to him, the audacious bandit grabs a bunch of bananas from a basket and forcefully hurls them at the man, who picks up some of the fruit and lobs them back at the attacker.

Shoplifterhurls bananas Shoplifter hurls bananas

…and ended up hurling bananas at the would-be Good Samaritan, who then responded in kind

Shoplifter hurling candy Shoplifter hurling candy

The shoplifter was evidently annoyed by the have-a-go hero’s decision to stand up to him, and returned to hurl nuts and candy at the unfortunate man

Visibly annoyed by such a hostile reception, the shoplifter grabs packets of chips Ahoy! from a nearby shelf and pelts the Good Samaritan with them, before storming out of he store and triggering the alarm on his way out.

Drug store chains like Walgreens and CVS have become attractive and easy targets for shoplifters, leading to numerous store closures in the Bay Area. In the area’s largest city, San Francisco, low-level offenses, such as retail thefts, have been effectively de-criminalized under the leadership of progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin.

Boudin, who in a recent interview with the New York Times argued that tough-on-crime policies do not work and blamed the police for the San Francisco’s soaring crime rates, is facing a recall vote on June 7.

Liberal San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, whose soft-on-crime policies have been blamed for San Francisco's soaring crime rates, is facing a recall vote in June

Liberal San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin, whose soft-on-crime policies have been blamed for San Francisco’s soaring crime rates, is facing a recall vote in June

Roving gangs of criminals have been carrying out brazen smash-and-grab robberies, targeting high-end stores like Louis Vuitton and Burberry, but also national chains like Walgreens and CVS.

Walgreens said last year that retail theft in San Francisco was five times the chain average and security costs were 46 times the chain average, reported San Francisco Chronicle.

According to the latest available crime data, grand larceny rates in California’s liberal bastion were up 19 per cent in late February, compared with the same period last year.

California Gov Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has vowed to crack down on gangs of retail thieves, despite a controversial 2014 law – Proposition 47 – that barred prosecutors from charging suspected shoplifters accused of stealing less than $950 worth of merchandise with felonies.

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