CNBC: "Target says it will close nine stores in major cities, citing violence and theft"

Clarification: According to this SFGATE article, only one of the three stores that Target is planning to close in California is located in San Francisco proper. The other two Target stores set to close in California are located in Oakland and Pittsburg.

As long as retail places won’t prosecute, thieves will keep it up. Flash mob theft is here to stay.


First, they have to catch / arrest. I don’t see that happening.

Clark Howard recently brought up retail theft on The Clark Howard Podcast.

I worked at Target. They had few security people at my location, and at times, NO security people. The emphasis was to make the customer happy, so confronting them about theft or even offering to help ring up their order was considered an insult to the customer.

Also, Target’s return policy is ridiculous – no receipt needed (within limits) so there’s no proof that the person bought the item, or when they bought the item (returning 10 year old batteries and expired items with no proof). And often the returned item in a box is not checked to see if it is correct. I purchased a small rug cleaner and opened it – it had been used and water/crud left in it so it was absolutely foul. That should not have happened.

Target can be a great place to shop, but their policies on returns, self-checkout, and theft have caused many of these problems with theft.

Are you saying Target’s policies are the reason for the enormous amount of theft in certain cities ? So then the jewelry stores and home improvement stores must also have the same policies…

Hey look, here are some more stores we can blame for their own theft:

That is not a customer. He’s a thief!


The girl laughing on the video the whole time just epitomizes the attitude of these dirt bags. At least some of them got caught. If I was a cop it would be really difficult to hold back from beating the crap out these people.

The only problem with closing the three stores, is that criminals will go elsewhere, just moving the crime.

I think a better way is to increase security, check receipts, record transactions. Clear pictures or videos of perpetrators helps.

I have noticed many innoculous products containing security sensors which alert when it is taken out of the store without being disabled. My supermarket uses sensors on the shopping carts to deter exiting the store without going through a checkout lane. The same could be done with Target, etc. My Target does have what looks like a security guy kinda hiding under a tree enar the exit. I don’t know if he is there to keep carts on the property, would stop a vehicle if necessary or is just on an extended lunch.

yes, but I’m saying this as a former Target employee. If we see someone stealing, we were not to confront them, both for safety reasons and if the person would argue about it – thus the “customer” was not happy. I’m talking about individuals stealing, not organized groups, which is a whole different thing.
And yes, Target could have had much better security policies than they have had.

Hmm…any commonality among these flash mob lootings? The solution starts with all the facts.

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Wasn’t Target one of the big “woke” companies ? I mean isn’t this what they wanted ? I’m confused.

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I just can’t put my finger on the commonality of the flash mob lootings, lol, I just can’t.

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Actually, Lavarock, Target is closing nine stores.

Yes, they are most likely all from poor, underfunded locations. Yes, surprise, when you put all your money and resources into the wealthier neighborhoods, why are you surprised when crime happens in the neighborhoods where there is little opportunity, no programs to help people get out of poverty? I’m sure people see it as only a racial issue, because that is all they want to see, but as someone who lives in a rural community, there’s just as much thievery at the local Walmart where it’s all white (97% white here in Alabama where we are) and no resources, no hope and pitiful educational system. Some schools have great resources and others get the leftovers. We even see it in the hospitals. Huntsville Hospital just bought our local hospitals, as the staff put it, the only change is that they now get the old leftover equipment from the nice hospital…same with schools. The poor kids who need the most help get the leftover crap from the nice school by the lake. Same crap, different community, different day. Whether it is poor inner city black kids or poor white kids with methhead moms, same story.
We’re never gonna get it in this country.

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So true. Wife was sub k-6 teacher in the school system, meaning she subbed in ten schools. She dreaded parent - Teacher conferences because she had to meet with those methhead moms.

When they were over, she mumbled, “Those kids don’t have a chance.”

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Not necessarily! I worked at Target in an upper-middle class area. All kids of people stole things. A number of them teenagers (bathing suits, beauty products, pricier clothing), and adult women (home decor items mostly). It is surprising who steals – not always the low-income people, not always people of color.

I remember this one customer, a black woman, nervously waiting in line. I asked if she was OK and she said she had been in the store, paid and left, and at her car realized there was an item at the bottom of her cart she hadn’t paid for and she wanted to pay for it. I told her not to worry, and everything was taken care of. More people should be that honest!!!

There are potiential structural resolution to the mob rush thefts.

The store entry can have double doors at the entryway one behind the other.

The customer enters door one, is identified with facial recognition and admitted.

This is repeated on exit where the other door will not open until after security checks the customers receipts.

Enforcement of a three strikes law would be useful.

Admissions to the stores can also be restricted to members only and people with out criminal records which the facial recognition would help screen instantly.

Finally, if Target started to sue anyone convicted of shop lifting in their store for $ 1, million in punitive damages the thieves might go else where.

Punitive damages resulting from criminal acts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.

How about enforcing ALL laws?