Walgreens closing 5 San Francisco stores due to ‘organized retail crime’

The Walgreens at 4645 Mission Street will close Nov. 11.Jesse Panda C. / Yelp

Walgreens will close five more San Francisco stores, a company spokesperson confirmed Tuesday, citing ongoing organized retail crime as the reason. 

The closures are as follows:

2250 Ocean Ave. will close on Nov. 8 and will transfer prescription files to 1630 Ocean Ave.
4645 Mission Street will close on Nov. 11 and will transfer prescription files to 965 Geneva Street.
745 Clement Street will close on Nov. 15 and will transfer prescription files to 3601 California Street.
300 Gough Street will close on Nov. 15 and will transfer prescriptions to 2145 Market Street.
3400 Cesar Chavez Street will close on Nov. 17 and will transfer prescriptions to 2690 Mission Street.

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” said Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

The drugstore chain hopes to relocate employees from closing stores to other nearby locations.

San Francisco Board of Supervisor Ahsha Safai of District 11 said he was “devastated” by the loss of the store on Mission Street on Twitter, writing “I am completely devastated by this news – this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades. This closure will significantly impact this community.”

Walgreens closed a location at 790 Van Ness Ave. in October 2020 after an increase in crime, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, citing a loss of up to $1,000 in stolen merchandise every day. (SFGATE and The San Francisco Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of one another.) The rampant shoplifting was often brazen and carried out in broad daylight — that month ​​Inside Edition was filming a segment about the increase in crime in the drugstore when they caught a man jumping over the front counter to do that very thing. 

California law dictates that theft of less than $950 in goods is penalized as a nonviolent misdemeanor.

Walgreens has closed at least 10 stores in the city since the beginning of 2019. 

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