Will California Really Legalize Shoplifting?


Retailers say that if the SB 553 of State Senator Dave Cortese becomes law, California will soon be leading in shoplifting. The bill has just been passed by the state Senate, and will now be sent to the Assembly.

California Retailers Association Chief Rachel Michelin described this bill as harshly intended to curb workplace violence. It says that no employee is allowed to approach someone who’s shoplifting. Even if they have been trained in how to stop someone from shoplifting, they are not allowed to approach anyone. What does that mean?”

She said, “We’re opening the door for people to steal from stores and then walk out.”

Cortese is a Democrat who says, “We do not want to force rank-and-file workers to put themselves in danger.” Michelin, however, claims that employers don’t do this.

SB 553 is to me a way of virtue signaling that California has now turned a blind eye to shoplifting. It’s clear that criminals will interpret it in this way.

The San Francisco Standard is also abuzz with excitement over the opening date of the new Ikea downtown. Signs of life are visible at the site. This could indicate that Ikea is committed to opening the Market Street store in this year. The store sign, which is bright yellow and blue, has been posted and illuminated, and the shelves are ready to be stocked.

San Francisco shoppers may want to ask not when the new Ikea is opening, but rather how long it will be before the corporate shut down the store.

Downtown San Francisco is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the entire world. However, empty office buildings and rampant shoplifting have led big-name retailers from the area to leave. After just one year, a massive Whole Foods store closed its doors in April. Employees had to call the police on average 10 times per week. The company has decided to not renew the leases at Market Street and the Westfield Mall. Two Nordstrom stores in the city will close their doors this summer. Saks Off Fifth, H&M, and Uniqlo are closing. Walgreens closed several stores in the city.

Just in San Francisco in the past few months, there’s been a lot of activity.

Democrats often portray their lenient stance towards shoplifting as reasonable: “You wouldn’t prosecute a starving man for taking a loaf of bread, would you?”

In San Francisco, the majority of shoplifting occurs by organized theft rings working out of Oakland, a neighboring city. The criminals know that the police will not do anything because of the inaction of the district attorney. If Senate Bill 553 is passed by the Assembly, and Gov. Gavin Newsom will not allow even the security staff at stores to act.

The high-end retailers are expected to continue to leave, while the remaining grocery stores and convenience shops will move quickly to a Soviet retailing model. Customers won’t be allowed to pass a heavily guarded cash register. A clerk will retrieve the goods after they have paid and pass them through an opening in a cage-like enclosure.

Remember when people from the suburbs and rural areas used to travel to the city to shop?

Good times are fading quickly.