Seattle Losing Last 24-Hour Pharmacy To Retail Theft

The spiraling costs of Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies affect residents of major U.S. cities in many ways. Not only are they subjected to raging violent crime, but even simple conveniences such as 24-hour drug stores are becoming a thing of the past.

In Seattle, the last such institution is closing its doors forever. Bartell Drugs recently announced that the 133-year-old chain will shutter its Lower Queen Anne location on Sept. 10, leaving the city with no drug stores open all night.

The primary reason, of course, is rampant theft and lawlessness.

Parent company Rite Aid acquired the chain in 2020. Similar to the closing of five other Seattle locations, the company issued a generic press release explaining its decision.

It cited several factors in choosing to close yet another location. However, a 2020 survey of 88 businesses in the Ballard neighborhood shed much light on the dire circumstances in which retailers attempted to continue operations.

Respondents revealed prevalent shoplifting and violent attacks that created financial losses and a feeling of insecurity.

A year before selling out to Rite Aid, Bartell Drugs CEO Kathi Lentzsch announced the company would not open new locations in downtown Seattle.

She explained the reason as thefts and violent attacks on store employees. Lentzsch noted that many of their competitors faced the same issues that led to it closing its flagship location in the city.

Again, that decision was based on the cost of stolen items and the need to employ armed security.

Just last year, the chain closed its Chinatown location. Seattle PD reported up to the closing date there had been 491 property crimes cases in the area and 327 larceny-theft cases.

Even as other U.S. cities saw slight declines in murder rates so far in 2023, Seattle is on pace to set a new record high not seen since the violent 1990s. There have now been more than 50 homicides to date, accounting for a 7% increase for the year.

It is one of ten major metropolitan areas reporting an increase in murders. Of course, the city defunded the police department in 2020 and saw an exodus of nearly 600 officers, contributing to the rise in lawlessness and helplessness to deal with lawbreakers.