Target announces closing nine stores, with most closures in California and Oregon. The store cites theft and violence as the main contributing factors to the store closures.
Target is among the latest stores to announce closures of their California and Portland stores, citing theft as one of the leading reasons for the closures. The store announced the store closures for October 21st.
In the press release, the store stated they could not maintain the stores with the level of theft. They also noted the safety of the employees was a top priority, and they could not continue to maintain that safety under the current store conditions.
Two laws in California currently make store theft practically legal. The first law pertains to the amount someone can shoplift before the act becomes a felony.
The second law on the books in California passed in June. This law prohibits employees of stores from confronting shoplifters.
When these two laws combine, they create a perfect storm for high theft and violence. Over the past year, this storm has played out on store cameras and life feeds.
Target is not the only store chain that has started closures in cities with high violence and store theft. CVS already shut down several stores in California due to the laws working for the criminals and not for the store owners.
According to recent reports, store theft in California has risen by 120% since the new theft law. With employees unable to stop the thieves and hold them until police arrive, all the store clerks can do is try to stay safe during the robbery.
The only action California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has taken against the thefts is to put forth a bill to make any store felony a robbery. There is a catch to this bill, however. The theft must be part of an organized ring intending to sell the stolen property.
CVS and Target are likely not the only stores that may pull their business out of California under these new laws. Stores can not hold up to the large amount of thefts occurring when there is nothing to stop the thefts from happening again.