Cops Secretly Deployed in San Francisco

Cops Secretly Deployed in San Francisco

( – Faced with a massive wave of shoplifting, San Francisco cops are resorting to desperate measures. They’re deploying undercover officers to catch the thieves in the act. So far, the results are promising.

Organized bands of shoplifters have plagued San Francisco for years since California voters passed a 2014 ballot measure that classed shoplifting goods worth less than $950 as a misdemeanor instead of a felony. During the pandemic, the problem worsened, and although it’s improved a little since the 2020 surge, it’s still at unsustainable levels.

Big chain stores are closing San Francisco branches because organized theft, often by gangs of shoplifters working together, is wiping out their profits and making the businesses unviable. For many San Franciscans, that means neighborhood pharmacies are closing. For example, in 2021, Walgreens closed five stores, citing “organized” shoplifting, and early this year, it shuttered four more.

Now, the SFPD is trying to roll back the tide. In November, they started placing undercover officers in stores that get targeted a lot, and it’s already getting results. So far, the teams have made 13 felony arrests and 47 misdemeanor bookings.

A statement from the department says prosecutors have offered plea bargains to about half the suspects but will prosecute the remainder for their crimes. Deputy Chief Raj Vaswani said the operation would run for at least another month — and even liberal mayor London Breed is backing the initiative.

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