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Small Business Loses Hundreds Of Thousands To Theft In Crime-Ridden California

A California hardware store lost $700,000 from shoplifting in 2022 as thefts continue to burden the area, according to The Mercury News.
By Will Kessler, DCNF, TFP File Photo

A California hardware store lost $700,000 from shoplifting in 2022 as crime continues to burden the area, according to The Mercury News.

Dale Hardware, located in Fremont, California, is losing $1,800 a day to shoplifting due to both individual and organized theft, according to The Mercury News.

The increase in thefts follows relaxed attitudes from local prosecutors and law enforcement towards lower-level crimes like small-dollar shoplifting, following a national trend under liberal defense attorneys who have received large amounts of funding from megadonor George Soros.

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“How do we run a small business with $1,800 of loss every day?” Dale Hardware owner Kyle Smith said, according to The Mercury News. “It ends up costing the consumer more money because we can’t survive without raising prices.”

Smith said that Dale Hardware typically only calls the police when the amount stolen is over $10,000 because shoplifters are not likely to be held accountable in cases of lower-cost thefts, according to The Mercury News.

Half of Dale Hardware’s thefts come from individuals who did not want to pay for an item they needed, and when asked, the thieves assumed insurance would cover the cost, Smith said, according to The Mercury News. The other half of thefts comes from professional and habitual thieves who either steal tools useful for stealing, like angle grinders or reciprocating saws, or items the criminals can resell on the secondary market.

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San Francisco has also seen a spike in retail crime, with 23 retail stores closing in downtown San Francisco since 2020 as of May. Top retailers like Whole Foods, Anthropologie, Nordstrom and T-Mobile have fled the area due to rising crime.

Fremont is under the jurisdiction of Alameda County, where current District Attorney Pamela Price ran her 2022 campaign on “pursuing comprehensive alternatives to incarceration” and “social service interventions that reduce harmful behavior without law enforcement involvement.” In 2018, the California Justice and Public Safety PAC, which was given $6.1 million by Soros, gave Price $699,647 for her district attorney campaign.

In Oakland, California, many small businesses are refusing to take cash in hopes that thieves will stop targeting the stores for their cash reserves, even though the move could cost the stores 2.5% to 4% of their profits.

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