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Store in San Francisco Implements New System of Shopping to Prevent Shoplifting

A longtime San Francisco business is trying something new to curb what it says has been “rampant shoplifting.”

Fredericksen’s Hardware and Paint in Cow Hollow is now offering a one-on-one shopping experience. The idea is to separate actual customers from those looking to steal from the store.

During certain hours, Fredericksen’s is now blocking off part of the store’s entrance and having people wait for an employee to help them instead of allowing people to just roam the store. The store’s longtime manager says it’s a move that was worth trying for the sake of the business, their employees and their customers.

“It’s pretty bad,” said manager Sam Black. “I mean, the dollar amounts are pretty significant, and with the tools and now we’re getting snatch-and-grabs when they take whole displays, so it’s getting kind of dangerous for the employees and the customers.”

Black says for two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening an employee will work with individual customers. A table at the front serves as a way to keep potential thieves from moving freely in and out of the store.

“We just want to make it uncomfortable for the thieves so they go somewhere else,” Black said.

Black said over his 24 years of working at Fredericksen’s the theft is the worst it has ever been. The staff has had to drill down pots and pans to keep shoplifters from swiping them.

They’ve also had to put in locking systems to keep people from pocketing tools and other household hardware. One customer told KRON4 off-camera that the situation is “just sad.”

“Yeah, people aren’t happy,” Black said. “The regulars can’t believe it like we can’t believe it, but they’ve been really understanding.”

Black says he and his staff had to try something because they have not had much success getting help from city leaders or police.

At this point, the one-on-one shopping experiment has been going on for three weeks. Black says they’ll review the results after a month.

Black is not sure how long they will continue doing the one-on-one shopping at the store. San Francisco supervisor Catherine Stefani issued the following statement about the situation:

“This situation is tragic and embarrassing for our city, and it’s all the more reason to get serious about solving our police staffing crisis. We need more police on our streets, and we need them now. That’s why I’ll hold a series of hearings in March to push our city agencies to fill the hundreds of vacancies at the Police Department as soon as possible––to stop the bleeding, reverse the damage, and finally protect our residents and small businesses.”

READ 19 COMMENTS
  • Tired of the bs says:

    What is the point in filling the vacancy’s of the police spots if you have no intention of stopping the crime and criminals on the streets. It will make zero difference, have no benefit because the police can’t help the citizens and can only let the criminals get away with the bs. It’s a catch 22. Enforce the friggen LAWS!!!!! Stop enabling the criminals.

  • Tamirose170 says:

    I don’t think any of these Store Owners should feel bad, at all. Just look at the Automotive Repair Business and borrow how they do it. They have LONG Counter across the front and then the customer explains year, model of the vehicle and what they need to accomplish/repair and the clerk looks it up on the computer and goes behind them down aisles and gets all the items.

    So if a Handyman knows exactly what he needs – hand the list to the Counter Clerk and let them do the leg work. IF the customer is unsure, then walk with them as they go through the thought process of what could work and two folks talking it out loud normally helps to find a solution. I would NEVER begrudgingly get upset over ANY Store Owner modifying their style right now. IF they don’t, then I would be the one picking up part of the tab for the items that walked out of the Store unpaid for – – – It isn’t the Store’s fault nor the owners, it’s one particular type of person and unfortunately 22 million have learned that our Laws are a joke and I FEAR it is only going to get worse from here on out.

    I pray every day for the return of the REAL President, faster than Jan 20, 2025. I just cannot imagine how bad it is going to get when 22 million illegals know they are about to be evicted – I think we have a bumpy few years ahead of us. 2024 is a great year to reinforce window & door locks, set up addl security and cameras around your home, your shed, checking your backseat again and keeping your head on swivel at the gas pump. Though even when caught in person, caught on camera – that doesn’t seem to do much – they are released without bail within a day.

    None of us good law-abiding Americans are going to get upset over changes that Stores must do; because in the long run it saves each of us money anyways until we get our Judicial System, Immigration System, ICE, DEA, ATF and the Constitution all back up and running ~ ready to kick out the WHO, the WEF, UN and a handful of others completely out of our culture.

    The USA owns a handful of uninhabited Islands, that are isolated and >500 miles from the nearest land. I think we should be looking at erecting Sheriff Joe Arapio style prison(s) on 2 Islands to start.
    They have abandoned air strips as they were used decades ago during War efforts. Enormous tents or Tarps, perhaps give them some lumber (hate to give them hammers though), but NO fences except perhaps around where the workers can stay safely when they come every 2 mos to check on the residents. Put up a Library with Books on How To Garden, Plant/Harvest Crops, Build Year-Round Greenhouses, Desalinating Water, How to build animal pens and what animals to start with to create a self-sustaining village, How to build various types of houses, huts, adobe brick etc. – set them up with soil, crops, farm animals and the basics and take the Illegals who have been deported >3x already from the USA there, perhaps those serving Life without parole if they’re a huge strain on our prison system and we just make it a self-sustaining Prison on a US Island that no one has a chance or ability to escape from and after the first 100 are there and photos are taken – better behavior might just begin to happen. They either can leave/be deported in a nice orderly fashion OR we just load them onto military cargo planes using cattle prods and they aren’t returned to their Home Country but to this US Island for ILLEGALS – NO guards

    Once that began to happen the crime rate in America will plummet.

  • Donna says:

    Talking about it won’t help! Money won’t help! No one wants to become an officer there when they have made cleat hoe little they value them. Plus they would have to live in Californication.

  • Trish says:

    Reminds me of the general store in the wild west. You’d pay, then get your merchandise.

  • Badger says:

    Two men walked out of a Harbor Freight in my neighborhood with a cart full of tools. A customer yelled “hey, they didn’t pay for that stuff”. The staff just watched them walk out. Says they are not allowed to stop them. If I witnessed that, I would non chalantly follow them while recording and get video of them, the stuff they stole, and their vehicle license plate and then call the cops. Nobody should get away with this shit. That is one reason why the cost of products is so damned high.

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