160 shopping carts were stolen from a San Francisco Safeway

One San Francisco Safeway has resorted to moving all of its shopping carts inside the store after 160 of them were allegedly stolen in the past month, reports Hoodline. 

A number of customers were taken aback when they arrived at the grocery store located at 2020 Market St. ahead of the holiday weekend, only to realize that no carts were available in the outdoor bay near the entrance. 

“Zero shopping carts. It appears they have all been removed including the cart racks that were outside the front of the store,” read a Google review for the store posted by resident Paul Johnson on July 2. “How the hell are you supposed to purchase things like bottled water, canned sodas, beer, seltzers, or wine in the same visit?? I tried the Potrero St. and Mission st. stores too. Zero.”

Another complaint from Upper Market resident Scott S. went on to say that when he asked for a cart, he was told by an employee that all of them had been stolen. 

“They had a shipment of 160 carts last week and all of them have been taken,” he wrote in a Duboce Triangle Neighborhood Facebook group, according to Hoodline. “What good is having security if they can’t stop someone walking off the property with a shopping cart.”

Wendy Gutshall, a spokesperson for the grocery chain, confirmed the change in shopping cart availability was an attempt to combat rising theft at the store, and that customers will be required to ask for assistance if they’d like an employee to help them take their groceries to their car. 

“Like other retailers, the disappearance of shopping carts is an ongoing challenge,” Gutshall told Hoodline. “We continue to explore solutions to address and send additional shopping carts to the Castro Safeway store.”

Other big box stores in the area are taking further action. Last week, nearly every Target in San Francisco — with the exception of the Stonestown location — reduced its hours to 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Speaking with SFGATE, spokesperson Brian Harper-Tibaldo attributed the limited operation to “a significant and alarming rise in theft and security incidents,” such as those faced by other stores including Walgreens and H&M.