The Patriot Post® · The High Price of Shoplifting

By Thomas Gallatin ·

Every American bears the cost of unchecked crime. Money, after all, doesn’t grow on trees.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillion recently warned that the big box retailer is seriously considering closing several of its stores in high-crime locations. “Theft is an issue,” McMillion explained. “It’s higher than what it has historically been. We’ve got safety measures, security measures that we’ve put in place by store location.”

He further noted that having a well-staffed local law enforcement is key to maintaining the security necessary for his stores to operate safely. “I think local law enforcement being staffed and being a good partner is part of that equation, and that’s normally how we approach it,” McMillon stated. “If that’s not corrected over time, prices will be higher, and/or stores will close.”

Over the last two-plus years — since Democrats shut down the country and then provoked rioting over George Floyd — spiking crime in longtime Democrat-run urban areas like San Fransisco and New York City has increasingly led to retailers taking action to protect their wares, with some stores like Walgreens closing down shops completely in these troubled areas.

Much of the rising crime can be laid at the feet of leftists, whose soft-on-crime policies have effectively decriminalized crimes like shoplifting. In the Bay area of California, city ordinances have essentially eliminated prosecution for thefts of less than $1,000 thanks to the downgrading of the crime to a mere misdemeanor.

This ordinance has resulted in roving smash-and-grab gangs, and stores are left helpless to stop the rampant theft and destruction of their property.

The Target retail chain has observed the same crime-based losses. CFO Michael Fiddelke noted that so far this year the franchise has recorded over $400 million in losses, which is expect to top out at $600 million. Target CEO Brian Cornell added that he had “seen a significant increase in theft and organized retail crime across our business.”

The growth of organized shoplifting crime following the implementation of the Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies is as predictable as night following day. This spiking crime proves former New York Governor Rudy Giuliani’s broken window policy correct. Letting criminals get away with minor infractions only serves to produce more significant and more violent crime.

Democrats have a long history of ignoring or downright rejecting the sinful and fallen condition of humanity. They love to blame crime not on those individuals perpetrating it but on society writ large. By blaming society and seeking to hold it to account by imposing various ill-conceived laws, Democrats have effectively bred crime. Ergo, Americans are now forced to suffer through the ill-conceived “do-gooder” laws that reward crime while at the same time shaming the law-abiding for demanding that criminals be held to account.

Furthermore, as crime rises, especially in lower-income neighborhoods, it makes the poor poorer as businesses flee to safer law-abiding areas. Of course, woke leftists love to blame this flight from crime on law-abiding citizens as well, as if their decision to move their families away from dangerous neighborhoods was the primary cause of poverty.

Good policing and the consistent enforcement of all laws, like Giuliani’s broken window policy, is the only thing that will serve to combat rising crime in places like New York and San Fransisco. The only question is, how long will it take Democrats to face this reality?