Thief steals garbage bag full of items from Calif. store as customers and security guard record video

Published: Jun. 15, 2021 at 11:53 AM EDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – A thief made off with a shelf full of goods from a Walgreens, right in front of two customers and a security guard recording the incident.

Video shows the man filling a garbage bag with items before taking off.

The security guard tries to grab the bag, but the man gets away with everything on a Lyft bike.

“That’s when he sort of, like, ran into me with his bicycle,” said KGO-TV reporter Lyanne Melendez.

Melendez was one of the customers who recorded video of the incident while she was shopping on her day off. She was not injured by the bike.

“It’s hard for me as a journalist to say, ‘I won’t be involved, I can’t get involved.’ I have to be sort of neutral, but this is also my city,” Melendez said. “I live in this city, and I see this constantly.”

In the past year and a half, Melendez said she’s witnessed three of these out-in-the-open shoplifting sprees at different Walgreens throughout San Francisco.

Unable to justify profit-crushing theft, stores are closing in the city.

“Seventeen Walgreens over the last five years, almost every Gap retail outlet is gone,” San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai said.

Last month, Safai held a hearing on organized retail theft and said the district attorney and the police department need a much more coordinated response.

“It might even involve a more aggressive effort when it comes to surveillance cameras, because you see the same individual hitting multiple locations. Then you can begin to have a deeper conversation about bringing multiple charges,” Safai said.

Safai has given officials until mid-July to respond to his letter of inquiry on organized retail theft.

Copyright 2021 KGO via CNN Newsource. All right reserved.