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Watching Small Times Thieves Have Their Way @ Safeway

Original post made by Theft Prevention, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on Jun 24, 2011

I'm at whits-end watching petty thieves at local retailers stealing at will with no response from the retailer. I was shopping at Safeway on Santa Rita on Friday afternoon. A couple of kids were running wild in the fruit department. No problem, the mother will be in shortly to curb their enthusiasm. Not a chance, the grandmother and mother were right there and allowed it to continue. But, as they ran down the isles, they were grabbing fruit and eating it right in from of their mother and grandmother. Okay, no problem. It's Friday. Then they went to the nut bin and starting pouring hands full of nuts into their pocket ... again right in front of their guardians. I had enough. This was blatant theft. I went to one employee. Then another, and another. They did absolutely NOTHING. Then the manager who was talking with a fellow employee. Of course all of them said, "Thank you for shopping at Safeway!" I'm paraphrasing but you get the point. The manager says, "Yes, we have the loss prevention team here right now." Ten minutes later I go up to the loss prevention person and ask the status. "Oh, we couldn't find them." Okay the description and the location that I gave wasn't enough in a 5k square foot facility. This was not the first time in Safeway that I've seen this occur. I've seen the same scam at Raley's, Walmart and other locations. Go in with the family, eat till your hearts content while you're pretending to walk around, slip a few sunglasses in the pocket ... hey no problem. No problem, because honest shoppers foot the bill. I guess the employees, managers and loss prevention teams don't want to risk their jobs since they have the trusty ol' honest customers to pick up the tab. I'm sick of seeing this. But, I guess I can be like the rest of them and steal to my heart's content, ignore everything or just keep paying because I'm honest. Which one would you choose if you had a choice. PS I'm staying honest, but it still makes me mad. PSS I use to work for a local police department and I guess was sensitized to this sort of thing.


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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

Try what I do. Take a photo of them with your cell phone. Ask mommie dearest if she would care to give her name so that you can have the police ask for her by name. Otherwise they can find her and the thieving brats by using the cell phone photos. I have even followed a fleeing thief to their car and taken photos of the license plate.
I once heard a merchant with a wonderful idea. Some teenaged thieves were in the store and there were camera photos of them stealing. The merchant had a 24/7 video slide show in the store window, seen from the sidewalk. The merchant told the kids that their photos -- stealing and being arrested -- would be part of the slide show if they ever came back again. It must have worked.
I also tell the store manager that I will not continue to patronize them if they do not make every effort to prevent theft loss. Which is, BTW, why you will never see me at a Safeway.

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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jun 24, 2011 at 11:18 pm

"I had enough. This was blatant theft...."

It's only theft if Safeway says it's theft. It's not your problem.

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Posted by Tango
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Jun 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I have 3 family members that work in retail. It seems that they have been told that they should not try to stop someone that is shoplifting. They could be shot or stabbed or some other mayhem. They are to call loss prevention , give a description of the thieves. They will try to find the shoplifter, but cannot follow them into the parking lot. You can blame this on the insurance companies. They would rather pay out for the lost item , than pay for an employee that has come to harm. Does make some kind of sense.

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Posted by Integrity or not
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 24, 2011 at 11:35 pm

Sam....It's a problem for ALL of us ! Yes report !
Should we be quiet when we see them break into YOUR car? or steal things from YOUR porch ?? I wonder where you'd fit yourself on the integrity scale, since petty theft doesn't bother you. Remind me to not deal with you.

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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jun 24, 2011 at 11:50 pm

"Should we be quiet when we see them break into YOUR car? or steal things from YOUR porch ?? I wonder where you'd fit yourself on the integrity scale, since petty theft doesn't bother you."

Calm down. The shopper reported what he saw to the Safeway store employees. It's Safeway property so it's their call as to whether or not a theft occurred.

By the same token, if you see someone take something from my porch and then report the incident to me, then you've done your duty, thank you., It's then it's my call - not yours - as to whether or not a theft occurred. Perhaps it was some stuff that I put on my porch for a friend to pick up, and what you witnessed was him coming by to get it. Perhaps it was something I put out for recycling or food cans for a local charity which was picking them up. Or maybe it's just some junk I wanted to get rid of. Whatever. My property, my call. Safeway's property, Safeway's call.

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Posted by imho
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2011 at 10:58 am


I agree with what your assessment re: "safeway property...safeway's call"

Applying your logic, its also "integrity's call" as to how she responds to what she witnessed re: the theft and safeways' response to the theft.

Just like she does not get to tell safeway how to don't get to tell integrity to Calm down"

The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem.

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Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Jun 25, 2011 at 11:42 am

"The problem is not the problem; the problem is your attitude about the problem."

I have no idea what that means.

Let me elaborate, since I think that I'm in more agreement with the sentiments of the others here than you give me credit for. If I were walking along the aisles of Safeway or some other store and I witnessed the taking of fruits and other goods that was witnessed then, yeah, my blood would boil, too. And I would probably report it to the owners, but then it's their responsibility to decide what to do from that point.

If they don't act and you don't like that, here's my advice. Write a letter of complaint to the manager of the Safeway store stating the fact that you witnessed this poor behavior by other store customers including the apparent theft of items, and that you reported the behavior and nothing was done. Explain that you don't feel comfortable shopping in such a store, and will not be coming back until the problem is corrected. AND, at the bottom of your letter, write a line indicating that you are going to "cc" a copy of this complaint letter to Safeway corporate headquarters. Yeah, that will get the store manager's attention. Don't focus too much on the issue of theft itself in your letter. If you do that, then you'll just cloud his mind with thoughts about "loss prevention", lawyers, and "acceptable overhead losses", and you'll maybe just get back a boilerplate response letter. Instead, focus on the issue of CUSTOMER DISSATISFACTION in your letter due to the POOR BEHAVIOR of other shoppers which was ignored by store management.

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Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Jun 26, 2011 at 12:26 am

Stealing is as American as Apple Pie!

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Posted by Dirk
a resident of Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks
on Jun 26, 2011 at 6:53 am

I agree with Cholo. Why not report thieving Safeway for selling locally grown avocados at 2.29 a piece?

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Posted by Helen
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 26, 2011 at 8:50 am

Well unless our economy changes quickly you are going to see a lot more stealing as people continue to be out of work. Get used to it.

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

Oh come on Helen. This is not about parents stealing food for their starving children. This is about uncontrolled brats being allowed to steal for the thrill of it.
It is the responsibility of the store to stop it before raising the prices for those of us who pay for our merchandise.

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Posted by Mellow Fellow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2011 at 11:48 am

Theft may be on the up-rise, but that doesn't mean it should be condoned. If I read the first report, loss prevention was on the scene and also did nothing. Theft is one of the most critical sources of loss for retail businesses. Law suits are no excuse. It is true that employees don't want to get in the middle of a bad scene, but I gotta tell you, letting theft go unabated is not the answer either. It seems as long as people steal (like the government, companies, insert your favorite scam artist) ... well we just sit back and let it happen. Nah! I'm putting my thinking cap on. There's got to be a better way.

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Posted by Thinker
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2011 at 6:58 am

In Iraq they cut off the kids' hands. I don't know about that, but I say we lower the age for adult crimes. It would do these 7 year-olds some good to be thrown in with hardened criminals in maximun security prisons. And parents, too, who are aiding and abetting the crimes. I don't know what is worse, kids from entitlement groups who are pilfering plums from the produce section or union teachers. Both of them are crooks, and we as a community should respond accordingly. Common decency demands it. Further, if the parents are bringing their kids into the store just to pig out on grapes and apples, the parents ought to be made to pay a portion of their welfare pay-outs to grocery owners. Thank god there are vigilante persons in our midst who are willing to blow whistles, bang drums and sound the alarms as these entitlements try to take this country away from us, one bite at a time.

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Posted by Joanne
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:16 am

The police won't come anyway. They don't have time.

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Posted by mooseturd
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:45 am

mooseturd is a registered user.

When you shop at Safeway you condone their immoral and reckless policy. Go someplace else.

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Posted by steve
a resident of Parkside
on Jun 27, 2011 at 9:59 am

Guess you all missed the blatant sarcasm of blossom's post, eh? This is no doubt the same poster defending the unions by posing as a defender of the Castlewood Country Club with wild exaggerations and misspelled words. This tactic is used by many guilt ridden do-gooders who can't argue a counter-point to the subject at hand. Intellectually lazy products of Kalifornia's school system

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Posted by HotSam
a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 27, 2011 at 10:22 am

I once saw Safeway's loss prevention team grab a young man who thought he could make off with a bottle of Grey Goose. He was barely out the door when they pounced on him. So I guess it depends on what you steal. Fruit and nuts are cheap - they're busy watching the liquor aisle.

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Posted by Loss Prevention Agent
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2011 at 1:09 pm

any citizen can do what any Loss Prevention person does-step up and call the police and tell them you want to place them under citizens arrests just do NOT detain the kids on your own . If Safeway does want to comply at a store level-contact the home office (Stoneridge mall Road).
However you or security cannot stop the culprits INSIDE the store-must wait and give them the opportunity to pay and can only be stopped outside. stop them inside-lawsuit...............

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Posted by Think Logically
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:06 pm

What did you expect the Safeway employees to do - shoot the kids? I don't condone what these people did and I absolutely HATE it when parents ignore their kids' bad behavior BUT..... put yourself in the place of the store empolyees, they have to make a decision of what to pursue and what not to pursue otherwise they'd be wasting a lot of time and money pursing thefts that cost less than the time & money involved in pursuing the theif.

Put it this way, if someone stole a $2.00 planter from your front porch, would you spend thousands of dollars in a legal battle to get back the $2.00 planter from the theif?

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Another idea is to take a cell phone photo of the brats with their hands in the food bins and email it to the county health department. If Safeway chooses to do nothing about the problem I certainly would not mind getting the health dept to shut down their open food containers. A full blown health dept inspection might get Safeway to start thinking about doing the right thing.
Every merchant in the state has the right to refuse service to anyone. Safeway managers can simply ask the parents to take their spawn and leave. No accusations, no potential lawsuits but the problem would be solved.

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Posted by Sonny Crockett
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 27, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Why is everyone getting so excited? If you don't like what you see, or how Safeway management responds to your complaint, then go to 99Ranch Market or Lucky's.

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Posted by Pernell
a resident of Ponderosa
on Jun 28, 2011 at 6:12 am

I once worked at Lucky's and tried to stop a 9 year-old entitlement kid from liberally sampling (the liberalism starts early with the entitlement kids) pistachios from the nut bin. He bit my finger. My finger started bleeding all over the nut bin, and my employer fired me. I then went to work at Castleton as a bartender. Like all well-trained dogs, I learned to never ever bite the hand that feeds you.

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Posted by Jimander
a resident of Dublin
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:20 am

As a former business owner in Pleasanton, I have had theft by customers and employees. But MY upbringing developed a moral compass that said right IS right and wrong IS wrong. Grey areas only lead to assumed consent that what you are doing is OK. Right or wrong. The degree of wrong for a young person, still pushing the envelope trying to discover how far society will let them go before stopping them, can escalate if they are not shown by parents or COMMUNITY. By being the silent bystander we are allowing another generation of entitled felons to take advantage us personally and as a society. Right is right and wrong is wrong. And if society allows entitled criminal behavior...why should you worry about why someone breaks into your home and commits violence on your family. We've allowed it, as a community by saying it was OK when they were young. Doesn't anyone think about what has happened in our community with entitled kids growing up and committing worse crimes. Read the news! Teach them young, so they can contribute, not burden our way of life. We can be better than this. And yes, I understand the hands off approach by corporations. But as a private citizen, if a crime is being done, I will report it. Because this is MY community, too. Where do you live and what are your responsibilities?

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Posted by artlover
a resident of Birdland
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

Just how far are we going to let things blatently WRONG go on? Everyone is so afraid. I feel every compunction to go up to the kids and in a nice way tell them, you are stealing! The guardians are already a lost cause, but should be called on it too. This is an epidemic in our society- do what you want and let someone else deal with it.
We DO PAY for this crime - in terms of $2.29 avocados and more. So, heck yes, I would in a nice way go up to those kids and tell them to stop what they are doing in a nice way. I am also NOT afraid of the parents if they have a problem with it. They continiue to do what they want because they count on no one doing anything about it!
BTW blatant drug dealing also occurs in the back of Safeway parking lot. So, there are quite a few problems there. Take back your Safeway! Why shop some where else because of something you did not do!

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Posted by May
a resident of Del Prado
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:31 am

Guess I will stop buyng anything from a ben at any store..I never gave it a though until I heard this...

I think taking pictures with you phone and make sure the parent's see what you are doing is the best idea..

I pull out my phone for a lot of suitations that I's pooping
in the park or on someone's lawn and the owner not picking it up..It
usually gets them nervous as to what you are gjoing to do with it..

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Posted by I hate irresponsible dog owners
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

May, I wish you'd hang around my neighborhood. I'm sick of finding dog sh*t on my lawn. And it usually happens late at night or when there's no one around my house.

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Posted by HAHA
a resident of Downtown
on Jun 28, 2011 at 9:59 am

Shopping at Safeway means you are getting robbed! Way over priced! You rob yourself by shopping there.
Just mind your own freaking business. If you don't like it don't shop there. And if it really bothered you that bad and was that concerned, why didn't you just go talk to the mother and grandmother and complain to them. O the things people complain about these days....

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Posted by hop sing
a resident of Ponderosa
on Jun 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

If we could just imprison all the entitlement kids who -- wink, wink -- don't have the moral compass that company owners do, then we wouldn't be forced to pay 2.29 for an avocado. Instead of having them marked up from 19 cents to 2.29 because of the kiddy thieves, they'd only be marked from 19 cents to 2.25, because that would allow the store owners morally to collect 2.06 for their hard labor.

... or, you can buy them from entitlement stoop laborers on the roadside at 4 for a 1.00. It's your choice, those of you who have such an impressive moral compass.

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Posted by Julia
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 28, 2011 at 12:23 pm

WOW...28 comments as of 6/28 @ 12:17pm

Hey are getting better with are articles. I happy to see some activity.

Keep those great stories coming...forget about all the goodie stuff.

Also Happy to see Cholo is awake...I see he or she or it has a friend named of Dirk. Oh, by the way you both seem misguided in your thinking.

Julia from Alamo

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Posted by Marvin
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jun 29, 2011 at 6:21 am

@ "Guess you all missed the blatant sarcasm of blossom's post, eh?"

Steve, who in the heck is blossom? Is she a figment of your imagination or someone you simply can't get out of your mind?

My moral compass always points north.