Seattle Target store picked clean by shoplifters (plus Michael Rappaport witnesses shoplifting in NY)

Monday, Jason Rantz reported on the condition of the Target store in downtown Seattle. The store has been subject to an endless wave of shoplifters. According to employees, something is stolen roughly every ten minutes.

“The shelves are empty because we’re not getting shipments. We need the shipments because they keep stealing,” an employee told me.

Homeless men and women flood the Target and steal what they can. In Seattle, they won’t get arrested, booked, or charged for most theft.

Even on a Saturday morning, when the store didn’t have many customers, I was told by a staffer that shoplifting happens “about every 10 minutes” at either side of the store. Guards stop what they can without escalating the situation.

Rantz posted this video showing two shoplifting incidents he encountered in the store just 12 minutes apart.

As you can see in that clip, security might help the store retain some of its merchandise, but the thieves aren’t being arrested. They’re just told to leave and that means they’ll either go somewhere else to steal or they’ll be back at Target again soon. They have no fear of consequences because it has been clear for a while that there are no consequences.

Seattle City Attorney Ann Davison ran on a platform of prosecuting these crimes. But between the sheer number of them occurring and a lack of police to even make arrests, there’s only so much she can do.

There’s likely little political will to prosecute the homeless in Seattle, anyway. Target is a big corporation and, thus, considered unworthy of support by Seattle’s elitist progressives who don’t seem to mind the danger and burden their indifference puts on low-income workers.

Residents may not care now but this plague of thieves will eventually force the store to close. And once Target closes, the thieves will focus on other nearby stores until they close. Eventually you have a downtown that is lawless, dangerous and hollowed out where nobody wants to go. At some point the locals might decide enough is enough but by that point it will be too late.

And as another viral video points out this morning, it’s not just Seattle where this is happening. In New York City, where Mayor Eric Adams was elected to deal with rising crime, actor Michael Rappaport recorded a shoplifting at a local Rite Aid. Rappaport watched a man fill up two bags full of items and then calmly walk out past a security guard. Some NSFW language in this clip.

Just last week, a Rite Aid in Hell’s Kitchen announced it was closing permanently. Employees said it had been hit hard by shoplifters.

The days are numbered at Rite Aid’s Eighth Ave. and W. 50th St. location. The 24-hour store and pharmacy is scheduled to fill its last prescription on Feb. 8, and the Hell’s Kitchen community is already mourning its loss.

Workers and customers speculated that the store had been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and an endless stream of shoplifters who have hurt the store’s bottom line. They say the drug store should step up its security or cut back its hours before throwing in the towel.

“Yeah, they stole a lot,” said one disappointed employee, who wanted to remain anonymous. “Now people can’t shop in their own neighborhood.”

Unless something changes, a lot more of these stores are going to close, leaving the locals with no place to go.