Walgreens closing 5 more San Francisco stores due to 'ongoing organized retail crime'

Pedestrians walk by a Walgreens store on April 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California.
Pedestrians walk by a Walgreens store on April 5, 2016 in San Francisco, California. Photo credit Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Walgreens will close five additional stores in San Francisco citing "ongoing organized retail crime," a spokesperson confirmed to KCBS Radio on Tuesday.

The impacted stores will close on the following dates:
- Nov. 8: 2550 Ocean Ave. (prescriptions moved to 1630 Ocean Ave.)
- Nov. 11: 4645 Mission St. (prescriptions moved to 965 Geneva St.)
- Nov. 15: 745 Clement St. (prescriptions moved to 3601 California St.)
- Nov. 15: 300 Gough St. (prescriptions moved to 2145 Market St.)
- Nov. 17: 3400 Cesar Chavez St. (prescriptions moved to 2690 Mission St.)

Podcast Episode
Phil Matier
Phil Matier: Walgreens closing 5 stores in San Francisco due to shoplifting
Listen Now
Now Playing
Now Playing

"Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that," Walgreens Spokesperson Phil Caruso said in a statement. "Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment."

Patients won't need to take action in regards to their prescription files, which are being sent to nearby Walgreens locations within a mile radius, Caruso added. The company plans "to place the stores' team members in other nearby locations."

"I am completely devastated by this news – this Walgreens is less than a mile from seven schools and has been a staple for seniors, families and children for decades," San Francisco Supervisor Ahsha Safai tweeted. "This closure will significantly impact this community."

Safai represents the city's District 11, which includes the Excelsior, Mission Terrace, Crocker, Cayuga, Outer Mission, Oceanview, Merced and Ingleside – a region that includes Walgreens' Mission St. store.

He called on the city to "act with a sense of urgency to reduce and deter the number of incidents of commercial retail theft."

The company's Bay Area locations have been plagued by viral theft, leading to more than a dozen closures in San Francisco over the last five years.

At a news conference to announce new housing effort on Tuesday, Mayor London Breed reacted to the news: "We all saw the person who rolled into a Walgreens on their bike and robbed the store and that went viral all across the world. What didn't go viral is the fact that this man was arrested by the San Francisco Police Department, is behind bars and is awaiting prosecution."

The mayor added that the closure of the stores puts added pressure on each neighborhood. "That's going to be problematic for our city and we'll continue to do what we can to improve the quality of life and safety in our city and hopefully they'll change their mind and come back."

This story was first reported by SFGATE.