Is Theft Really This Bad?

Welcome to Target in San Diego’s Mission Valley, where toothpaste is kept under lock and key. Apparently, the tubes are a high-theft item, right up there with body lotion and shaving cream. No problem, flat-screen televisions are grab and carry, and maybe an employee will notice—or maybe not. Why let loose the big-ticket item and secure the smaller one? That’s a good question.

One sales associate told me: During the time of SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)/COVID-19  consumer and commercial restrictions, the retailer had trouble stocking some personal care items, presumably because of ongoing supply-chain problems. But the bigger culprit turned out to be shoplifters—something that locked up stock quickly made clear.

Thieves were bold, but not necessarily smart. In one instance, a shoplifter filled a Styrofoam cooler with bars of hand soap and was caught. There’s a moral quandary for you: Cleaner homeless—whose, ah, aroma wouldn’t be as offensive to paying customers, while reducing their exposure to disease—or more Ivory on store shelves for sale?

The Featured Image won’t win awards for clarity or composition but deserves something for quick shot—regardless how careless. The aisle around the locked up toothpaste was quite busy. I had about a second or two when the case was clear.

I used Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra‘s ultrawide lens for this one. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 250, 1/60 sec, 13mm (film equivalent); 1:32 p.m. PDT, today.