Watch CBS News

Giant Food implements large bag ban to combat theft at some locations

Giant Food to ban large bags due to theft at some locations
Giant Food to ban large bags due to theft at some locations 02:01

BALTIMORE -- To combat theft at its stores, Giant Food has implemented a large bag ban at select locations.

The bag ban has been in effect for nearly a week. 

Baltimore's Waverly neighborhood location is one of the stores that has started enforcing this policy.

Shoppers had mixed opinions on the policy.

Thomas Edward Sulser takes the bus or walks to the Giant on E. 33rd St. several times a week. His backpack didn't use to be an issue, until Wednesday.

"There's a security guard at the door," Sulser said. "They just put your bag in a cart and it's not really secure. So, you leave it and somebody could just grab it."

Sulser had to leave his bag because larger bags were no longer allowed in the store. A sign at the entrance said that suitcases and duffel bags weren't allowed inside.

Bags that are also bigger than 14" x 14" x 6" aren't allowed, either. That's typically the size of a backpack.

This ban is being done to curb what Giant calls "unprecedented levels" of theft at numerous locations.

Sulser isn't sure he buys that.

"I go there three times a week and I really don't see people stealing," he said.

The new policy doesn't apply to reusable bags.

In a statement to WJZ, Jon Arons, Communications & Community Relations Manager for Giant, said the thefts have made for some unsafe situations.

"We need to be able to run our stores safely and profitably, and we take these responsibilities seriously," Arons said. "The tactics we deploy are only one of the solutions to our problem."

Luci Cassella sees why the policy can be inconvenient, but also sees why a business needs to do what it can to stay afloat.

"It's hard to carry a bunch of separate grocery bags, so I can understand the utility of needing to use a different type of bag," she said. "But, I mean, this grocery store closing would create more of a food desert situation in this area. You have to think of that as well."

Arons' statement went on to say Giant will continue to invest in safety improvements.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.