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Stockton Safeway enacts new security measures to combat thefts

Stockton Safeway takes new security measures to combat thefts
Stockton Safeway takes new security measures to combat thefts 02:23

STOCKTON — A major grocery store in Stockton is taking steps to address the issue of theft.

Customers shopping at the Safeway on Pacific Avenue are now navigating through a one-way entrance and exit enforced by placed barriers. The move aims to enhance the safety to shoppers and protect against theft.

"At first, it's a little bit to get used to it," said Griselda Gonzales, a regular at the Safeway location.

Gonzales noticed the barriers within the last week. She said she understands the need for it.

"If it cuts down on theft and stuff like that and I can shop in the afternoons with my kids safely, I'm OK with that," she said.

A statement provided by Safeway reads:

"Recent changes were made at the Safeway store located at 6445 N. Pacific Avenue in Stockton given the increasing amount of theft. Those updates include operational changes to the front end of the store to deter shoplifting.  Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft so we can ensure the wellbeing of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our customers. These long-planned security improvements were implemented with those goals in mind."

Nate Rose, spokesperson for the California Grocers Association, noted that while barriers are not a widespread trend, they signify the lengths some grocery stores are willing to go to prevent theft.

"If the status quo continues, they're going to have to look into new ways to keep stores safe," Rose said.

Rose added that thieves often target items with street value, such as makeup and alcohol, which can be easily resold across criminal networks. He noted the challenge faced by grocery stores is maintaining a seamless shopping experience for customers while also safeguarding their products.

"This is the complete antithesis of what we want to do, but it shows how bad the problem has become," Rose said.

Grocery stores across California are exploring new ways to protect their merchandise and ensure a secure shopping environment for everyone.

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