Workers at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco were routinely threatened with firearms before the store announced its closure after less than a year in business.
According to the New York Times, 568 emergency calls to the Market Street store over thirteen months revealed chaotic incidents, including vagrants throwing food, shouting, engaging in fights, and attempting to defecate on the floor.
“Male [with] machete is back,” according to one 911 contact, and “Another security guard was just assaulted,” according to another.
Before Whole Foods closed after 13 months, 14 people arrested.
One contact reported that a man wielding a knife attacked store security guards before spraying employees with a fire extinguisher.
A man purportedly overdosed on fentanyl and methamphetamine in the bathroom
During the 13 months that the downtown Whole Foods was open, at least 14 individuals were arrested on serious charges, including grand theft and battery, according to the outlet.
Police noted that criminals were spotted leaving the store with significant quantities of alcohol, and that more than 250 baskets were stolen before the store could restock another 50.
Due to high theft and hostile customers, the store reduced its operational hours in October, according to one of the store’s managers who spoke to the San Francisco Standard. After discovering syringes and pipes, the store altered its lavatory policy in November.
The Standard reported that the closure of the grocery store was precipitated by deteriorating crime and drug use conditions on the street near the store.
At the time, a Whole Foods spokesperson stated, “We are temporarily closing our Trinity location.” If we believe we can guarantee the safety of our employees in the store, we will consider reopening our Trinity location.
Since 2017, the San Francisco Police Department has lost over 330 officers, and its current staffing level of approximately 1,500 officers falls short of its objective of 2,100 officers.