Sacramento Sheriff Blasts Big-Box Retailers for Enabling Retail Crime

Sacramento County Sheriff Jim Cooper is calling out two national retailers for thwarting his office’s attempt to crack down on shoplifters. 

In a blistering post on X, Cooper wrote:

I can’t make this stuff up. Recently, we tried to help Target. Our Property Crimes detectives and sergeant were contacted numerous times by Target to help them with shoplifters, mostly who were known transients. We coordinated with them and set up an operation with detectives and our North POP team. 

At the briefing, we were told by their head of regional security that we could not contact suspects inside the store; we could not handcuff suspects in the store; and if we arrested someone, they wanted us to procees them outside… behind the store… in the rain. 

We were told they didn't want to create a scene inside the store and have people film it and put it on social media. They didn't want negative press. Unbelievable. 

Our deputies watched a lady on camera bring in her own shopping bags, go down the body wash isle, and grab a bunch of Native body washes. Then she went to customer service and return them! Target chose to do nothing and simply let it happen. Yet somehow, locking up deodorant and raising prices on everyday items we need to survive is their best answer. 

We don’t tell big retail how to do their jobs, they shouldn’t tell us how to do ours.

Cooper’s admonishment follows Target’s decision to close nine stores because of retail theft, which has cost the company $500 million this year. 

It’s not just Target. Cooper said his department was recently contacted by employees of a local Walgreens, who “were inundated with repeat offenders, who continually shoplifted from their stores with no fear.” According to Cooper, sheriff’s deputies set up a sting operation, but were prevented by Walgreens from executing the plan

“This was yet another example of big retailers reminding us that they don’t care about retail theft or the consumer,” the sheriff remarked. 

Walgreens has also announced store closures because of rising retail crime. 

“They are the first to cry about the rise in crime and how nothing is being done,” said sheriff’s spokesman Amar Gandhi. Then they refuse to cooperate. The real losers, he added, are the small mom-and-pop stores, who aren’t able to just look the other way and survive.