Crime Wave: Starbucks Closing 16 Locations Over 'Safety Concerns'

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Starbucks is closing 16 locations in cities around the nation after the coffee giant’s employees reported a string of “personal safety” incidents, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Translation: Crime is skyrocketing and our workers are too terrified to even show up at these locations.


The company will shutter six stores in both Seattle and Los Angeles, two in Portland, and one each in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. by the end of July. What do all those locations have in common? They’re in deep-blue areas with soft-on-crime district attorneys and past support of the “defund the police” movement. How’d that work out for you?

Workers described the problems to the company in outreach sessions. In a Monday letter to employees, Senior Vice Presidents Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson detailed what they learned:

You’re also seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more. With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file – it’s a lot.

It certainly is “a lot.” The company is also reversing course on its bathroom rules which, in a 2018 woke paroxysm, they decided to let anyone use, regardless of whether the person was a customer or not. The decision came with obvious safety concerns, and as it turns out, it led to problems. Now, store managers are again allowed to lock bathroom doors and restrict customers should they detect an unsafe situation.


Workers will also now be able to limit seating or cut back on operations, change store layouts, and other moves that they feel will make the space safer. Starbucks, in addition, said it would also offer active-shooter guidance and conflict de-escalation strategies.

Starbucks isn’t the only company facing safety and violence issues. In a horrible story out of Southern California Monday, a string of pre-dawn robbery-shootings at six 7-11 stores left two dead and three wounded. It’s not clear if all the crimes are connected, but police are seeking the same lone gunman in at least three instances. The spree occurred on July 11, or 7/11, the day the chain celebrates its anniversary. “There’s no way it can be a coincidence of it being 7-Eleven, July 11,” said Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesperson for the Riverside Police Department.

Call me crazy, but I’m guessing when the perp is finally arrested, he will be a violent felon on parole with a lengthy rap sheet.


Walgreen’s, meanwhile, has also been the victim of increased crime and has shuttered dozens of stores in the San Francisco area over the last two years. Organized retail theft, where gangs of criminals enter the store at once and grab whatever they want, plagued inner-city locations where police were seemingly unable or unwilling to crack down on the practice and where local politicians and a progressive district attorney were uninterested in the problem. (S.F. DA Chesa Boudin was recently recalled. We’ll see how his replacement works out.)

It’s sad to see these businesses under such an onslaught, and it’s a troubling sign of where our country is headed. From the WSJ:

Nicky DeClerico, a 65-year-old Philadelphia resident, said he curtailed his trips to Starbucks when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Now, he said, crime downtown has made him reluctant to return to the cafes.

Mr. DeClerico said he didn’t blame Starbucks employees for not wanting to work in urban stores, where he said thinly staffed locations could feel scary for workers. “If you have crime, nothing can survive,” he said.


The Defund the Police movement, “progressive” district attorneys, and feckless politicians have led to the massive rise in crime in the last two years. It’s time we get back to reality and deal with crime with actual penalties, not slaps on the wrist.


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