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Crime wave forces Target closures in Oakland, 9 other cities

By Jake Beardslee · September 29, 2023

In brief…

  • Target is closing its downtown Oakland store, its East Harlem store, and eight others due to rampant theft and safety issues.
  • More than 100 police calls have been made to the Oakland Target this year for smash-and-grab and other crimes.
  • Bay Area business owners protested than securty crisis by closing shops for a day over unchecked crime.
  • Thieves have brazenly smashed-and-grabbed tems from parked cars in broad daylight.
  • Target is prioritizing safety of staff amid escalating retail crimes.
Target is shuttering its downtown Oakland store and 8 other locations in the Bay Area, Seattle, Portland, and NYC because of unchecked crime.  Lovable98158/Wikimedia

Retail giant Target has announced it will permanently close its downtown Oakland, California store October 21 due to rampant theft and other crimes, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Police have responded to more than 100 calls so far this year for smash-and-grab thefts and other incidents at the Oakland location.

Target will also shutter eight other stores in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, and Portland due to retail theft concerns. A ninth location set to close is in New York City’s East Harlem.

“We cannot continue operating these stores because theft and organized retail crime are threatening the safety of our team and guests, and contributing to unsustainable business performance,” Target said in a statement.

The two-floor Oakland Target was heavily looted in May 2020 during protests over the death of George Floyd. Oakland’s robbery rate has increased 18% this year with 463 incidents, while burglaries are up 25% with 1,254 cases according to Oakland Police data.

On Tuesday, over 160 Bay Area business owners staged a one-day strike and closed their doors to protest rampant crime making operations untenable.

“I had a group from Miami get robbed at gunpoint on a Saturday afternoon and had all their jewelry taken,” one owner told Fox News,

Thieves have become so bold they now smash-and-grab items from parked cars in broad daylight.

Two other Bay Area Targets are also closing due to aggressive retail theft concerns.

Target said more than 150 stores will remain open in the affected cities. The retailer is prioritizing the safety of its staff amid the national retail crime wave.