Thefts at East Bay Targets Are Soaring


Alexandros Silva

A Target in Pleasant Hill has locked up aisles in an attempt to prevent products from being stolen. Photo by Alexandros Silva.

Target retail stores in the East Bay have been hammered financially in recent months due to a steady increase in thefts. Now, more shoppers say they’re concerned about their personal safety when entering the business.

“As a target shopper, I feel unsafe and worried about all the thefts that have been in Target recently,” said Noah Buckle, 20, a customer at Target in San Ramon. 

In his view, “the store should try and make it more comfortable for everyone by having more security.”

Crimes at Target aren’t just happening daily. According to the San Francisco Standard, company stores experience about 10 thefts a day on average across the Bay Area.

Nationwide, the Wall Street Journal reported that Target lost more than $600 million in stolen merchandise last year, contributing to the company’s 13 percent fall in share price. 

Shoplifters at Target typically escape without harm because it’s against store policy for security to stop them. 

“The company puts the safety of other customers and employees ahead of apprehending suspects,” states NCESC, an employment information site.

Some workers say they favor more robust security measures in the form of increased surveillance to help improve the situation.

“I believe Target can become like it was before by having more security and having more cameras inside and outside the store,” said Jason Calestini, a 20-year-old San Ramon Target employee. 

Rudy Montoya, a supervisor at Target in Pleasant Hill, agreed that the number of thefts had gotten out of hand. “This Target as a whole has been affected,” he said. 

Thefts tend to apply more pressure to the company’s workers, who are trained to be alert and ready for shoplifters to ensure that no one in the store gets hurt. 

“When people steal from us, I have to chase them down, then tell the security guards and my boss to get the police involved in the situation,” said Calestini. 

For local shoppers, the knowledge that Target stores are regularly attracting thieves has become unnerving. 

“I have fortunately not experienced a theft,” said Buckle, “But if such a time occurs, I imagine myself probably feeling nervous and terrified.”