Theft-Plagued Walgreens Tells Security Guards Not To Confront Thieves

Empty shelves after Valentines Day holiday merchandise is removed, Walgreens, Queens, New York. (Photo by: Lindsey Nicholson/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

At a glance

  • Walgreens security guards have been instructed not to confront the shoplifters when they walk out without paying.
  • The theft-plagued retailer, which operates 240 stores in New York, including Duane Reade, has been riddled by robberies to the point where the stores have had to put items like toothpaste behind lock and key.
  • The chain hired unarmed guards and off-duty cops — but they haven’t been much of a deterrent
  • “[Security guards] are not there to protect the product,” said Joseph Stein, director of asset protection solutions for Walgreen, during the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce “Anti-Crime Summit” Thursday. “They are there to de-escalate [a situation] and to protect the customer and the employees.”

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