Safeway combats theft with separate shopping section for high-theft items in Portland

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PORTLAND, Oregon — The shoplifting epidemic in Portland is happening in plain sight. KGW has documented people stealing armloads of products that security experts like Scott Castleman say are resold on the black market.
“In my career in loss prevention, I’ve never seen anything to the degree that we have today. The brazenness of the shoplifters. Going in, knowing that they won’t get caught, they don’t even try and conceal anything anymore,” said Castleman.

If you walk into the Safeway store on Southwest 10th and Jefferson, you can see their new efforts to try and stop it: adding a dedicated, secured area within the store for what appears to be the most “lifted” items. You have to pay there before you can ever get close to the exit doors.

Maybe that gives security officers a better chance to stop the theft.
Safeway is not talking about their strategy here, or at the Safeway store in the Pearl district, the two stores KGW found with the new more secure areas.

Safeway sent KGW a one-line explanation, reading,

“Like other local businesses, we are working on ways to curtail escalating theft to ensure the safety of our employees and foster a welcoming environment for our loyal customers.”

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