CVS Stores in DC Resort to Framed Portraits of Toilet Paper, Other Products to Counter Rampant Theft

One CVS drug store in Washington, D.C. has taken much of its stock off the shelves and is using the space to display photos of what customers used to be able to grab for themselves.

Conservative commentator Joey Mannarino posted to X photos he claimed were from a CVS store on H Street in Washington, D.C.

“This is from the CVS on H Street in Washington DC. Due to the out-of-control theft, they have now put away almost all their items and just have photographs of what is in stock. You press the button and the sales associate gets you what you need,” he posted.

“I was in Barcelona, Spain a few months ago and saw Mac laptops sitting out in the middle of the store. This is how we have to live in America now? This is the third world!” he wrote.

The shelves are similar to the look at a CVS on 14th Street in Washington’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, which was recently targeted by a gang of about 50 teenage looters, according to the Daily Mail.

“You’d think the store is closing because there’s barely anything on the shelves,” WTTG-TV reporter Sierra Fox said.

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“They stole the whole store. There’s nothing in the store. You can’t even get a water. I’ve never seen nothing like that in my life,” would-be customer Mark Ward said, according to WDMV-TV.

“Thieves,” Rodney Demetrius, a former CVS customer who has a stand across the street selling flowers, said, according to The Washington Post. “They took everything.”

CVS said it is not closing these troubled stores yet.

“In recent weeks, we’ve worked closely with the DC Metro Police to identify and dismantle several major shoplifting rings and will continue to do so,” CVS representative Carissa Falzarano said.

“In addition, we’re supporting new initiatives to combat retail theft in partnership with the DC Attorney General’s Office. There are no plans to close this location, or any others in Washington, DC, at this time.”

The National Retail Federation estimates retail theft costs the industry $112 billion a year, the Daily Mail reported, while data from CapitalOne Research projects that by 2025, that will top $115 billion.

In Washington, theft is up 21 percent through October 27, according to the Metropolitan Police Department. Through Friday, there had been 10,673 theft cases in the nation’s capital. That means with about two months left in the year, Washington is only about 150 cases away from topping the total for all of 2022.

Democratic D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has unveiled proposed laws she claims will fix the problem, according to The Hill.

One part of the legislation allows the Metro Police Department chief to declare limited-time drug-free zones on the spot that would last for 120 hours. Bowser said this will inhibit illegal drug sales and “allow neighborhoods to clean up and reclaim public space.”

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The package will add a crime called “directing organized retail theft.”

The new laws would also ban wearing a mask “for the purpose of committing criminal acts, intimidating and threatening other people or causing fear.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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