DC grocery store to cease stocking name-brand items like Tide and Colgate to deter theft
· Sep 4, 2023 · NottheBee.com

There appears to be a bustling black market in dealing name-brand household items in Washington DC.

"Hey, man, I need some laundry detergent. I need it bad."

"I got you."

"You have the good stuff? You know I can only use the good stuff. Stubborn grass stains give me the shakes."

"You know I only carry 'T'."

"Okay, okay, give me some."

"Liquid or pods?"

In the coming weeks, a Giant Food market in D.C. will clear its beauty and health aisles of all national labels. No more Tide, Colgate or Advil, only store brands.

Those products are easy to steal or have higher resale value, [Giant president Ira] Kress said. Instead, customers can buy Giant's private label CareOne, which have low resale value.

Interesting thing to admit.

Giant store brands: Not good enough to steal!

Some are concerned that pulling these popular brands from the shelves will deny residents of the infamously crime-ridden Ward 8 access to such items. However, as Kress put it, it doesn't matter, they are stolen faster than they can keep these items on the shelves anyway.

"I don't want to do this — I'd like to sell [those products]," he said. "But the reality is that Tide is not a profitable item in this store … In many instances people stock the product and within two hours it's gone, so it's not on the shelf anyway."

It's not just the in the wards that have long suffered from higher levels of crime - oh no, even the nicer places are getting hit.

"We always thought Northwest was pretty safe, and I definitely don't feel that way anymore," said Charles Samuels, a 69-year-old lawyer, standing outside a CVS that experienced multiple thefts this spring and summer in the residential Spring Valley neighborhood of D.C.. "It's disturbing.

The Post reassures readers that none of this is new.

Shoplifting is not new, nor are organized theft sprees that prompt stores to lock up high-value goods. It was more than a decade ago that people were referring to Tide detergent as "liquid gold" for how it was being stolen and resold.

But then concedes what has become too obvious to ignore.

In D.C., thefts that don't involve cars are up 25 percent compared with the same time last year, and property crime overall is up 29 percent, reaching its highest mark since 2017.

Not to worry, we have Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Lindsey Appiah on the case! She'll get to the root of the problem.

Giant isn't doing enough.

Theft and violence is an issue in the area around the store, said Lindsey Appiah, deputy mayor for public safety and justice, who was among the officials touring store on Thursday. But having access to a grocery store is "important for public health purposes," so her office plans to work with Giant to find solutions.

Holding private corporations responsible for the complete failure of government officials to provide the most basic of services (the successful provision of which is the only justification for their existence) is a thing now.

Appiah is, of course, fully qualified to tackle the crime issue, having spent most of her career in the District of Columbia at the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services and, before arriving in DC, working in the Department of Children's Services in the Tennessee Office of the Attorney General.

(Okay, so maybe she's not the best choice to tackle crime, but if you need a baby sitter, probably your go-to.)

DC is not the only metro area getting hit with rampant retail theft. It's a nationwide problem.

Where I live, right across the river from DC in Arlington, VA, things aren't as bad yet, but the trajectory isn't promising. The Giant closest to my house has started checking receipts as people leave (mostly in the self checkout, and mostly targeted at youths) while another I frequent further from my house has posted a security guard at one entrance, and turned another entrance into an emergency exit only. Not long ago, my son was at a Walgreens not far from our house with a friend where they witnessed some blatant shoplifting. His friend told the store clerk. The clerk just shrugged. At a nearby 7-11 he and a friend came across some altercation that involved the store clerk threatening a crazy guy with, I kid you not, a pizza spatula.

Beyond retail theft (and I'll note as an aside, random crazy homeless people wandering about) is general hooliganism. Our area has an increasing problem with gangs of ATVS, dirt bikes, and other non-street-legal vehicles driven by unlicensed youths, taking over major streets. It started in the District and some other nearby counties, and now Arlington.

How do they get away with this?

We let them.

This commenter nailed it.

Looks folks, it is pretty simple. These guys do this crap because they know the police will do nothing but "escort" them around. In the video posted on Twitter they all run a red light, no penalty though! Too many of them! One guy is even doing a selfie of the cops chasing him! What about "vision zero"? Think these guys give a crap about that? What is going to stop them from doing this next week? Answer: nothing... right now Arlington basically is content to do the same ole stuff that doesn't work. That is why folks are upset. I am no expert in public safety, but I can't believe we are really powerless to stop what has been going on.

There has been a lot of push back, mainly from liberal arts professors, against the "broken window" theory of policing, wherein you have law enforcement vigorously enforce the little things, the better to stave off the escalation of crime.

But the broken window theory is something I think many of us have lived through, and seen with our own eyes, maybe even indulged in ourselves. If you signal to people that it's basically okay to deface public buildings, assault people, and shoplift, they are going to do those things, and they will keep pushing the line. Point of fact: That incident in Arlington with the ATVs ended in a shooting at a gas station just to the south in Alexandria.

There is such a thing as excessively aggressive policing, and you have to closely monitor any group of people in whom you vest the authority over others, but there is certainly such a thing as excessively passive policing.

Giant is not responsible for criminal gangs looting their shelves of brand-name household items.

The government that gives them a wink and a nod is.

And we already know how that story ends.

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