SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A longtime family-owned Christmas store in Old Sacramento is being forced to close as it’s been overwhelmed by shoplifters.
The thieves have stolen more than just holiday spirit from the business that’s been in the city for decades.READ MORE: Tuesday's Show Info (1/25/22)
Clearance signs saying “Everything must go” are not how William Glen’s two boutiques—Christmas and Co. and Chef Mercantile—wanted to leave Sacramento.
“We have been here fighting this fight for 11 years with our neighbors,” explained owner, Mark Snyder.
The two stores have been nestled in busy Old Sacramento for 11 years, but have been spreading Christmas cheer for nearly six decades in the city. Snyder said grifting grinches have made it impossible to stay open.
“We are moving strictly online to prevent the loss of merchandise. That loss has increased $15,000 a month,” he explained.
Sacramento police have responded to around 100 shoplifting thefts this year nearly half of those happening in the downtown corridor, and those are just the ones that are reported. While smash and grabs can be a problem for stores, it’s the small unnoticed crimes Snyder says are adding up over time and have pushed their doors to close.
“When we get an order and we look to pull the item, it’s not there. The items are gone, they are missing, so clearly they have been shoplifted,” he said.READ MORE: 2 Yuba City Police Officers Injured In Violent Crash
Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom promised to crack down on organized retail crime signed a new bill extending the California Highway Patrol’s Retail Crime Task Force, which targets theft rings and works to recover stolen goods. Assemblymember Jim Cooper doesn’t believe the move addresses the real problem.
“The bill doesn’t do as much as people propose it does,” said Cooper. “A lot of these folks know that if they steal they are not going to be held accountable.”
Current state law requires suspects to be convicted three times for shoplifting $950 or more to face jail time—anything under that is a misdemeanor.
“You can go in and do it 20 times a day and as long as you stay below that $950 threshold you are not going to go to jail, you may get a citation at best,” Copper explained.
With crime stealing Christmas, Snyder hopes stricter laws will prevent more retailers from closing their doors.
“When there is a lack of deterrent, they are just emboldened to do it more and more and that results to businesses shuttering, and consumer prices increasing,” said Snyder.MORE NEWS: Mandated COVID Testing Stretches NorCal Fire Crews Thin
According to the California Retail Association, Sacramento ranks among the top 10 cities in the country for organized retail crime. Snyder plans to close his stores by the end of the month and move his operations to Texas.