The Seattle P-I has a report that Lake City’s Grocery Outlet is suffering from significant losses due to theft. The losses are partly blamed on Seattle’s plastic bag ban, which encourages customers to bring in their own bags. It has proven difficult for store owners to track items that people have in the bags they bring into stores.
Since the bag ban took effect, Grocery Outlet owner Mike Duke said theft of frozen foods and produce have increased significantly. Traditionally those are items a thief “wouldn’t put down their pants,” said a store employee.
Representatives of Fred Meyer were quoted recently as saying that the theft rate at the store was the highest in the multi-state chain.
Some of the theft has also been blamed on the chronic inebriates, drug users and transients that linger in the area. But business owners have been reluctant to go on the record with that for fear of appearing anti-homeless. But in recent days, a contributor for Lake City Live witnessed two incidents of theft by chronic inebriates that are regulars in front of the Post Office and the 99-cent stores.
You can read more of the P-I report on the alarming shoplifting rate in Lake City here.