Undeterred by a security guard and a TV reporter recording his act, a thief raided a Walgreens store in San Francisco on a bicycle, with a garbage bag in his hand full of stolen goods.
The brazen shoplifting video, shot in June, was watched by millions. Critics say this underlines how epidemic thefts at retail stores have become in the city.
It was the fifth time the thief had targeted the same Walgreens store located on Gough Street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood, police said.
On June 19, the San Francisco Police Department said it had arrested the man, identified as Jean Lugo-Romero, 40. Investigators said he was responsible for a number of thefts in the Northern and Mission districts.
Lugo-Romero faces burglary and robbery charges for the five times he stole from that particular Walgreens store, including on four consecutive days in late May, early June.
Four months later, Walgreens said it has decided to close the stores plus four others in the city in November due to the continuing issue of organized shoplifting in San Francisco.
‘Organized Retail Theft Challenging’
In an email to The New York Times, Phil Caruso, spokesman for Walgreens said, “Organized shoplifting has been a continuing challenge facing retailers in San Francisco. Retail theft across our stores in San Francisco are fives the average across our chain.”
Walgreens said professional thieves steal from their stores and then resell the goods through the online marketplace. According to police, most of the retail crime in the city is the handiwork of organized gangs.
In a board meeting in May, Walgreens’ representatives said the company had to close 17 stores because thefts had made doing business untenable at these stores.
With the fresh closure, Walgreens stores in the city which have shut have gone up to 22. The company has more than 50 stores in the city.
Employees working in these stores will be shifted to other locations and customers will have their prescriptions transferred to nearby stores.
A Simple Tip To Boost Social Security Benefits By $800
Inflation sure did inflict some heavy blows to benefits in Social Security, including the amount of coverage to its beneficiaries in the United States. Prices of commodities have surged significantly by six percent in the past year alone. Putting things into perspective, inflation stagnated to almost zero for the better part of the last ten years, and in less than a year, prices have skyrocketed in nearly each of the major categories. A good example is the grocery prices that went up by 12 percent in several categories.
COLA 2022’s 5.9% may not be enough for some
To ease things up, the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022 will be up by 5.9 percent, which is the largest tweak in the last four decades. Albeit such an increase, some still need additional funds to make ends meet. That said, here are some tips to substantially boost one’s income.
All about timing
An essential factor in determining a person’s Social Security benefit is timing. That said, the timeliest one can get in filing for the program’s benefits is by the time that individual has reached the age of 62, with age 70 being the latest. Americans are well-aware, though, that there’s a catch to this. Early filing of it would only yield lesser benefits. However, waiting for the ripe age of 70 would result in them receiving the maximum benefits, GBR writes.
Further, delayed retirement credits are some sort of reward that Social Security provides its recipients with for putting off claiming an individual’s retirement benefit. These credits start to stack up the month a person reaches their retirement age of 66 years and four months for people born in 1956, as this slowly increases to 67 for folks born in 1960 and above.
Additionally, these credits accumulate through age 69, though this may seem to work in reverse if one decides to get the benefits earlier.
The Social Security Administration stated that if a worker starts getting benefits prior to his/her full retirement age, that worker is said to be getting a reduction in benefits. The program stated that a worker can opt to retire as early as 62, though doing such may ensue a benefit reduction to as much as 30 percent.
Mystery Of What Killed A Family Hiking In Mariposa County Solved
Investigators have finally nailed the cause of death of a young family and their dog, who all perished mysteriously during a hiking trip on a remote trail in Mariposa County in August, authorities said.
Mariposa Sheriff Jeremy Briese on Thursday said the family perished due to hyperthermia and dehydration as temperatures reached 109 in the afternoon while it was just 74 when they started the hike, reports San Francisco Chronicle.
Investigators reached this conclusion after conducting investigation, autopsies and toxicology reports, said Briese.
When body temperature rises to dangerous levels hyperthermia sets in. “Heat and lack of water on the steep stretch of switchbacks with no shade was too much for them to handle and they all succumbed,” Briese said.
‘Family Underestimated Difficulties’
Addressing a crowd of reporters, the sheriff said they were new to the area and hence underestimated the difficulties of the remote trail, unforgiving terrain, and the heat.
Some questions though remain unanswered like exactly when the members of the family and their pet died and whether they passed away at almost the same time. Their bodies were found close to each other more than two days after they started their hike.
According to authorities, Jonathan Gerrish, 44, his wife Ellen Chung, 31, their 1-year-old daughter Miju and dog Oski started their hike on Aug. 15 on the Hites Cove Trail loop.
Investigators said that the family had almost completed the 8-mile loop before they died on a steep switchback, just under 2 miles from where they had parked their car.
Gerrish was found in a seated position with Miju and Oski next to him while Chung was slightly farther ahead on the path. Gerrish had a cell phone in his shirt pocket but the area had no reception. The FBI is working on unlocking the phone to find more clues.
‘They Weren’t Carrying Enough Water’
According to Briese, the family had a bladder backpack which held just 85 ounces of water when they started the hike, which was inadequate. Only a tiny quantity was found remaining when the bodies were found. They were also carrying some snacks and a bottle of baby formula.
The water was tested for toxins but the result came back negative.
The couple was wearing shorts and tank tops but no hats while the baby was in a backpack. They were just 1.6 miles from finishing the loop trail.
The cause of death of the 8-year-old dog remains undetermined but it also appeared to have succumbed to heat.
Nissan Owners Complain Of Dashboards ‘Melting’, Sparking Safety Concerns
Nissan cars owners are up in arms against the manufacturer for what they say is a “serious defect” in their vehicles. More than 1,000 owners have complained to federal authorities that the dashboards in their vehicles have started melting, reports say.
According to the Center for Auto Safety, the defect in older Nissan models can potentially cause an accident on the road and is more than a cosmetic issue, reports ABC 7 News.
Adam Klock, who owns a 2008 Nissan Altima, said that underneath the piece of felt he placed on the dashboard, he noticed a gooey mess, the report said.
“The dashboard became so sticky I didn’t need an adhesive to stick the felt in place,” Klock said, adding: “It looks horrible and that’s why you don’t want anyone in the car to look at it. You want to keep it covered to hide the mess.”
Center for Auto Safety’s Jason Levine said, “What we have is what can only be described as melting dashboards, which are changing properties in the sun, in the heat.”
Another issue pointed out by Klock is that the dashboard gives off a lot of glare.
“It is always in your face,” he said. “To avoid it you need to put something on the dashboard which’s doesn’t reflect light.”
Steckler Wayne Cochran law firm has filed a class-action suit against Nissan alleging that the glare is so harsh that it can become a safety hazard.
Most of the complaints made to federal regulators are from southern states, but an Oakland resident who owns an Infiniti, Nissan’s luxury brand, says the dashboard of his 2004 model has bubbled and is peeling.
A 2005 Infiniti SUV owner from Campbell said his vehicle melted internally and another from San Francisco said his car’s dashboard is cracking.
According to Levine, the complaints are coming from across the country and not just from southern states.
In a statement issued by Nissan, the company said it has found that the issue doesn’t pose any safety risk and it was continuing to assess car owners’ concerns and take the required steps to deal with each case.
The average cost of replacing a dashboard is $2,000.
However, a settlement was reached for the lawsuit filed by Steckler Wayne Cochran in which Nissan owners in Florida would get their dashboards replaced for only $250.
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