(KTXL) — An employee from Safeway in Fair Oaks said the conditions at their store are similar to the Howe Avenue location that allegedly has routine theft.
The employee contacted FOX40 and said he is also concerned about the safety and security at their location on Madison Avenue and Dewey Drive.
– Video above: Thunder Valley Casino to open new indoor concert venue
“Every night we’re stressed thinking about: ‘OK, what’s the issue going to be tonight?’ You just know something’s going to happen,” the employee said, who asked to be referred to as Joey. “Almost every night, there’s an incident where we have to contact the police or ask for security.”
Employees from Madison Avenue said corporate isn’t doing enough to keep them safe from suspected thieves, who they say, consistently steal in bulk from their business.
“There’s violent behavior, where people are throwing things. Not just stealing but unstable people throwing things, like alcohol bottles, food and furniture, and just destroying the displays, things like that,” Joey said.
And the violence grew last month.
Employees told FOX40 their coworkers were attacked by a couple of people attempting to steal after they asked them to leave.
“One of them proceeded to attack two workers, punching them, causing physical harm and injury. And the police were called. There was a police report filed,” Joey said.
“Retailers are taking matters into their own hands and they’re hiring more security and taking more proactive measures which we applaud, but we don’t want that to happen at the risk of their safety as well,” Sgt. Amar Gandhi, with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, said.
Joey said they have repeatedly asked corporate for help and have also voiced their concerns about security.
“Nothing’s been done. We’ve been told there’s more internal theft than there is customer theft,” Joey said.
After dark, when workers say most of the stealing happens, FOX40 went to Safeway on Madison to see if there was any activity. Workers described suspected thieves whose MO is going in and slipping out with stolen goods.
FOX40 saw many people go into the store and then walk out including one man who left with what looked like a full backpack. His counterpart confronted our reporter and photographer.
At one point, the man rushed the car with what appeared to be a weapon in hand.
Our team quickly drove out of the parking lot but was followed a few blocks away. The same man got out of his vehicle and confronted our photographer at his driver’s window.
The FOX40 team quickly did a U-turn and dialed 911 for help. The man stayed behind at a red light. Deputies later searched for the driver but didn’t find him.
A statement from Safeway reads in part, “Rampant shoplifting continues to be on the rise at alarming levels at retailers throughout California. We have increased our investments in security measures in stores throughout Northern California to help combat this ongoing issue.”
“We are committed to working to identify effective solutions to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for our customers and associates,” the statement continues.
Retail theft is not unique to Safeway or the area. The California Retailers Association said it’s been an ongoing problem and the work to improve conditions is in progress.
“For over two year, California retailers, through the California Retailers Association, have pleaded to Sacramento policy makers to work with us to deter the rampant serial theft we see increasing due to changes under Proposition 47, which allows individuals to steal up to $950, multiple times, without any real consequence.Rachel Michelin, Pres. & CEO of CA Retailers Assoc.
There is no one single fix to this growing problem – we all must work together on solutions that protect our hard working retail employees, provide safe shopping experiences for our customers and ensure our neighborhoods are safe and thriving.”
As far as a quick fix, for now, workers hope corporate will hire extra security guards inside the store.
“I think that having it just as a deterrent would make a huge difference. It would definitely make us feel a lot safer snd a lot more cared about,” Joey said.