Nothing gets me more steamed up than shoplifting.

I have touched on this topic before, but this time I need your help. Just to re-cap, the many things I have witnessed at the Antioch Safeway on Deer Valley Road boggles the mind, spikes the blood pressure and turns the stomach.

Recently, upon entering the store, I saw a woman carrying a Big Gulp cup from 7-Eleven. She made a beeline to the olive bin and began eating directly out of the bin, plunging her ‘dragon lady’ fake nails repeatedly into the olives and stuffing them in her mouth.

Obviously, I am never buying olives from Safeway again, unless they come in a can. I was shocked.

She wandered over to the soft drink dispenser near the deli and filled her cup with ice. Shaking my head, I grabbed a cart and began my shopping trip. I saw her again on the liquor aisle. She cracked open a screw-top bottle of wine and poured it over the ice and made a big wine cooler. I guess the olives made her thirsty. Who knows what other food items she helped herself to during the course of her visit as she was only on aisle two.

I used to love bringing home donuts for my kids, until I saw a group of teenagers helping themselves to the donuts right out of the case.

They stood there feasting on all our favorite varieties, and then ran out of the store. And to think I am always so careful to use the tissues when I am picking out my dozen donuts. Now my donuts come in a sealed box. They are not as good, but at least I know they haven’t been fondled by grubby hands.

My son has a good friend who works at Safeway. He tells us unbelievable stories about the daily shoplifting that goes on. He once saw a man put a huge pork loin down his pants! The man had actually phoned in the order, picked it up at the meat counter, stuffed it down his pants and waddled out of the store!

My question is why doesn’t Safeway do anything? We all know who covers the cost of shoplifting. Us! The hard-working, coupon-clipping, honest people with families to feed! Safeway does not value us, or they would do something!

So, I called the corporate office.

I needed to inform them about the madness going on at my Safeway store and to request that receipts be checked at the door, like Costco and Walmart. We need more than security guards. They are not allowed to do anything, and their mere presence is not enough to deter these blatant shoplifting losers, though it would help if they kept a closer eye on the olive bin and the donut case.

I tracked down the phone number for Safeway’s corporate offices and talked to a man who clearly couldn’t wait to get me off the phone. When I asked him about checking receipts, he told me that Safeway did not want to ‘send the wrong message.’ What message is that exactly?

When I am asked for my receipt at Costco, I feel confident that they are protecting me! I am not offended, I am grateful! By not checking receipts, Safeway’s message to me is, “Hey, I know we have a real shoplifting problem and we’re losing a lot of money. Let’s just pass on the cost of shoplifting to Vicki McKenna! She’ll pay for it with our inflated prices!”

He also told me that checking receipts at the door is illegal. Not true. I checked with a California Law website that stated it is a shopkeeper’s right to ask for proof of payment if shoplifting is suspected. Ha! I also learned that you can steal up to $950 worth of merchandise and get only six months’ probation.

Something is clearly wrong with the law, but for now, my battle is with Safeway. My question to you is does shoplifting bug you enough to demand Safeway check receipts at the door?

If so, I think the corporate office needs to know – their phone number is 877-723-3929.

Let me add that I love my Safeway. I have been shopping there for 25 years. I know many of the checkers and consider them my friends. They have watched me wrestle with baby seats and straggling toddlers who are now 6-foot teens towering over me. I have ordered countless birthday cakes, balloon bouquets, party trays, corsages and boutonnieres for our most remembered occasions.

In short, Safeway is a part of our family, and I hate to see what is happening to it. I don’t want to shop anywhere else, but I will. My blood pressure can’t take it anymore, and neither can my wallet.

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