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Persistent retail theft trend continues in DMV as stores see emptier shelves


FILE - Customers walk to a CVS Pharmacy, Friday, Nov 4, 2022, in Boston. CVS made a move Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, to make frustrated pharmacists in the Kansas City-area to call off a walkout. It promised to boost hiring to ease overwhelming workloads that sometimes make it hard to take a bathroom break. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, FIle)
FILE - Customers walk to a CVS Pharmacy, Friday, Nov 4, 2022, in Boston. CVS made a move Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023, to make frustrated pharmacists in the Kansas City-area to call off a walkout. It promised to boost hiring to ease overwhelming workloads that sometimes make it hard to take a bathroom break. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, FIle)
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7News continues to track the crime crisis across the district.

The shelves at the CVS store in Columbia Heights are empty; It looks like they’re going out of business.

Good luck finding anything in the refrigerator food aisle; the cosmetics aisle; Or where school supplies, Halloween candy, and soda would normally be found.

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7News is told shelves are empty because of shoplifting and this has been going on for much of this year.

Here are some examples of theft according to police reports from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).

  • On July 15, 2023, at 5:40 pm a person put 25 bags of chips worth $104 and two Pepsis in a garbage bag before walking out of CVS without paying.
  • On September 8, 2023, at 7:42 a.m., a person stole 99 items of medicine, 99 hairbrushes, and 99 cosmetics from CVS.
  • On September 19, 2023, at 6:29 pm a person put 45 hair care products in a duffle bag --- the stolen hair care products from CVS worth $300.

“We work as closely as we can with the US Attorney's Office," said MPD Captain Jeffrey Kopp. "We're doing the best job that we can. The US Attorney's Office has a job to do as well. We're willing to do whatever we need to do to present the best case that we can for them to prosecute.”

Just recently, MPD said they arrested people suspected of retail thefts at Macy’s locations and CVS locations.

“Seven of the juveniles have been arrested and charged to the Office of the Attorney General," said Kopp.

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CVS told 7News they don’t have plans to close any locations in Washington D.C., but the District isn’t the only place that is seeing an increase in thefts.

"The future of Public Safety in Fairfax County is at serious risk at a time and crime across the nation is going up," said Fairfax County Supervisor Pat Herrity.

This summer Fairfax County saw a more than 40% increase in shoplifting from malls to grocery stores compared to last year.

7News reached out to Fairfax County Commonwealth’s attorney Steve Descano multiple times, asking him how he intends to hold shoplifters accountable. Descano still hasn’t responded to our questions.

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