Mobs of looters are grabbing goods in California thanks to downgraded shoplifting laws

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It ought to be possible to operate a retail store in one of America’s largest and most iconic cities, but this most basic commercial proposition is in doubt in San Francisco.

The erstwhile Golden City is beset by an ongoing tide of theft that is closing down retail locations and again demonstrating the city’s unwillingness to govern itself.

Cities around the country dub themselves “the capital” of this or that signature product — artichokes in Castroville, Calif., earmuffs in Farmington, Maine, spinach in Alma, Ark., fried chicken in Barberton, Ohio.

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San Francisco, and the larger Bay Area, now could easily claim the title of Shoplifting Capital of the USA — should it want the honor.

Viral video of brazen thefts has become one of the city’s most influential cultural exports.

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