Target will shut its San Francisco stores at 6 p.m. to curb an ‘alarming rise’ in shoplifting

Target store outside
A worker collects shopping carts in the parking lot of a Target store on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

  • Target is cutting store opening hours in its San Francisco locations.
  • The big-box chain said this was temporary, and was to address the rise in shoplifting in the city.
  • Target stores would now open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time in San Francisco, it said.
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Target said it was cutting store opening hours in San Francisco to try to curb a rise in shoplifting.

In a statement shared with multiple news organizations, the big-box chain said there had been an “alarming rise” in thefts at its San Francisco stores over the past month, and that it was working with local law enforcement.

Its stores would now open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. local time in San Francisco, it said. While Target store hours vary, other locations across the US open between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and close at 10 pm.

“With the safety of our guests, team members, and communities as our top priority, we’ve temporarily reduced our operating hours in six San Francisco stores,” the spokesperson said.

Insider asked Target whether shoplifting was most common in the evening, but did not immediately receive a reply.

According to the California Retailers Association (CRA), San Francisco is among the 10 cities in the US worst hit by retail crime.

In June, the CRA shared a video of a shoplifter stealing products from a Walgreens store in San Francisco while a store security guard watched on.

In a statement at the time, the president of the CRA, Rachel Michelin, said: “This has been a problem going on for years … We are trying to attack it from all different ways.

“Our priority is the safety of our employees and consumers. We can’t have our security guards going after this – they are not law enforcement,” she said.

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People are reporting thousands of dollars worth of crypto art was stolen on an NFT marketplace

A NFT of Trevor Jones' Bitcoin Angel was one of the pieces that was reported stolen.
A NFT of Trevor Jones’ Bitcoin Angel was one of the pieces that was reported stolen.

  • Multiple people took to Twitter to report the theft of digital artwork on Nifty Gateway.
  • One user said over $150,000 in digital assets has already been reported stolen on the marketplace.
  • A Nifty Gateway spokesperson said there is no indication the trading platform has been compromised.
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Multiple people reported their accounts on Nifty Gateway had been compromised on Sunday, leading to the loss of their crypto art and unauthorized purchases using their credit cards.

A Nifty Gateway spokesperson declined to say how much art had been reported stolen, but confirmed to Insider that a “small group of users” had been impacted.

One Twitter user, @keyboardmoney3, who has been keeping a tally of the reports of stolen artwork, claimed that over $150,000 worth of NFTs on Nifty Gateway has been stolen.

Several pieces were from artists that have generated significant momentum in crypto-art sales, including Trevor Jones, according to the Twitter user.

Michael J. Miraflor was one of the first people to report an issue with his account on Twitter. He said someone purchased over $10,000 worth of digital art on Nifty Gateway using his credit card.

The same person also transferred Miraflor’s digital art pieces to a new account and sold them via Discord, according to a Tweet from Miraflor.

Read more: Here are 4 NFT startups transforming the way we buy art and sports memorabilia

Miraflor said on Twitter he has been in contact with Nifty Gateway co-founder Griffin Cock Foster, but that the co-founder said Nifty Gateway could not transfer the digital tokens back to Miraflor after they had already been resold to unsuspecting buyers.

Now, Miraflor said he’s is in the process of filing a police report.

A Nifty Gateway spokesperson told Insider it had not seen any evidence that the platform was hacked and that the impacted accounts were accessed using valid account credentials.

“We have seen no indication of compromise of the Nifty Gateway platform,” the spokesperson told Insider. “The Nifty Gateway team is communicating with a small number of users who appear to have been impacted by an account takeover.”

That means the alleged thefts could be the result of users who reused passwords between other accounts or did not have two-factor authentication – an optional security measure on the site – enabled.

“We have seen some reports that NFTs involved in these account takeovers were sold in transactions negotiated over Discord or Twitter,” the spokesperson told Insider. “We strongly encourage all Nifty Gateway customers to purchase their NFTs on the official Nifty Gateway marketplace.”

The crypto world has always posed a risk of theft and potential fraud. Since blockchain transactions are anonymous and irreversible, a compromised password poses a significant risk for people who have invested thousands in digital assets.

As Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) take the spotlight as a new hot type of crypto asset, they also bring with them the same risks.

On Thursday, NFTs captured public attention when a piece by digital artist Beeple sold for nearly $70 million on Christie’s.

Nifty Gateway has also become a popular site for buying and selling NFTs. The site hosted an auction for Grimes last month that brought in over $5.8 million in under 20 minutes.

Nifty Gateway is one of the only platforms that allows users to buy directly from the site using their credit card, while most other sites like SuperRare and Foundations require users to have a digital wallet to purchase pieces using Ether.

Miraflor said on Twitter he had already contacted his credit card provider to prevent future purchases.

Nifty Gateway co-founders Griffin and Duncan Cock Foster told Insider last week the platform is focused on making NFTs as user friendly and accessible as possible.

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Thefts of food items and baby supplies are rising, highlighting America’s desperation as lawmakers fight over the details of a new pandemic relief bill

grocery store grocery shopping
  • There has been a rise in theft of basic essentials as more people face income insecurity during the pandemic, The Washington Post reported. 
  • Several food aid programs are set to expire at the end of the year, even as demand at food banks rises. 
  • All of this is happening as negotiations around a new COVID-19 relief bill makes little headway in Congress.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As the pandemic continues and millions of Americans face hunger, many are resorting to stealing basic essentials to survive, The Washington Post reported. 

On the week of December 5, some 853,000 people filed new claims for state unemployment benefits, an increase of 137,000 from the previous week. The US Department of Labor said

NPR reported the number of people filing claims for a federal assistance program for gig workers and self-employed individuals increased by 48% the same week. 

The Post previously reported hunger has reached levels not seen in decades, impacting at least 26 million Americans who say they don’t have enough food to eat. 

Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization, said in October that this year, as a result of the pandemic, more than 13 million more Americans could face food insecurity compared to 2018, bringing the total number of food-insecure people in the overall population to 50.4 million.

All of that combined has resulted in more theft of necessities like food items and baby supplies as Americans struggle to survive. 

“We’re seeing an increase in low-impact crimes,” Jeff Zisner, chief executive of workplace security firm Aegis told The Post. “It’s not a whole lot of people going in, grabbing TVs and running out the front door. It’s a very different kind of crime – it’s people stealing consumables and items associated with children and babies.”

The increase comes as negotiations over a new stimulus bill to combat the economic effects of the pandemic drag on in Congress. On Thursday, the Trump administration defended its push for a one-time $600 stimulus check instead of weekly federal unemployment benefits, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested negotiations could stretch until after Christmas. 

Altogether, as many as 20 million Americans are behind on rent. Moody’s Analytics found that nearly 12 million renters will owe an average of $5,850 in back rent and utilities by January, Business Insider’s Taylor Borden reported.

Additionally, The Post reported the $4.5 billion Trump food program, Farmers to Families Food Box program, is running out of money. The program helped feed millions of Americans throughout the pandemic.

Other food programs are also set to expire by the end of the year, even as food banks see an increase in demand. 

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