Culture Wars/Current Controversies

Security guards at theft-plagued Walgreens stores ‘not there to protect product’: exec

Security guards at a theft-plagued pharmacy chain have been instructed not to confront the shoplifters when they walk out without paying, according to a Walgreens executive.

Walgreens, which operates 240 stores in the Big Apple, including Duane Reade, has been riddled by robberies to the point where the stores have had to put items like toothpaste behind lock and key.

The chain hired unarmed guards and off-duty cops — but they haven’t been much of a deterrent.

“[Security guards] are not there to protect the product,” said Joseph Stein, director of asset protection solutions for Walgreen, during the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce “Anti-Crime Summit” on Thursday.

“They are there to de-escalate [a situation] and to protect the customer and the employees,” he added.

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