A combination of inflation and rising crime has caused one New York City store to lock up its spam in plastic theft-prevention cases.
Shoppers at Duane Reade located in the Port Authority bus depot were faced with the ‘secured’ cans, which cost $3.99 each.
“I’ve never seen that before!” laughed one cashier, while removing a can of Spam from its anti-theft covering.
And it wasn’t limited to just Spam…
I'd love to have one to keep, case and all — but there's only one way to do that… pic.twitter.com/PX3dbSd52B
— willy 🌜💧 (@willystaley) July 28, 2022
“Some of these things are pretty ridiculous,” said 43-year-old Jenny Kenny of Kentucky, who says she knew about the crime wave but still couldn’t believe there were “so many” items in anti-theft boxes, according to the New York Post.
As prices and crime skyrocket, New York City stores have taken to locking up staples like toothpaste and soap to prevent crooks from stealing and then hawking the products on the sidewalk or online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay.
Yet some shoppers were confused why Spam, along with $1.89 cans of StarKist tuna, was enclosed under plastic, while pricier foodstuffs like $5.49 cans of Amy’s soup sat unencumbered. -NYP
Store employees say thefts have been surging for more than two years – with one estimating that there are at least four shoplifters every night.
“I don’t think they stop anything,” said one clerk, 21-year-old Iggy, referring to the anti-theft cases. “It’s security theater. If you really needed it, you would stomp on it.”
According to the report, petty larceny complaints have spiked 52% y/y at the NYPD’s Midtown South Precinct, which includes the Port Authority bus terminal – rising to 1,771 incidents through July 24.
Meanwhile, Spam prices are set to increase after Hormel CEO Jim Snee said in May that they were experiencing increased costs of transportation, packaging and meat.
A spokeswoman for Walgreens, which owns Duane Reade, wouldn’t say why the Spam was locked down, but that installing anti-theft devices is done “in response to theft data.”