CEO blasts San Francisco as 'city of chaos,' closes store over rampant crime: 'Our team is terrified'

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The CEO of a popular clothing brand Cotopaxi is closing the company's only San Francisco store due to "organized theft rings" and a lack of safety in the city, he announced this week.

CEO Davis Smith announced the closure in a lengthy post on social media, saying the location faces regular attacks by thieves with virtually no response from law enforcement. 

"We are closing the store due to rampant organized theft and lack of safety for our team. Our store is hit by organized theft rings several times per week. They brazenly enter the store and grab thousands of dollars of product and walk out," Smith wrote.

"We started keeping the door locked and opening it only for customers, but even then, they’ll have a woman go to the door, and then hiding individuals rush into the store as soon as the door opens. Our team is terrified. They feel unsafe. Security guards don’t help because these theft rings know that security guards won’t/can’t stop them," he added.

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Davis Smith, CEO, Cotopaxi, speaks on stage during The Global Faith and Media Index (FAMI): A Groundbreaking Study of Attitudes and Perceptions Regarding Faith and Religion in the Media at The 2022 Concordia Annual Summit – Day 2 at Sheraton New York (Getty Images)

A road sign that says “Leaving California.” (istock / iStock)

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Smith said he grew up in Latin America and never "felt as unsafe" there as he does now in San Francisco.

"It makes me sad that I’m now avoiding San Francisco, a city I used to love. Last time my wife and I went in 2020, a drugged up person ran up to my wife’s face and started screaming some of the most obscene things I’ve ever heard. She was terrified. During a previous trip, my rental car was broken into and everything was stolen out of our trunk. When calling the police to report the theft, they let us know this happens hundreds of times per day in the city and said it was our own fault for parking in the street," he wrote.

Cotopaxi is just one of many companies that have fled San Francisco and California due to rising crime and homelessness.

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A recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau found that San Francisco's median income fell more than any other major city in the country during the pandemic as the city's top earners fled to greener pastures.

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