Some Washington, D.C. supermarkets have started installing high-tech security gates in an effort to prevent rising retail theft and crime in the nation’s capital.
Over the past week, Safeway grocery stores in Columbia Heights and Adams Morgan have installed new security gates that open once a customer scans their receipt.
FOX 5 in D.C. spoke to customers who said the new tech was “quite odd,” with one customer saying they crumpled their receipt and put it in their pocket before realizing they had to scan it to leave. The worst part was the receipt would not scan, and the customer said they had to get help from an employee.
The security gates come as retail thefts continue to climb.
The Safeway in Columbia Heights recently experienced an overnight theft in which thieves broke into the grocery store’s ATM to steal the cash and ordered the employees to get on the ground.
The three suspects in the crime are not in custody and police continue to search for them, according to the station.
Albertsons Companies, Inc., the parent company of Safeway, did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s inquiries about the new security gates.
A CVS in Columbia Heights near the Safeway, is reportedly closing at the end of the month. FOX 5 said the store has been targeted multiple times for theft, though store officials have not stated they are closing it because of the crime.
Still, several shelves at the location are bare and have just a few items locked up for purchase.
The closing comes months after videos surfaced in Oct. 2023 of row after row of empty shelves at the CVS store after a group of shoplifting teens ransacked the store.
The rampant theft has gotten so bad at the CVS location that customers have begun shopping at other locations for necessities.
The nation’s capital is grappling with an escalating crime surge, having surpassed a 20-year record-high in homicides with 274 homicides recorded by the end of the year, according to Metropolitan Police Department data. Robberies also skyrocketed last year, up 67% from 2022, while theft was up 23%.
Fox News Digital’s Sarah Rumpf-Whitten contributed to this report.