Walmart Permanently Closes All Stores In Portland

Mega-corporation Walmart is pulling out of Portland, Oregon later this month, offering a host of different reasons behind the decision, as shoplifting and petty crime continues to be reported in the liberal city.

Walmart will formally close its final two locations within the Portland city limits on March 24, according to a report from local TV station, KPTV. In a statement, Walmart claimed it would find new places for its current employees, and new pharmacies for its customers, but stressed that the decision was made due to “many factors” in the city.

“The decision to close these stores was made after a careful review of their overall performance,” a Walmart spokesperson was quoted saying. “We consider many factors, including current and projected financial performance, location, population, customer needs, and the proximity of other nearby stores when making these difficult decisions. After we decide to move forward, our focus is on our associates and their transition, which is the case here.”

Though the big box store has not specifically blamed an apparent rise in petty crimes and shoplifting, the issue continues to pervade the Democratic stronghold city.

As recently as December of 2022, Portland police caught more than 64 people during a weekend “shoplifting sting” that also discovered more serious crimes, including stolen vehicles and fentanyl possession.

On December 20, the Portland Police Bureau told local media KOIN that “officers arrested 64 people and served 70 warrants,” and the “operation ended with the recovery of 10 stolen vehicles, three illegal guns and $8,743 worth of merchandise. Police said over 200 blue pills suspected of containing fentanyl were also seized.”

Though celebrated as a victory, the previous month local media outlet KGW reported that not all shoplifters are booked into jail after being arrested, “depending on the Portland metro county.”

One sheriff explained that his jail could only hold 420 people, and that everyone currently in lockup was being held for alleged felonies.

Another, Multnomah County Sheriff Mike Reese, directly laid the blame on measures taken to keep detained individuals healthy at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During the pandemic we wanted to do everything we could with our system partners — Portland Police Bureau, the courts, the DA, the Gresham Police Department, parole and probation — to preserve the health and welfare of our jail system,” said Reese, per KGW.

“So we restricted at the onset of the pandemic some of the booking criteria. First we were limiting it to just felonies, and then as we talked to public safety partners and we saw some of the improvements we made in our response to the pandemic, we allowed for other charges.”

Last year it was reported that, while overall crime statistics may offer some comfort due to a reduction in violent crimes and murders, robberies “rose dramatically, from 488 between January and July 2021 to 737 a year later.”

This news and commentary by Tom Pappert originally appeared on Valiant News.


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