WASHINGTON - The shelves are mostly bare at a CVS store in D.C.'s Columbia Heights neighborhood and people who live in the area are concerned.
"It makes me not want to shop there to be honest. I just go in there and get my prescription and then when I need other things, I go elsewhere because there’s nothing there to get," said Ilana Miller, CVS Customer.
According to staff who work there, 45 or more kids are regularly going in to steal chips and drinks before school, after school, and late at night.
CVS employees have been alerted that thieves are aware of when new shipments come in and that's when they target the store. They also say that street venders are allegedly paying people to steal so they can re-sell it and make a profit.
CVS store shelves bare after thieves repeatedly target robberies around delivery times, workers say
FOX 5 walked down 14th Street passing by street venders and noticed were selling items like toothbrushes, men and women body wash, car fresheners, and laundry and cleaning supplies – which are some of the same items no longer available inside the CVS. However, there is no direct evidence that those goods came from the store.
"I’m stuck. I mean, it’s bad to do, but they’re probably doing it for a reason, they need those things, but they shouldn’t just be going in and clearing the shelves because it’s not sustainable for the store," said Miller.
"A lot of people can’t actually afford things in CVS, I’m not saying stealing has to be the solution to that," said Gerald Darling, DC Resident. "However, I don’t know, maybe, if the city could provide more accessible resources to unhoused or under income folks who can provide them hair care, bodily care, hygiene care – that could be an option."
The CVS in Columbia Heights does have one security guard during business hours. However, customers and employees do not think that is enough and want to see the shoplifters prosecuted.
FOX 5 did reach out to CVS for this report, and we are waiting to hear back.