WATCH: Psaki claims the pandemic is a “root cause” of organized crime and looting

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked Thursday “When a huge group of criminals organizes themselves and they want to go loot a store—a CVS, Nordstorm, a Home Depot—until the shelves are clean, you think that’s because of the pandemic?”

She replied “I think a root cause in a lot of communities is the pandemic, yes.”

WATCH: Organized criminals stole “every single sledgehammer and crowbar” from a Los Angeles Home Depot on Black Friday.

Last month Walgreens announced they are closing 5 more San Francisco retail stores amid a shoplifting surge.

“Due to ongoing organized retail crime, we have made the difficult decision to close five stores across San Francisco,” a Walgreens spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “Each store will transfer prescriptions to a nearby Walgreens location within a mile radius and we expect to place the stores’ team members in other nearby locations.”

“Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that,” the spokesperson continued. “Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”

Per Fox Business “Walgreens has shuttered at least 10 of its stores in the city since the beginning of 2019, according to the San Francisco Gate.”

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