CVS Replaces Products With Framed Photos As Retail Theft Soars

( – On October 27, an Instagram account known as “washingtonianprobs” that documents social, economic and government issues in our nation’s capital posted a photograph of what the account claimed was a store shelf at their local Washington, D.C.-based CVS, the popular chain of pharmacies. The posting in question showed almost bare shelving, with products that had been replaced by photos in picture frames of what would normally have been available for purchase.

According to washingtonianprobs, the items were still available to buy, but had been placed under lock and key by CVS management as a result of their high likelihood of theft. “Press button if you need assistance,” an adjacent note on the shelf said.

Three days later, an outlet local to D.C. reported on the Instagram user’s claims and confirmed their findings. The story had yet to gain national traction, but by November 12, the popular Libs of TikTok posted an image of the CVS shelving to their Twitter account. Within hours, it was off to the races.

Everyone from Newseek to Fox News to the Daily Wire had their own variations of the happenings from Washington, D.C. on their websites and each outlet confirmed that crime was ultimately responsible for the host of product disappearances. While any number of headlines reported that toilet paper had been locked up, a detailed reading of the various articles would show that the truth was worse.

The original CVS in question had been forced to restrict purchases of virtually anything of value, not just bathroom tissue, as had several other branches. According to what the store’s management told reporters, the area’s homeless population is and was responsible for the plethora of product lock ups.

One outlet reported that vagrancy in D.C. has climbed by almost 12% since 2022. According to a separate report, that same period of time saw an increase in area robberies by almost 70%.

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