A Rite Aid store in the middle of Woodland Hills is closing its doors permanently over an increase in safety concerns.

Some employees say they were caught by surprise.

“Nowadays everywhere it’s getting bad,” Karla Martir, a Rite Aid customer, said.

Customers outside the Rite Aid at the corner of Ventura and Topanga in Woodland Hills say they’ll miss this local staple when it closes for good on Monday.

“It’s been here forever, for as long as I remember,” Martir said.

“It’s a bad consequence for all the crime happening in the area, it’s a pity it’s gotten to this point,” Eric Brown, a Rite Aid customer, said. 

Multiple employees say the decision comes from their higher-ups, a combination of higher rent and increased store thefts leading to the store’s ultimate demise. 

According to LAPD’s crime mapping information, 107 incidents were reported nearby in just the last six months ranging from vehicle thefts to burglary, robbery and assaults.

“This place has been around a long time and it didn’t used to be a problem,” Brown said. 

In a statement to nbc4 from Rite Aid’s corporate office, they don’t mention the crime states specifically but say this store is one of 145 closures nationwide and that “…a decision to close a store is one we take very seriously and is based on a variety of factors including business strategy, lease and rent considerations, local business conditions and viability, and store performance.”

“As bad as the economy is right now, employees need jobs, everything is going up. It’s bad,” Martir said. 

Rite aid says it’s transferring prescriptions and employees to other stores. For some customers, they say the signs of these times are daunting.

“People are already needing jobs from the covid closures and things like this for over two years now and now. How many jobs are we losing because businesses are closing down because you can go in and steal $900 worth of stuff and not be punished?” Jessica Morelli, a Rite Aid customer, said.

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