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California Store Owner Explains Reason Behind New No-Mask Policy

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While millions of Americans have long grown tired of face mask mandates and rules at public locations across the country, one Beverly Hills department store owner has enforced a new policy prohibiting masks altogether.

According to Fraser Ross, however, Kitson has not banned masks for any political or public health reason. Instead, he said that local criminals were exploiting the ubiquitous face coverings in order to harass employees, steal merchandise, and otherwise cause mayhem in the store.

As TheBlaze reported:

Ross also issued the following public statement to explain the decision:

At Kitson we prioritize the safety of our staff and customers. We noticed a disturbing trend of individuals wearing masks to avoid identification in various situations including, but not limited to, shoplifting, verbal harassment, and physical assault. The mask mandate may have begun as a health precaution, but we believe it is now being used by some people for nefarious purposes. To that end, we enacted our own mandate of sorts. We do not allow wearing of masks in the Robertson store during regular business hours. Those people who wish to wear masks are free to set up an appointment for a personal shopping experience or visit our website. We also offer curbside pickup.

It might sound like a rational decision based on the area’s ongoing crime wave, but plenty of pro-mask (or perhaps pro-criminal) social media users were quick to call for a boycott.

The staff seems to be standing behind Ross’ decision, according to KTLA:

Employees there say the abundance of masks mixed with a rising number of brazen robberies and regular shoplifting has made the job a lot harder.

“You have to have the awareness and understand the motivation, or at least the signs of somebody who is planning to steal,” said Santos Hemenway, an employee at the store. “I used to be a little more lax, but now, I’ve got to be on all guards. It’s definitely changed in the last in the last year so.”

Here’s some local coverage of the story:





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