The Target store located in Bakersfield’s Valley Plaza Mall has stirred up controversy by banning unaccompanied teenagers from entering the store after 4 p.m. Reports indicate that the policy change was made in response to incidents of shoplifting and fights.
Evening Restriction on Unaccompanied Teens
The Bakersfield Target store has taken measures to address security concerns by prohibiting teenagers from visiting the store without an adult after 4 p.m.
The tweet below verifies the news:
— Joseph Angelo (@Beachdudeca) August 6, 2023
This decision applies specifically to the Valley Plaza Mall location.
Shoplifting and Fights Prompt Policy Change
Instances of shoplifting and altercations at the store prompted the management to introduce this new policy. Target employees have been instructed not to check IDs to verify ages, but they are authorized to remove customers who appear to be 18 years old or younger.
Controversy Over Targeting Teens
While the policy aims to enhance safety and prevent incidents, it has sparked controversy among parents and community members. One parent expressed her frustration, as her rule-abiding teenagers, aged 19 and 16, were asked to leave the store. The concern lies in the perceived targeting of teenagers simply based on their age.
Mall’s Existing “Code of Conduct”
Notably, the Valley Plaza Mall already has a “code of conduct” in place, which includes prohibitions on disruptive activities like running, horseplay, or disorderly conduct. The Target store’s new policy adds to the existing measures to maintain a pleasant, family-oriented shopping environment.
Policy Limited to Bakersfield Target Store
It’s important to note that this specific policy only affects the Target store within the Valley Plaza Mall. Other stores in the mall continue to welcome teenagers during all hours.
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