NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – A sign of the times: Retailers that deal with thieves have their customers pay the price of waiting. You’ve probably noticed more stores in the metro area are putting their stuff behind lock and key. It’s big box stores, like Walgreens in Nob Hill, that are locking more things up. While it’s aimed to keep more items on the shelf, a lot of customers said it’s a hassle. 

“Honestly, it takes forever. It takes 10 to 20 minutes,” said a woman who wanted to remain anonymous. 

“I think it’s very kind of inconvenient,” stated Steven Garcia, a local shopper. 

What once was an easy trip to pick up deodorant or shampoo is now taking a lot longer. Retail stores across the country have been placing more, less expensive items in locked-up cabinets. 

“Sometimes, when I come over here, I’m in a hurry and stuff like that. It takes a while for them to come get like toothpaste, deodorant, razors. I mean, I think it’s very unnecessary for all that,” Garcia said. 

The reason is to try to keep thieves from easily running off with products, but the move is also impacting a lot of regular shoppers. 

Hardware stores are even locking up flashlights and drill bits. Over at the pharmacy, toothpaste and trash bags are in secured cases.

For customers, it means getting an employee to unlock what they need, and since some stores are understaffed, most people are waiting longer.

One woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she does shopping deliveries, and sometimes, the wait is too long for her to complete orders.

“Sometimes, I’ll just unassign the order and move on. I mean, it’s taking money from my pockets, but it’s not really worth the wait, especially if you’re not getting paid by time,” said the woman.

Some shoppers said the extra wait time has even made them leave items behind.