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A CVS store in Montgomery County, Maryland, keeps its sodas under lock and key.

The store, on Wayne Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, has put locks on its refrigerators, so customers must ask an employee to unlock them if they want to buy a drink.

Customer Linda Leakes said she has been going to this store since the one closest to her, in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood, closed earlier this year after a lengthy battle with shoplifting that made national headlines.

“The one in DC – on 14.th Street – a huge store, but now it’s closed,” Leakes said. “That means all the people who worked there are now unemployed.”

In a statement to News4 regarding the locked drinks at CVS on Wayne Avenue, the company said, among other things: “Theft rates vary across different products depending on store location and other factors, and our product protection decisions are based on data. We use a variety of different measures to deter or prevent theft, and locking a product is only a last resort.”

“For me personally, it’s like you’re not being fair to the public when you do something like that,” customer Phillip Joy said. “You’re not being fair to everyone else. You’re condemning the masses for what certain individuals do.”

Many drugstores in the Washington, DC area lock away laundry detergent and other commonly stolen items.

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