Giant Food, the Landover-based grocery store chain, has banned bags above a certain size from some of, but not all, of its Baltimore-area stores and other locations in the state.

The policy began on May 23, and prohibits “suitcases, duffel bags, or bags larger” than 14 by 14 by 6 inches in size. Those dimensions are about the size of a backpack. It does not apply to open reusable shopping bags, according to a statement from the company.

Of the 20 Baltimore-area locations listed on Giant’s website, the policy applies to only two: The one at 601 E. 33rd St. in Waverly and the one at 5150 Sinclair Lane in Frankford, according to a list provided by the company.

A company spokesperson said the prohibition was in place at stores that have levels of “theft and violence that has become unsustainable.” The company did not provide any data on crime.

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Councilwoman Odette Ramos, who represents Waverly on Baltimore’s City Council, said the policy “alienates customers.”

“This is not the way to resolve the theft issue,” she wrote on social media.

The Giant Food in Edmondson Village is closing June 13. Another location about 3 miles south is supposed to reopen on June 7.

Giant said it will evaluate its stores and “determine what the most appropriate actions are for each.” In a statement, the company said it needs “to be able to run our stores safely and profitably, and we take these responsibilities seriously. The tactics we deploy are only one of the solutions to our problem.”

In addition to the Baltimore stores, the bag prohibition policy applies to all Giant Food stores in Washington, D.C., and the following stores in Prince George’s County: 5500 Silver Hill Road in District Heights, 4119 Branch Ave. in Marlow Heights, and 20 Audrey Lane in Oxon Hill.

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Correction: This story has been updated to correct the location of a Giant Food that’s set to reopen on June 7.

Cody Boteler is a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others.

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