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Retail crime up 18% in Walnut Creek

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KRON) – The Metropolis of Walnut Creek is seeing an 18 % improve in retail crime in 2023. On Tuesday, Walnut Creek police held a gathering with downtown enterprise homeowners to start out a dialog about retail crime and the way they’re attempting to stop it.

Walnut Creek police say they knew they wished to carry this assembly after an uptick in industrial burglaries in July. There was a sample for these circumstances, and a suspect was apprehended.

However in August, they noticed extra burglaries, in order that they wished to speak instantly with the individuals who might develop into victims – enterprise homeowners.

“Walnut Creek is doing nicely,” mentioned metropolis councilmember Kevin Wilk. “Our downtown group is flourishing and we’re going to appeal to, sadly, individuals who need to not do good right here.”

Walnut Creek police and native leaders spoke instantly, and candidly, with downtown enterprise homeowners. They are saying whereas residential and auto burglaries are down, industrial burglaries and shoplifting are growing.

Russel Houlston, the loss prevention supervisor on the Walnut Creek Ace {Hardware}, says he thinks the statistics are skewed.

“Retail crime, the statistics are usually not wherever close to what’s actually occurring,” he mentioned. “However if you happen to don’t name the police they don’t have a statistic, and we’ve just about stopped calling the police except now we have actually actionable intelligence.”

In reality, he says there may be shoplifting at his retailer day by day, and he’s found out a option to struggle again himself.

“In a number of circumstances the place we’ve been fortunate, we will see that they used a rewards card or we all know what their identify is. We attain out to them and invoice them for the factor they stole, and one hundred pc of the time they paid they usually didn’t come again. That’s a very powerful half,” Houlston mentioned. 

Tellus Espresso on North Essential Road was burglarized earlier this month. Its proprietor instructed KRON4 that thieves acquired away with $450 in money. The espresso store was since gone cashless. 

Police say that whereas they’re engaged on stopping these crimes, it will be significant that companies don’t make themselves simple targets.

“As a enterprise proprietor, it’s necessary to do what you possibly can to guard your online business and do this by ensuring you’ve got good hiring processes and good safety measures in place,” mentioned WCPD Lieutenant Jeff Slater.

Police recommend issues like having an alarm system, limiting the amount of money readily available, and having surveillance video. Police have additionally elevated patrols within the downtown space.

Some enterprise homeowners have been involved about re-opening Broadway Plaza to visitors. Wilk, who was mayor when the organized retail theft occurred at Nordstrom, says it was time.

“Now although it’s a public road. There are public accessways that need to occur there,” he mentioned. “We do need to see folks be capable of park extra conveniently, particularly on the subject of seniors or folks which are disabled, however we’ll keep watch over this.”  

Wilk says they’re working with Broadway Plaza to watch the scenario, and through large-scale occasions, it is going to be shut right down to visitors to stop crimes.

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