San Leandro PD offers crime prevention program to local businesses

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (KGO) -- With a rash of brazen robberies and thefts at Bay Area retail stores, business owners in San Leandro are taking advantage of a new program from their local police department designed to keep them safe.

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"In the class, there are a lot of different tools that we teach them," said Officer Joe Camarillo with the San Leandro Police Department. "Some include just greeting every customer that comes into the business so that the person coming in knows the employees are watching and aware of who comes in."

So far, staff and owners at 13 businesses have undergone the training under the Crime Free Business Program, part of a larger national initiative. The local Safeway and Subway stores have taken part, along with smaller retailers.

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The training includes two hours of classroom instruction and on-site visits by officers to determine how to make a storefront, for instance, safer by eliminating window coverings and the like. Retailers are also instructed on how to behave if faced with a violent criminal or someone with a weapon.

Camarillo said under no circumstance should an employee or business owner try to resist or fight with a suspect.

For more information on the Crime Free Business Program, contact Jennifer Crosby with San Leandro Police at (510) 577-3252 or email

Laura Anthony will have more on this story starting at 4 p.m. on ABC7 News. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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