The section of Oakland with the In-N-Out has seen substantial increases in crime over the last 4 years
OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- In-N-Out Burger announced this week it will close its location near the Oakland Airport. It claims rising crime in the region is making it unsafe for customers and employees.
"Our Customers and Associates are regularly victimized by car break-ins, property damage, theft, and armed robberies," said Denny Warnick, the company's Chief Operating Officer.
The section of Oakland with the In-N-Out has seen substantial increases in crime over the last four years. Burglaries and robberies have all increased.
Mayor Sheng Thao's office says they added two Oakland police foot patrols in the area and crime is now starting to trend downward.
"This is a profitable business," said Councilmember Treva Reid, who represents this area. "A business that is providing great jobs for our Oaklanders. They are getting good revenue for city services, and it is impactful when every business door closes."
It's a major blow for Oakland International Airport.
"I have friends who look forward to coming to the Oakland airport because it provides them with an opportunity to stop at In-N-Out," said Nick Ozier, who was picking up a relative at the airport.
"I think it is sad that we have essentially forced a business to close because of crime and that somehow nothing can be done about it," he said.
"It's a little sad that there's that much crime that a business has to close," said Ellen Stern, who is visiting the Bay Area.
The airport has had to make changes due to crime in the region. They have signs at the rental car lot telling people to not keep valuables in the cars because they could get stolen. Workers there say thieves target rental cars.
"Almost every week," said Maria Araiza, a rental car employee referring to car break-ins. "Sometimes four times in one day."
INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker
In-N-Out spokesperson Kathleen Hardesty told ABC7 News anchor Dion Lim on Monday 115 associates will be affected and it is a "unique situation" to close an In-N-Out.
Councilmember Reid says more needs to be done, or else more businesses could close.
"We want 24/7 support in this area," she said. "We want CHP to continue to come and be deployed in this area. We want our ambassadors out. We need to keep working to make it safer."
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