Oakland business seeing surge in requests for bulletproof glass due to city's crime

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023
Oakland company seeing surge in requests for bulletproof glass
An Oakland business is seeing an enormous uptick in customers requesting bulletproof glass due in part to crime in the city.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An Oakland business is seeing an enormous uptick in business from customers requesting bulletproof glass. They say it's due in part to crime in the city.

At East Bay Glass' warehouse in Oakland, the varieties of glass seem endless. But one item that's not currently in stock due to it's high cost - is bullet-resistant, ballistic glass.

"The bulletproof glass is 3/8th inch all the way to 2.5 inches, points out Joshua Pratchard, the general manager.

Video from manufacturer Armitek, which provides glass to Easy Bay Glass and installers across the country, shows how multiple shots aren't enough to penetrate the product.

In recent months, ABC7 News has covered a number of stories involving stray bullets going into homes.

EXCLUSIVE: Oakland father considers moving family after stray bullet shoots through kitchen window

In September, a mother of two was killed as she slept when stray bullets were fired into her home in the Laurel neighborhood.

A man who requested anonymity says a bullet flew into his apartment Sunday, moments after he and his partner moved in. Around a dozen rounds also went through a vehicle and home along MacArthur Boulevard on Monday.

"It's just sad the condition the community has gone in, says Pratchard.

He says while many homeowners may be curious about installing ballistic glass, the high cost can be a deterrent.

"It's roughly $100 to $120 a square foot. There's glass that goes up to $350 a square foot. That is not with the installation."

MORE: Bay Area startup sells 'world's first' bulletproof hoodie, including kids sizes

Larger organizations, Pratchard says, can afford the cost.

"For instance, the city of Oakland's permitting office. They wanted ballistic glass installed across their permitting desks."

Pratchard also being used in the event of a break-in or vandalism.

"Oakland High School as well and a few other schools in the area."

For Pritchard, he calls the crime in Oakland a "double-edged sword."

"It's good for business but it's not the kind of business you're happy to take on. It's sad."

Armitek says fr those looking for a more cost-effective product to ballistic glass, there is special film that can be applied to any smooth glass surface. While these films are not as effective, they can slow down an attempted break-in and can cost about 75% less.

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