Thieves repeatedly hit Rite Aid in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood leaving shelves empty

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Wednesday, June 19, 2024
Thieves repeatedly hit Rite Aid in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood
A Rite Aid in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood has been repeatedly hit by thieves leaving its shelves empty.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Residents and business owners say more needs to be done to keep Oakland's Montclair neighborhood safe after several instances of retail theft at a Rite Aid and other businesses.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

If you walk into that store on 1991 Mountain Boulevard, you'll notice aisle after aisle of empty shelves -- and it's not due to supply chain issues. The store has been repeatedly cleaned out by thieves.

"The Oakland Police Department (OPD) has responded to the 1900 block of Mountain Boulevard to investigate multiple incidents over the past several months, including armed robberies, theft, and burglary," an OPD spokesperson said in an email.

The shelves inside the store are almost empty. Many different products are missing, and other items are locked up.

"Just grabbing stuff off the shelves and walking out," said Venice McKnight, a Montclair resident of 50 years. "Stop it. It is not necessary. Just stop it."

Store employees have told ABC7 News that OPD assigned patrols to keep an eye on the store. The company said in an email they are not planning on closing the store, but they did not comment on the crime. A window near the check-out stations is boarded up after it was broken.

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"I don't like to see people go to jail but there has to be some kind of consequence," said Phil Long, a Montclair resident of 47 years.

The crime isn't stopping at main retail chains. Small businesses are also dealing with a rise in crime.

"Even just as recently as a couple of weeks ago, a commercial burglary in the middle of the night doing thousands or maybe tens of thousands of dollars of damage," said Daniel Swafford, the Executive Director of the Montclair Village Association.

Swafford says even though the governor's office says police have made over 600 retail theft arrests, more needs to be done to keep Montclair safe.

"Small businesses in particular are what make Oakland special," he said. "It's not a guarantee that our businesses can weather the storm of constant and incessant crime."

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