The city of Walnut Creek is seeing an uptick in burglaries at downtown businesses, and the city’s police department addressed the issue head-on Tuesday during a community town hall.
It’s still an ongoing issue, with one coffee shop owner saying her business was burglarized just two weeks ago. Janay McCullough is the owner of Tellus Coffee and says burglars broke into her business on Aug. 7.
She shared surveillance images of the suspect breaking into the store and stealing hundreds of dollars. It’s a moment that’s left her shaken weeks after the incident.
“It’s still very violating, very shaky, my staff and I are still very nervous about whose coming into our business, we’re overly cautious,” McCullough said.
Police reported an uptick in robberies to several downtown businesses in July, which have been connected to one suspect who was arrested on Aug. 11.
The robberies took place after hours and police say some businesses need to do a better job of prioritizing security.
“They need to have alarms, they need to know how to use them and set them, and test them and have video surveillance that’s going to help them apprehend a suspect, or identify a suspect, later,” said Lieutenant Jeff Slater of the Walnut Creek Police Department.
To further address concerns, Walnut Creek PD will also add more patrols, specifically during retail hours.
Councilmember Kevin Wilk says addressing this issue is a top priority for the city.
“We’re going to have enough police on hand to be able to prevent, deter, and catch people coming to Walnut Creek to do something in criminal,” he said.
Prior to the July uptick, police say that property crime was down 24% for the first half of the year, compared to the same time period in 2022.
However McCullough believes police are downplaying the issue of crime in downtown.
“They’re telling us it’s not as bad as we think it is. Well tell that to my staff and I who just got robbed and all these other business owners that have been robbed,” she said.
Source: NBC Bay Area