After a weekend of smash and grab mob retail robberies, many businesses are asking what else can be done to keep customers safe.
“It’s not the type of thing we’re used to around here so it’s a little upsetting,” said shopper Steve Paltrineri.
The Alameda police are making some specific recommendations to businesses in their cities, but those changes come with a big price tag, including putting shatter-resistant security film on all windows and adding motion sensor camera systems and glass break sensors and alarms.
“With all of the parklets, there’s no parking, so it’s just like one more thing that the business owner gets hit with,” said Lisa Cross, owner of Lauren’s Closet.
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Shatterproof film on all of the glass storefronts - $250 per roll for three feet by 25 feet. And for motion sensor camera systems – about $1500 to $3000 – plus the $30 per month for the monitoring of that security system -- and added on to that system they’re recommending having the glass break alarm sensors installed as well.
“We bare the brunt of the cost of all of this,” said Helen Dean, Toy Safari owner.
Alameda police also recommended taking valuable items out of public display cases and keeping them locked away in safes, making it harder for thieves but also for potential customers.
“We’ve just ramped it up and ramped it up over the past 15 months or so,” said Dean.
Toy Safari already has all of the new measures in place and says it cost about $5,000.
“Each time something happens, we respond as well as we can, and we put in any measures that are applicable,” said Dean.
One of the most recent thefts happened after they installed security film on the windows.
And while it slowed the determined thief – it didn't stop them. But the upgraded camera system did help lead to his arrest.
“He was caught, but the damage was done,” said Dean.
Down the street, at Lauren’s Closet, glass break sensors are already in place – and cameras are being installed. But the owner says that’s about all she can afford right now.
“For windows, no. I mean, if our windows break, they break, and we’ll have to replace them. I’m not going to do it preemptively,” said Cross.