Skyrocketing crime forces multiple Taco Bell locations in Oakland to close dining rooms: ‘What is Oakland coming to?’

Oakland residents are upset after a franchise owner of Taco Bell fast food restaurants said they were forced to shut down their dining rooms over skyrocketing crime.

One location was robbed four times in as many months.

That location on 35th Ave. and and MacArthur was last robbed when robbers used a truck and a cable to steal the safe from the store through a broken window. Two of the four robberies occurred while the store was closed.

There is only one Taco Bell store that has an open dining room, but that location on Telegraph Ave. has gone cashless in an attempt to deter crime.

Kimberly Garibay works at a store near the 35th Ave. Taco Bell and told KPIX-TV that robbers also targeted the patrons.

“They just pull up out of nowhere and it’s not like they only rob the store. They rob everybody in there as well,” said Garibay. “So, it’s not as safe as it used to be. There’s a lot of crime now.”

A spokesperson for Taco Bell responded to KPIX with a brief comment.

“Providing a safe environment for team members and customers is the priority at Taco Bell restaurants,” read the statement. “The franchise owner and operator has informed us that they are consistently evaluating and working to ensure a safe environment by implementing procedures, such as closing dining rooms, and hiring security guards, and they have taken extra measures to meet with local law enforcement.”

Residents expressed disappointment with the shutdowns.

“I don’t think it’s cool. It’s annoying, yeah,” said Miss Jo, who doesn’t have a car and can’t use the drive-thru without assistance from a friend. “I just feel bad for the patrons, you know what I’m saying?”

“It breaks my heart,” responded resident Charles James. “Because I want somebody to protect the citizens.”

Other business owners are so angry at crime driving away customers that they are looking into a boycott on paying their taxes until city officials improve safety around the city.

Oakland resident Aliyah Musa told KPIX that crime in Oakland keeps getting worse.

“You can’t, you know, enjoy your meal in the comfort of the place you bought your meal. So, it’s like, them closing it down due to all the crime rates and everything,” she said.

“It’s just, what is Oakland coming to?” Musa concluded. “Everything is getting worse. Things are closing down. You know, it’s just terrible.”

Here’s a news report about the decision:

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