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Increased crime is hurting sales, closing dining rooms

"We're scared for our lives,” says Nestor Sanchez, manager at Cybelle's Pizza in the Dimond District. Sanchez is considering joining the tax protest.

In January alone, his restaurant was burglarized twice and robbed twice, and he recently fought a thief who tried to grab the cash register by pulling out a hammer.

"We're really struggling. Sales have dropped 20%," Sanchez adds.

For his part, Oritz told NBC Bay Area he’s seen a 25% drop in business, with customers staying away because they don’t feel safe.

And it’s not just small businesses at stake. Business Insider recently reported Taco Bell is shutting dining rooms of at least three locations in the city (the drive-thrus remain open), following several robberies. Target, In-N-Out, and Denny's have also closed Oakland locations over safety concerns.

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Efforts to oust Oakland mayor are ramping up

Some citizens have denounced Mayor Sheng Thao for not doing enough to tackle Oakland crime and are pursuing a recall campaign.

“She has ruined our city," says retired Alameda Superior Court Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte, who is leading the recall petition.

Thao’s critics blame her for failing to as yet appoint a permanent police chief after she fired the last chief in February 2023. The city also missed a deadline to secure $15 million in state funding to fight retail crime.

In response to the proposed business tax boycott, Thao issued a written statement to KRON4 News, pointing to a reduction in most property crimes in Oakland’s business districts since the summer of 2023.

“Promoting a safer and more prosperous city is my top priority and Oakland is making progress,” she says.

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About the Author

Serah Louis

Serah Louis


Serah Louis is a reporter with Moneywise.com. She enjoys tackling topical personal finance issues for young people and women and covering the latest in financial news.

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