OAKLAND – Crime is getting so bad for some Oakland businesses that they are now struggling to afford and maintain insurance.
Adding insult to injury, one downtown business has already been terminated by the company. Farmers Insurance, the owner of Wakeen Cafe and Roastery, recently stopped renewing its policy after several theft claims.
The owner said that other big companies do not guarantee it. He had to buy three different policies from different companies to cover his business.
That has had a chilling effect on other robbery victims.
“Two different events, so two different claims. Two different deductibles and the possibility that our insurance could go up or, worse, cancel us,” said Dorcia White, co-owner of Everett & Jones. BBQ
A burglar entered the restaurant last Monday morning and Tuesday morning, White said. She believed it was the same person. Monday’s surveillance video shows the burglar was unable to break into the safe and returned the next morning with a large tool to open the safe.
According to White’s estimates, the restaurant suffered up to $15,000 in damages, but after speaking with their insurance broker, they decided not to file a claim.
“We’ve been in this building for 24 years and we’ve been paying insurance with no losses. It’s one of those things — damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” White said.
Businesses around Oakland and neighboring San Francisco have been complaining about rising crime in recent years. In fact, a man parked a car in front of Everett and Jones BBQ Friday morning was pulled over by a police patrol car parked a block away.
Crime statistics released by Auckland Police from January 1 to February 5 this year show 132 commercial burglaries were recorded, corresponding to 132 burglaries in the same period in 2022. At the same time, only 45 cases were recorded in 2021.
In a press release, Oakland police said they had seen an increase in business robberies last week – more than 12 cases in five days. So far, no one has been arrested in those cases.
“When something is taken away from you, no matter how small, it can really destroy a business,” White said.