Oakland City, California’s crime and homeless encampments have gotten so out of control, the local Home Depot told the city it may shut down leaving hundreds of residents unemployed.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday the big box chain store known for selling retail hardware items has been overrun by tents, RV’s and crime in the Oakland area.
“Out of all our nearly 2,000 stores across the country, this store suffers from some of the most frequent occurrences of malicious theft, among other incidents,” Home Depot spokeswoman Margaret Smith said to the Chronicle.
Crime has become so rampant at the store, according to City Councilman Noel Gallo, Home Depot hired two Oakland Police Department squad cars with off-duty officers for $100 an hour each to patrol the area.
The East Oakland Home Depot store already has its own in-store private security team.
Councilman Gallo recounted an incident ABC 7 News involving an individual residing in an RV who confronted two store employees with a pistol. Gallo also noted that if Home Depot leaves it will only exacerbate the problem.
“The reality is I don’t want to lose 200 to 300 jobs that are here at Home Depot,” said Gallo. “Those are entry-level jobs and if I lose Home Depot I’m going to have more people out on the street.”
Home Depot officials met with Oakland’s mayor Libby Schaaf last month about the growing problems around the property, but her response provided little in terms of solutions.
“Let me just be clear,” said Schaaf according to ABC 7 News. “No one deserves the unpleasant impacts of large-scale encampments– the trash, the blight, the human waste. We need to clean these impacts up while being compassionate.”
Schaaf, known nationally as the mayor who notified illegal aliens within her city about an ICE raid before it happened, suggested moving “some of the RV dwellers into a managed parking site in that area as well as siting a new cabin community.”
This appears to be the solution the city is going with as they attempt to keep Home Depot on site. The city will fence off a dead-end area, paid for by the retailer, behind the store and move the homeless encampment three miles east, the San Jose Mercury News reported.
It does not solve the problem. It just kicks it down the road. How convenient.