As small businesses find unique ways to fend off suspected thefts or criminals, two California business owners explained exactly how a crime surge has hurt their livelihoods.
"If you do not ask or confront a shoplifter, he's just going to keep coming back and doing it more brazenly. And you've seen that on videos already, and it is happening all over," convenience store owner Rima Madan said on "The Big Money Show" Tuesday.
"We have complained. It's really just kind of become like a community effort. We're not the only ones that are being affected. You can definitely see less traffic, less visitors coming into Oakland, period," restaurant owner Silvia Hernandez-McCollow also added Tuesday on "Cavuto: Coast to Coast."
Due to a rise in retail theft and crime, which Madan and Hernandez-McCollow blame on Democrat-led policies, some businesses have been installing electric fences or fog alarms to stop crimes in their tracks.
"The break-ins really have escalated to such a degree that we're constantly getting feedback from guests that have been loyal fans of ours for years, saying, enough is enough. We love your space, we love your staff, we love the service, the food, but we just can't stomach another broken window," Hernandez-McCollow explained.
"What starts off as a lovely dinner with family and friends, ends up being an eight, $900 to $1,000 when it's all said and done, having to fix the windows, all their lost personal items," the restaurateur continued.
Madan’s convenience stores are part of the many nationwide that lost an estimated total of $86.6 billion in 2022, according to Capital One shopping research.
"We cannot ask our employees to stand their ground because that's a violation of the policy. So that is why you see so much happening in California," Madan said.
She referenced Senate Bill 553: "It would become illegal for business owners and employees to confront looters, shoplifters and street criminals. And in anticipation, you already see people walking out with stuff just like on the videos that you're noticing. And the employees are unable to stop them because then we are held liable for stopping them."
"This law is going to be very, very bad for small business owners," Madan continued.
For Hernandez-McCollow’s two restaurants, sales have reportedly dropped an estimated 30% due to the crime issues.
"It's not just affecting people that live in Oakland. It is affecting folks that visit from some of the neighboring cities," Hernandez-McCollow said. "It's something that's also happening in San Francisco, but I'm specifically speaking about how it affects us here in Oakland because this is our city."