In-N-Out Burger announced Sunday that it plans to close its Oakland location within the next two months due to what it described as "ongoing issues with crime."
In a statement confirmed by an ABC7 reporter and obtained Sunday by The Standard, In-N-Out Chief Operating Officer Denny Warnick spoke plainly about the company's "repeated steps to create safer conditions," saying "our customers and Associates are regularly victimized by car break-ins, property damage, theft and armed robberies."
The company said the store's last day of business would be March 24.
In-N-Out thanked the community for its 18 years of support before acknowledging the impact the sudden closure would have on workers and their families, stating that "this location remains a busy and profitable one for the company, but our top priority must be the safety and well-being of our Customers and Associates—we cannot ask them to visit or work in an unsafe environment."
That environment included multiple dangerous vehicle break-ins and thefts targeting unsuspecting tourists who stopped for food or gasoline at nearby establishments before heading to Oakland International Airport.
On Sunday, Oakland police told The Standard that multiple callers around 6:15 a.m. reported seeing suspects in several vehicles trying to steal an automated teller machine from a Bank of America branch on Hegenberger Drive, half a mile from the In-N-Out along the same airport corridor.
Officers arrived to find damage to the bank's exterior and its ATM gone. Several hours later, officers learned the stolen ATM was on Alameda Avenue west of Howard Street. Shortly after recovering it, officers took a person into custody in connection with the theft, police said.
A guard who spoke to The Standard earlier this month said they and six other guards patrol the area throughout the day and into the night, watching for break-ins at gas stations along Hegenberger Road between Leet and Edgewater drives, a nearby commercial plaza, a Chevron on 98th Avenue and the In-N-Out at 8300 Oakport St.
The guard said they take more theft reports at the Oakland In-N-Out than at any other location they patrol.
A security guard with Brosnan Risk Consultants who patrols the In-N-Out told the Standard that he sees multiple break-ins at the fast-food restaurant daily.
“On a regular day, I’d say five,” the guard said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation for speaking to a reporter. “On a bad day, I can’t even get a report in because it’s back-to-back.”
Restaurant workers may transfer to one of the company's nearby locations, including locations in Alameda, Pinole, Mill Valley, Daly City, San Francisco, San Leandro or Union City, or receive severance pay, according to the company.
In-N-Out said it would continue to support local charitable organizations through two of its foundations.