San Jose Retailers Hiring More Private Security as Stores Grapple with Organized Robberies

ABC7 News

by Dustin Dorsey

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- After a weekend like we just had in the Bay Area, the immediate question for some is: will we see more mass organized crime?

Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Christian Malesic has his own question.

"What can we do? That is a very difficult one," Malesic said. "You not only need a security presence, which can be electronic of some sort whether that be cameras or scanners and that kind of thing, but it also needs to be good guys like security or police."

San Jose police said it's up to individual retailers whether they beef up their own security.

The Apple Store was a continuous target for robberies for quite some time until they made changes like reinforced glass, undercover security and the removal of items from the store floor.

These are things you can do if you're a major corporation like Apple, but it is not always a one-size-fits-all approach according to Malesic. 

"They've really came at it from a multi-faceted approach," Malesic said. "So, it worked for Apple, is it able to be copied in every store? In a Best Buy? I don't know." 

Which brings it back to the idea of more security presence.

VP Security Services CEO Armando Gomez says those calls have already began to come in.

"They want to have a stronger presence, they want to have more uniforms out there," Gomez said.

The mass robbery at Valley Fair was stopped by security before it could be a bigger crime.

So to answer our first question asked, security officers believe increased presence could prevent the next big event.

"If we stop in, the chances of someone seeing us and turning around than committing the crime is going to be really high," VP Security Services Patrol Officer Ruben Frias said.

"Having a visual deterrent is probably going to deter nine out of 10 people," Gomez said. "So the 1% that do get by you, you dial 911 and let them do their job."