Kaiser Permanente, headquartered in Oakland, California, is reportedly warning its employees to eat inside as crime continues to hurt business across the city.
The warning, based on a memo shared first by FOX KTVU, reportedly told Kaiser employees to stay in their buildings for lunch after a string of robberies affected employees who ate at local businesses.
“Those recommendations remain in place for now,” Kaiser Permanente said in a statement. “Kaiser Permanente is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our employees and physicians across all of our locations. We continually monitor our environments for concerns, review our practices and strengthen them wherever possible.”
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A Kaiser employee told KTVU that the decision was the right call.
“It’s just kind of scary in general, not even just to go to work, just kind of coming outside,” employee Ariella Crenshaw told KTVU. “If you can work at home, work at home. If you have to come in, just be safe about it.”
Some local business owners said that they were worried that Kaiser’s memo sends the wrong message to criminals in Oakland.
“I don’t think you want to discourage people from walking around and kind of give in to the bad elements that are running around,” a cafe owner told KTVU. “I think quite the opposite: I think that if there are more people on the streets, there will be less incidences.”
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Fast-food giant In-N-Out made national headlines after it announced last week it would close its Oakland location in March.
It is the first time in the chain’s 75-year history that it’s been forced to close one of its restaurants. The company told FOX Business that regular car break-ins, property damage, theft and armed robberies of customers and employees led to the decision to shut down.
“We feel the frequency and severity of the crimes being encountered by our Customers and Associates leave us no alternative,” Denny Warnick, the chief operating officer at In-N-Out, said in a statement.
Kaiser and Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
Fox News’ David Rutz and Kristine Parks contributed to this report.
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