The amount of crime in the streets of some of the country's biggest cities is causing businesses like Jim's West Steaks and Hoagies in Philadelphia to hire armed security.
"The violence has spiked," co-owner Cortez Johnson told Philadelphia television station WPVI 6 during its reopening in September. "It goes up and down. You want people to feel safe and be safe so when they come out and eat, they don't have to worry about no type of harm."
The business now has armed security agents carrying AR-15 rifles posted outside of its West Philadelphia location to keep patrons safe.
"Our lines are down the block. So while you're standing here in line, connecting with other people you may not know, we have security right here just to keep you guys safe," company CFO Saul Landers said in the report.
According to the news outlet, the armed agents are stationed during business hours from Thursday through Sunday.
"It's not just myself," Kevon Darden, who owns Presidential Protection Services, said in the report. "It's usually other agents who are sworn and certified by the state of Pennsylvania to do security work when they're off duty. All of us are former military, police, and law enforcement background."
The restaurant is just one of many businesses, in primarily Democratic-run cities, that are taking it upon themselves to try to control criminal activity.
"We've lost American cities again, similar to the 1980s and '90s," Politico reported Pat McCrory, a Republican who was mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009 and later went on to serve as governor of North Carolina, saying in a March report. "The Democratic Party has been hijacked by people who don't want to enforce the laws on the books."
National chain stores like CVS and Walgreens are shuttering hundreds of locations due in part to increased shoplifting, which was estimated to be as high as $80 billion in 2022, the Daily Mail reported Sept. 26.
According to the report, CVS is closing some 900 stores by 2024 to move to more of an online presence to combat the increase in retail crime. Walgreens announced it would be closing 150 locations, including a location in Berkeley, California.
Just last month, police arrested more than 50 young people involved in a Philadelphia flash mob that looted stores like Apple, Foot Locker, and Lululemon, with participants stuffing merchandise into garbage bags in response to a prior police shooting that killed resident Eddie Irizarry through the rolled-up window in his car, WHYY reported at the time.
Charles Kim, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is an award-winning journalist with more than 30 years in reporting on news and politics.
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