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Would you like fries or a 44 Magnum with your order?

Snitz on route to N-Out-Burger in his urban assault vehicle. Go ahead and trip to car jack this bad boy.

Why In-N-Out Burger Is Out of Oakland

The city cuts back on police to pay for public-worker pensions. Result: surging crime.

By The Editorial Board, WSJ

Jan. 24, 2024

California’s famous In-N-Out Burger chain announced Sunday that it is closing its restaurant in Oakland, blaming rising crime. You might also say it is the victim of a progressive backlash to law enforcement and soaring government-worker pension costs that have squeezed spending on public safety.

In-N-Out’s store by the Oakland airport drew hordes of travelers, but its packed parking lot and long drive-through line were frequently targeted by thieves. “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,” said chief operating officer Denny Warnick.

He added: “Despite taking repeated steps to create safer conditions, our Customers and Associates are regularly victimized by car break-ins, property damage, theft, and armed robberies.” This is what happens when cities cut back on policing.

Oakland’s progressive City Council in 2021 bowed to antipolice activists by limiting the number of police academies for training new officers and freezing 911 surge units, all while boosting funding for putative violence prevention “alternatives.” Meantime, as federal pandemic largesse shrank, spending on government-worker benefits ballooned.

Between 2019 and 2023, Oakland’s spending on public-worker retirement benefits rose 42% ($73 million) and 34% ($49 million) for fringe benefits. Last year Oakland spent more on government worker benefits than it collected in property and sales tax. To close a $360 million budget deficit, the city cut back on law enforcement even more.

The unsurprising result: Surging crime. Robberies last year were up 22% over the three-year average. Auto burglaries (23%), carjackings (15%) and motor vehicle theft (29%) also spiked. Roughly one of every 30 Oakland residents had a car stolen last year. Many In-N-Out patrons and workers found their car windows smashed, if they were lucky enough to avoid being held up at gun-point.

Businesses in California pay exorbitant taxes, which are supposed to provide for public safety and other essential government services. But increasingly businesses are finding they are on their own as cities slash law enforcement. Is it any wonder In-N-Out is now intent on growing outside of California in states such as Texas and Tennessee?

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