The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

In-N-OUT of Oakland: Increased Crime Forces First Closure of Burger Franchise

For the first time in its history, In-N-Out is closing one of its stores
Olivia Delucchi
In-N-Out Burger at 8300 Oakport St., Oakland

Next month, on March 24, In-N-Out Burger at 8300 Oakport St. near Oakland International Airport will take its final order. The store is closing its doors due to a recent increase in car break-ins, property damage and armed robberies that have unsettled the community.

It will be the first store location to close in In-N-Out’s 75 years of business across the U.S.

Arjene Snaer, an 18-year-old In-N-Out employee from Oakland, said that aside from witnessing property destruction, employees like him have faced verbal and at times even physical assault while working at the Oakport location.

Snaer, who plans to transfer to Diablo Valley College next year, said he feels the store’s closure is a tragedy for the community, but at this point it needs to happen. 

“We’ve tried different things,” he said. “We’ve had the police here, we’ve had security guards, but it really just comes down to the law.

“Until they change the law [and increase punishments] about breaking into cars, people are still going to do it regardless,” Snaer added.

Police data reported by CNN showed robberies in Oakland shot up 38 percent over the course of  2023. In the same period, burglaries rose 23 percent and motor vehicle thefts increased 44 percent. 

A San Francisco Chronicle analysis reported that roughly one of every 30 Oakland residents had a car stolen last year.


“An unsafe environment”

According to In-N-Out management, the store on Oakport was turning a profit. It was simply the regularity of crime and the absence of safety that madeits operation untenable.  

“This location remains a busy and profitable one for the company,” Denny Warnick, In-N-Out’s chief operating officer, wrote in a statement about the closure, “but our top priority must be the safety and wellbeing of our customers and associates.” 

“We cannot ask them to visit or work in an unsafe environment,” Warnick said.

Like many Oakland residents these days, Snaer said he feels the city’s law enforcement is simply watching as crime spins out of control and too many criminals wander free.

“They know even if they get caught by the police, [the police are] not going to do anything [to them],” he added. “They might go to jail for a little bit, but they know they’re going to get let out.”

Snaer said he has witnessed the increase in crime firsthand at In-N-Out — like the time he saw someone break into a car trunk and steal customers’ bags while they were sitting in the car eating their meal.

He said he thinks the location of the In-N-Out, so close to the airport, is a contributing factor since criminals know a lot of the store’s customers will have travel bags loaded with personal belongings. 

“I would say there’s really nothing we can do, especially because this is a spot by the airport, so everybody comes and leaves their bags,” said Snaer.

“I see where [In-N-Out is] coming from in closing this for the people who work here,” he said. “It definitely makes sense.”

Reflecting on the criminals and their impact on the community, Snaer added, “They really don’t care.” 

In announcing the store’s closure, In-N-Out released a statement referencing the high level of crime that forced the company’s decision.

“There have been several In-N-Out Burger locations which have required relocation throughout our 75 years,” the statement said. “However, our Oakland store will be the first location we have closed.


“We feel the frequency and severity of the crimes being encountered by our Customers and Associates leave us no alternative.”


Closer to home

Roughly 20 miles away from Oakland, In-N-Out Burger in Pleasant Hill doesn’t face the same extreme threats but is nonetheless dealing with related issues of crime and vandalism.

Many students from DVC, like sophomore Ryan Akram, frequently head to the In-N-Out, located at 570 Contra Costa Blvd. in the Pleasant Hill Shopping Center, because of its convenience. 

“I go to In-N-Out at least once a week because of how close it is to school and how affordable it is,” said Akram, 19.

In-N-Out at Pleasant Hill Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Ella Pots

But some students report they’re already worried about rising crime in the area, based on current trends.

The shopping center,for example, has experienced an increase in burglaries, homeless encampments and shoplifting in recent years. According to Pleasant Hill Police Department 

Data, as reported by KRON4, police arrested a grand theft suspect in the Pleasant Hill In-N-Out bathroom in December 2022. 

“I always see homeless individuals throughout the drive-through lines asking for money,” said a first-year DVC student and customer at In-n-Out in Pleasant Hill, who preferred to remain anonymous.

“And there are always police around, which raises my suspicions about crime.” 

However, some students have a different perspective about homelessness and risks around the restaurant. Corinna Garcia, a second-year DVC student, recently went to In-N-Out in Pleasant Hill for the first time. 

“There was a homeless guy who was flipping customers off while we were eating outside,” Garcia said. But rather than being worried about safety at the store, she said she was more concerned about the people who were homeless themselves.

“I can just drive to another store” to buy a hamburger, Garcia said, but “they don’t have that luxury.”

View Comments (3)
About the Contributors
Ella Potts, Staff Writer
Olivia Delucchi, Staff Writer

Comments (3)

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  • B

    BrianFeb 24, 2024 at 12:31 pm

    Nice article about rough topic. I love stats! We might want to rethink the no punishment law for these crimes or its just going to get worse.

  • A

    AliciaFeb 20, 2024 at 8:45 pm

    Wow! That’s such a bummer they are closing. I had no idea, I always look forward to seeing that location whenever we land in Oakland.

  • C

    Corinne Catanzariti-MortonFeb 15, 2024 at 7:06 pm

    Great read, thank you for the information!