Oakland Taco Bell Closing Dining Rooms Due To Crime

In the latest example of California’s “new normal,” four Taco Bell restaurants in Oakland, California, have been forced to suspend indoor dining indefinitely due to a series of robberies in the midst of a crime surge in the city.

According to reports in the Daily Mail, four of the five Taco Bell locations across the Bay Area city now have large signs hanging from their windows advising: ‘DINING ROOM CLOSED.’

The Daily Mail reviewed crime statistics for the restaurants and the records show that three Taco Bells in Oakland had been struck a total of six times this year. One location, on 35th Avenue in East Oakland, has been hit four times since November – twice while open.

The San Francisco Chronicle posted on X that they had reached out to Taco Bell’s corporate office, which said in a statement that these closures and changes in operations are decisions made by the franchise owner, not the restaurant’s parent company.

KRON4 News reported yesterday that the Taco Bell closures are just the latest chain to have to alter their operations, a Raising Cane’s on Edgewater Drive has also closed their dining room and an In-N-Out Burger announced it was closing after 18 years of business citing issues with crime.

Social media quickly seized on the news as evidence of a crime problem that is getting harder to ignore.

X user Jane Adams posted, “Taco Bell’s closing dining rooms in Oakland is just another symptom of the lawlessness plaguing our cities. Instead of tackling crime head-on, they’re forced to barricade themselves behind closed doors. When will our leaders wake up and address the root of the problem?”

CNN reported in February that while violent crime and other felonies fell in 2023 in America’s biggest cities, they increased in Oakland.

Robberies grew 38 percent last year in Oakland, according to police data. Burglaries increased 23 percent. Motor vehicle theft jumped 44 percent. Roughly one of every 30 Oakland residents had a car stolen last year.

In response, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced he was taking action, deploying 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland and the surrounding area to conduct a law enforcement surge operation.