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CAUGHT ON CAMERA: City of Bakersfield expands Business Security Grant Program

An additional $500,000 is available to local businesses to install security measures on their property
Posted at 10:15 AM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-02 13:15:52-04
  • Video shows break-in at Sugardaddy's Women's Boutique and new security improvements installed to keep the business and employees safe
  • After two break-ins in the same week, Heidi Shubin, the owner of Sugardaddy's Women's Boutique installed additional security measures at her store. At the time of the incident, she wasn't able to get help from the Business Security Grant Program because she wasn't in the designated area, but now she can.

We have brought multiple stories over the past few years, involving burglaries in neighborhoods all over Kern County.
Sugar Daddy’s has experienced multiple break-ins on their property, but because they aren’t located downtown, they couldn’t take advantage of the city’s Business Security Grant Program, but now, they can.

This security camera footage shows a man breaking into Sugardaddy’s Women's Boutique on Stockdale Highway back in early September.

“We don’t know what’s going on. We couldn’t check our cameras because we do not have a great camera system, and they had at both separate times broken out one window, then the door, then the other window,” Heidi Shubin, the owner of the store, said.

Now, she keeps her doors locked during business hours, and lets her customers in with a clicker as an extra security measure for the store.

Shubin says the man broke into the store twice in the same week, and at the time, she tells me she didn’t qualify for support from the city.

“When this happened to me in September, we weren't in their area,” she said about the grant program's previous boundaries.

Because of the community’s support, Shubin says she worked with West Coast Security Screens to put in additional protection for her windows, but it wasn’t enough.

“Nevertheless, it wasn’t, you know, enough to replace our horrible camera and security system,” she said.

The city of Bakersfield announced at the end of March that they’re expanding their Business Security Grant Program to cover more areas in Bakersfield.

“I think what I hope to see is people feel more secure about leaving their business alone at night," Jenni Byers, the economic and community development director for the city of Bakersfield, said. "You can’t be at your business 24 hours a day.”

The city used ARPA dollars in the initial program, which helped support 71 businesses but restricted the funding to qualifying census tracts.

Now, Byers says the city used a criminal heat map to identify a boundary that will support more businesses.

It requires applicants to file a police report, allowing the police department to better understand where crime is happening in Bakersfield.

“If we can help another 71 businesses, that’s just amazing that 142 businesses would feel more secure,” Byers added.

Byers says seven people have already applied along with an interest list of about 20 others, including Shubin who plans to apply to upgrade her camera and security system.

“There’s lots of blind sports in there and the clarity is horrible, so that’s what I hope to upgrade,” she said.

If you would like to apply for the program, you can find more information here.

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