Restaurant Hires Armed Security as Crime Skyrockets

( – Businesses in yet another blue city are reeling in the face of a massive crime wave. Retailers are leaving San Francisco. Target is closing stores in four cities, including NYC because rampant theft is making them uneconomical. Now, a Philadelphia restaurant has been forced to hire armed guards to protect its staff and customers.

In 2015, two black men armed with handguns burst into Jim’s Steaks and Hoagies on 62nd and Noble in downtown Philadelphia. Nobody was injured, but the thieves robbed customers and plundered the cash register, making off with $215 in cash. Four years later, the restaurant closed.

Now it’s back, and its owners are determined there won’t be a repeat of the 2015 robbery. When the rebranded Jim’s West reopened in mid-September, the customers who lined up around the building to buy its classic cheesesteak sandwiches passed a guard with a rifle on the way in.

Not all of them were delighted; one called the guard’s “machine gun” (it wasn’t –- he had an AR15-style carbine) “overkill” and “not family-friendly.” However, co-owner Cortez Johnson said violence in the city has “spiked,” and if he wants to keep everyone safe, security is required. The aim is to deter criminals from even trying to rob the restaurant.

The security is being provided by Presidential Protection Services, owned by Kevon Darden. He told reporters that his guards are all former military or law enforcement and certified by the state as security guards. He added that Jim’s West will be guarded from Thursdays to Sundays.

Philadelphia is suffering from a huge crime wave. Armed robberies are up on pre-pandemic levels, while property crimes are going through the roof. In 2022, they jumped 30% over the previous year. Mass looting in September saw 18 state-owned liquor stores robbed in a single night. With crime apparently out of control, businesses have been left with no choice but to accept robberies, hire security, or close.

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