Local shopping center targeted by thieves

Business owners say it has been a problem since Thanksgiving.
Local law enforcement says burglaries continue to climb in Kern County. And, one shopping center in northeast Bakersfield seems to be a favorite, recent target of thieves.

Business owners in Northridge Plaza say thieves are picking away at their livelihoods on an almost daily basis.

The shopping center on Auburn Street and Fairfax Road has been hit dozens of times since Thanksgiving.

In addition to break-ins, thieves are targeting air conditioning units, stealing the copper wiring from them and likely selling it.

Kimberly Walton says the a/c unit above her salon is nothing but a shell. And, it's going to cost her more than $5,000 to replace.

"It's been happening every couple of days, somebody else is getting hit. And, if they're not breaking in the front door, they're breaking in the back door," said Walton.

"There's a feeling that we're under an assault, that we're almost targeted here and there doesn't seem to be anything we can do about it," said Sam Stewart, owner of Abbey Carpet. "We keep the lights on, we lock everything up, we hide stuff, whatever. But, it's a terrible way to live on a daily basis."

The victims say they've reported the thefts to police, and they were told it's a problem that's happening everywhere.

The business owners are deciding what extra security measures to take to try and stop the persistent thieves.
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