SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KION) Santa Cruz police said a man was arrested for allegedly breaking into Santa Cruz Pawn.
Police responded to an alarm at the business at around 2:20 a.m. Wednesay and said they saw the suspect, 27-year-old Tajarri Williams, running away from the business.
Officers said Williams had an antique black powder style pistol in his waistband that he stole from the pawn shop.
Williams, who police said is a transient, was arrested and charged with commercial burglary.
“We have extra officers out on top of what we would normally have staffed doing nothing but looking for burglary suppression,” Santa Cruz Police chief Andy Mills said.
All non-essential businesses were closed March 17 after the shelter-in-place was ordered. It's created a concern for many business owners about burglaries.
“It makes me want to figure out how to secure our store. We’re thinking we might need to put plywood on the windows,” owner of the Yarn Shop Santa Cruz Cory Meyers said.
The Yarn Shop is right next to the pawn shop that was broken into early Wednesday morning. They were targeted in a similar smash and grab last Thanksgiving.
“It was very much a ghost town. There wasn’t anyone around, and that’s what we’re encountering right now,” Meyers said.
Suspects have been caught in both business burglaries since the shelter-in-place was ordered last week in Santa Cruz, but Mills said businesses can do things like make sure they have real time alarm systems, maybe board up windows, or use 3M tape.
He also has assigned officers to the burglary suppression team.
“They’re going to the areas most likely to be vulnerable to burglaries. They’re looking for people moving that time of night that shouldn’t be, and they’re making contact,” Mills said.
The police chief said if they see an uptick in burglaries during the shelter-in-place they'll increase patrols even more.