Oakland councilman proposing street closure to curb crime behind Home Depot

An Oakland city councilman wants to close a street behind Home Depot where people in RVs are living. 

He says they’re stealing from the store, doing drugs and bringing unwanted crime to the business.

This is in the city’s Fruitvale neighborhood.

Noel Gallo wants to close 37th avenue for about a year and a half to see if it helps reduce the amount of crime he says home depot is dealing with.

Store officials said they aren’t threatening to close the store, but the city councilor fears they will shut down if this place doesn’t get cleaned up.

“For the last year you’ve had campers back there, you’ve had tents back there, illegal dumping has been an ongoing issue,” Gallo said. 

Gallo says 37th Avenue, just behind Home Depot,  needs to be fenced off and shut down to reduce the increase in crime outside the hardware store in the Fruitvale neighborhood.

“Not only are they stealing their plant material, their building material, their push carts and everything else you can think about,” he said.

37th Avenue is a dead end street. 

KRON4’s cameras saw very little activity there on Monday. 

A few RVs, a man and a dog, bicycles, some trash and cardboard boxes scattered around.

Nothing compared to what is happening on the other side of Home Depot, where a large homeless encampment sits very visible to anyone pulling into the parking lot at the store.

Gallo says safety at the home depot has declined dramatically, so much so, the home depot has hired two off-duty Oakland police officers to guard the front of the store 10 hours a day.

Home Depot officials say they cannot discuss details about their security measures but that they have not threatened to close the store.

Gallo, though, says they came to him asking for help.

“Home Depot pretty much demanded we close off the street in the back and they will pay all the costs to fence it,” he said. 

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