SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) — Employees’ safety concerns were partly to blame for the relocation of an Automobile Club of Southern California branch in San Bernardino, a AAA spokesperson said.
CBS2’s Tom Wait reports that the auto club, which has been in San Bernardino since 1917, has shut down and moved 7 miles away to Highland.
“That’s not very good news. I’ve been coming here for years already,” customer Mario Guttierrez said. “I don’t know if Highland is a better area than where it’s at now, but from what I hear, people didn’t feel comfortable being here.”
While there were several factors that triggered the move, the AAA spokesperson said employees complained that vagrants would often harass them.
“There’s a lot of, like, homeless people that try to beg for money and stuff like that. I’ll agree that way, but I don’t feel unsafe just walking to my car,” customer Lisa Curl said.
Police said that even though workers may have felt uncomfortable in the specific area of San Bernardino, there hasn’t been any major or violent crimes reported since 2009.
The AAA spokesperson said population trends also contributed to the move, as fewer of their clients are in San Bernardino.
“The city went bankrupt. And then there were a lot of issues with that. And you think that they need to bring more in, but the problem is a lot of people in San Bernardino don’t have money to keep the businesses going,” Curl said.