LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With so many businesses closed or partially shut down during the coronavirus pandemic, security guards are apparently in high demand creating job opportunities for those looking for work.

Sami Nomair, president of City Guard which hires and staffs security guards, said his company is looking to hire 500 guards because of a surge in demand and concerns about crime.

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“The demand has been really high for hospitals for security services. They’ve added extra security coverages. Urgent Cares have added extra security services,” said Nomair.

“We’ve gotten calls where people have been robbed,” he said. “We had a call that just came in yesterday from a client of ours in Irvine that had 15 golf carts stolen.”

Bob Smith, who works security at a Porter Ranch shopping center, said because fewer people are shopping, there are fewer eyeballs on the closed businesses.

“With the business that are closed that are non-essential, that creates opportunity. That creates opportunities for us and creates opportunities for the bad guys,” Smith said.

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“I make it a point to say hello, how are you and check in with the business owners.”

Security guards like Smith are frontline workers and being out in public also puts them at risk of infection.

“I don’t get that close to the people unless I absolutely have to,” Smith said. “When I do, I have my mask and I put my gloves on.”

Nomair said his staff is trained to keep their distance unless absolutely necessary and report to police when they need to.

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“Security is mainly there to observe and report with the police departments being so busy – they’re observing and reporting and reporting everything to police departments,” said Nomair.