San Jose gaming lounge fed up with downtown crime

After three break-ins this year, owners of a San Jose e-sports and gaming lounge are fed up with crime in the downtown area.

In the latest burglary, thieves made off with the entire safe at Guildhouse in late March, prompting the owners to air out their frustrations online.

That got the attention of Mayor Matt Mahan and Interim Police Chief Paul Joseph who stopped by the business on Friday to speak with the owners.

For the owners of the Guildhouse, the March break-in was the last straw.

"A team cuts through the backdoor with tools, takes the entire safe, and leaves," says Kevin Wick, one of the owners.


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The thieves took thousands of dollars and caused thousands more in damage.

The e-sports and gaming lounge has had 8 break-ins so far, three of them this year alone.

"Every time we've had a break-in we've increased our cameras. We've increased our closing procedures. We've increased our locks, and it just is not helping," said Wick.

He said that is why they decided to go public, posting their frustration and sharing surveillance video of the crime online.

Mahan and Joseph toured Guildhouse and said tackling crime in downtown San Jose is a priority.

"One of the big things we're emphasizing is presence and visibility," said Mahan.

"Through having foot patrols and having community service officers down in the downtown core every day," added Joseph.

The San Jose Downtown Association has already been working with local businesses.

They alerted police to a serial burglar who was arrested in February. Now there are reports of at least two other safe thefts.

"Right now we're on an upswing trend that we need to curb and address," says Alex Stettinski with the San Jose Downtown Association.

Guildhouse has added more security yet again and has gone cashless.
But they say if downtown safety doesn't improve, businesses will suffer.

"We're not going to give up, and we're not going to like close our businesses down, but it's very frustrating," said another Guildhouse owner, David Faria.

"We're a small business. Small businesses operate on very thin margins. And this is just one more hit that we didn't want to take," said Wick.

San Jose plans to add bike patrols later this year. The city also has a crime capture program where businesses can get a free security camera

However, the biggest focus will be on police staffing. Owners of the Guildhouse said they're hopeful it will make a difference.