By Macy Jenkins

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Natomas business owners are calling for tighter security after an armed robbery at Willie J’s Burgers And More.

“I feel horrible, and it’s not just a business here, it’s our home, too,” said Chhing Chau, owner of Willie J’s Burgers and More.

It happened on Sunday night just before the restaurant closed. Just after 7:45 p.m, a man held a store employee at gunpoint.

“He showed [the gun] to her twice, so when she finally opened up register she gave him all the cash we had in there, and he continued to exit out the back door,” Chau explained.

But after watching their surveillance footage, Chau’s husband and co-owner Willie Jefferson told her he’d seen that man before. A week earlier, he says the man stole a floor buffer from the women’s bathroom.

“I think we need more onsite security,” Chau said.

Right now, the shopping center’s owner has a contract with Paladin Security Company.

“I think so far two times I’ve seen him around here, so far, the whole time I’m here – almost a year,” said Miranda Bukowski, who owns Natomas Nails.

She told CBS13 she wants to see more police near her store.

“I think someone’s going to have to do something to protect our little business,” she said. “We’re paying taxes!”

We reached out to Sacramento Police Department and asked who is responsible for patrolling the shopping center?

Officer Matt McPhail said roughly 5 to 6 patrol officers are assigned to Natomas for emergency situations. But business owners looking for around-the-clock security would need to pay for additional uniformed officers or hire additional security on their own.

Just across the parking lot, a new daycare is set to open soon and they’re hoping to attract parents to a safe and quiet corner of Natomas.

“I just hope that things like that don’t happen anymore because we have children to protect here,” said Kristy Weber, program director at the new daycare.

Chau said she’s worried about her children and others nearby and believes there’s no substitute for more having eyes on the lookout.

“I’m going to protect my business so that might have to happen,” she said.

Chau and Jefferson have a meeting set up with the owner of the shopping center, Paladin Security and Sacramento City Councilwoman Angelique Ashby next week to discuss security issues.

We reached out to the owner of the shopping center, but he did not return our phone calls.


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