LOS ANGELES (TND) — Some of the most affluent residents of the Los Angeles area are reportedly flocking to the only gun store in Beverly Hills, Calif. amid the city’s uptick in violent crime.
Beverly Hills Guns, a non-descript boutique firearms store tucked away in an office building, has been seeing “a daily stream of anxious business owners and prominent actors, real estate moguls and film execs” seeking protection from the city’s rise in home invasions and other robberies, reported LA Magazine.
Many of these individuals have never owned a firearm before, the store's owner Russell Stuart told LA Magazine. Now, residents from the upscale Hollywood Hills and Santa Monica areas are thinking home defense following the rise in smash-and-grab robberies and home invasions in Los Angeles, according to the magazine’s report.
“This morning I sold six shotguns in about an hour to people that say, ‘I want a home defense shotgun,’” Stuart said. “Everyone has a general sense of constant fear, which is very sad. We’re used to this being like Mayberry.” Mayberry is the name of an idyllic fictional town from "The Andy Griffith Show."
Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore announced in November he would be setting up a task force to combat home-invasion robberies, which have targeted celebrities and upscale restaurants, according to the Los Angeles Times. Moore indicated the department had not seen violent holdups “like this in decades,” The Times reported.
A recent string of 11 smash-and-grab robberies in Los Angeles, which took place over a period of two weeks, resulted in over $330,000 in stolen goods, according to The Guardian.
Stuart, whose store is part of a larger security company he owns, told LA Magazine the elevated fears have led wealthy residents to contemplate elaborate security measures, like armored luxury cars, panic rooms and bulletproof glass for their homes. One of Stuart’s customers reportedly asked about developing “Tony Stark-level” security, including automated drones that would hover over the client’s house. Stark is the identity of "Iron Man" in the Marvel universe.