Liquor store staff share experiences from their shifts

Sheriff's Deputies investigate a shooting at a liquor store at the corner of Golden Valley Road and Sierra Highway on Saturday Night, February 02, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signa

When the call went out that a liquor store owner had fatally shot a suspected robber on Sunday, the news traveled fast, not only to law enforcement, but also to other liquor store employees in the surrounding neighborhood.

There have been 10 robberies in the SCV’s service area since Jan. 1, according to Lt. Ignacio Somoano of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, which patrols north to Gorman, south to the Newhall Pass, west to the Ventura County line and east to Agua Dulce. This number reflects the rate from last year, officials said, regarding a time period that also saw 10 robberies. There were a total of 106 reported robberies in 2019, according to data available on the Sheriff’s Department’s website.

“There hasn’t been an increase from last year,” said Somoano.

On Monday, three liquor store employees in Canyon Country said that although they’ve each had a run-in with crime at their respective stores, they felt there was no increase to the danger after hearing about the shooting.

One worker at a store on Sierra Highway, near where the robbery had occurred, who asked not to name the location due to security concerns, said his store had never been robbed, but there have been multiple burglary attempts.

“They have broken the door before and the back door,” said one liquor store employee. “Three weeks ago, they tried to go through (the back) door.”

However, the employee said he had never been robbed or forced to give up any money under duress. He also said his store has cameras, and uses other security measures to help keep the store safe, but that recent events have him thinking.

“For sure, we never know,” he said, adding though that fear of coming into work is not something he thinks about on a daily basis.

Another employee at a location on Soledad Canyon Road said something similar to the first worker: He was surprised the Golden Stop Liquor shooting had happened where it did.

“It really surprises me, because the location is in a nice area,” said the Soledad Canyon Road employee. “As far as my safety, it’s always in the back of my mind, but I don’t really worry about my safety.”

The sentiments of the Soledad Canyon employee were echoed by his colleague working in a store nearby, who said his store had been the victim of theft and attempted break-ins, but he felt safe.

A consistent theme in all three stores, outside of them being victims of petty theft, was the cameras and steel curtains they pull in front of their glass windows as they lock up each night.

“As far as police response,” one said, “it’s pretty good out here.”

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