With the outbreak of violent home invasions robberies in Riverside, local gun business owners and instructors who carry concealments said they have seen a large increase in customers.
Riverside has seen four robberies in the home and 10 burglaries over the past few weeks.
“What they’re looking for is money,” said Officer Ryan Railsback, who is with the Riverside Police Department.
He said detectives have begun to see patterns and that the home invaders appear to be two different groups of masked men. They drive around the neighborhood in several cars and target homes without dogs.
“They actually come in through the side, like a side door or jump for a while, and then they generally smash, smash a glass window, a door,” Railsback said.
In community meetings, officers advise residents to check security cameras and secure their homes and ensure that doors, windows and gates are locked. They said many have also decided to consolidate.
“Right after the Uvalde shooting, I got 16 teachers to call me in an hour,” said firearms instructor John Galletta.
Galletta, who owns Riverside CCW Training, said recent events, both local and national, have caused his hidden-wear classes to fill up instantly.
“People who would not normally have a gun really started to consider having a gun for protection,” he said.
The classroom section of Galletta’s facility was recently expanded, adding 20 more chairs due to the high demand, but Railsback said having a gun is not enough.
“It’s not just, ‘I have to have a gun, and now I feel protected.’ No. You want to feel comfortable with that firearm,” the officer said.
Galletta said that yes, it is important to know how to physically shoot a gun, but mental preparation to do so can be even more critical.
“You can not act in fear. You must have the education behind you …,” he said.