Do you feel safe, comfortable downtown?


It happens at banks, bars, gas stations and pot clubs, but something about robbing a guy who makes pies and cookies for a living seems particularly sinister. On Wednesday morning, armed robbers invaded downtown Hayward’s newest bakery and demanded cash. Despite the scary experience, the owner — who said he’s moved on and didn’t really want to talk about it with the newspaper — made it to the Hayward Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo on Wednesday afternoon and reopened the shop today. Chamber organizer Peggy Collett said he should “get a medal.”

Anyone with information about this or other crimes can contact the Hayward Police Department at (510) 293-7000. Downtown also has a new bike/walking patrol officer who began this year.

  • Danielle

    I only go downtown when I’m driving through it. There aren’t any stores that suit my needs, and there isn’t really anything fun to do down there. Even if there were, I don’t know if I’d go at night, especially since I don’t feel that safe during the day. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.

    I feel bad for the bakery owner – it’s not an auspicious start to a new business.

  • jeff

    My family only visit downtown on Saturday mornings for the farmer’s market. Even durning the day time, there are scary looking people around. We prefer visitng Castro Valley. Everything there just looks cleaners and safer.

  • Melissa

    I think my sense of safety in Hayward depends on the situation. Generally, I would say
    that I don’t, especially at night or the late evening. But I live within walking distance of
    the library, the shopping center with Albertson’s, Starbucks, Panda Express, etc, and I
    used to walk there from my house a lot more a couple of years ago. Now I don’t do that
    so much and I don’t feel really safe doing it anyway. Also, there’s been many times
    when I’ve been walking and have been cussed at and have had some pretty lewd,
    disgusting comments shouted at me from men driving by. I know that this kind of
    thing isn’t unique to living in Hayward and that women experience this all over the
    world. But it doesn’t exactly make me feel safe or comfortable either.

  • Maria

    Downtown is safe for me and my family, we go shopping and never have had a problem.

  • Hayward has so much potential, however it continues on a downward spiral. There is
    very little sense of community anymore and perhaps it’s part of a nationwide trend, but
    the crime rate seems to be scarily increasing to uncontainable heights. As for Castro
    Valley, I am not quite sure it’s that much better, it’s a small town, 1/3 the size of Hayward so it only seems like it is cleaner and safer. If you read the CV Forum, which is a weekly publication there are quite a few incidences that occur that involve police involvement.

  • monica

    My husband and I frequent a lot of the restaurants downtown. Saturdays we shop at the farmers market, Main St. Bakery, the bookstore and Wags and Whiskers. We just tried the Chinese Restaurant on Main, formerly, Rue de main, we liked it. We meet friends for dinner at Shark Shack, La Salsa, Buffalo Bills, Kumbalas, Neumanali’s, B&B dance studio, and attend all the street parties. Our optometrist is downtown. We use the library, post office, museum, galleries, Kraski’s, Longs, Bicycle store. As for the “weirdos” you ain’t seen nothing until you go to SF.

    We need more events downtown and it could be cleaner. There’s way to much smoking; specially outside the bars and the bus stops.

  • Jessica

    I live downtown within walking distance of Albertson’s, the Main Library and all of the shops there. I have never felt unsafe. If people are worried about ‘scary lookin people, even in the broad daylight’ then stop coming downtown. Hasn’t anyone ever told you not to judge a book by its cover?

  • Long time Hayward resident

    It never ceases to amaze me that the City of Hayward administration continues to scratch their collective heads over why so few frequent the downtown area. My family goes downtown for the library, the farmer’s market, the street parties, and also visit a number of restaurants and businesses. I always make it a point to shop Hayward first. However, it is increasingly difficult to ignore all the dirty, creepy “street people” lurking around downtown, especially around library park. It’s really disgusting. And Castro Valley is really no better. Hayward has such potential, and it seems such a shame that now several decades have gone by and it continues to be unrealized.

  • Alicia

    While searching for a nutrition store in Hayward, I came across this article by accident.
    It is a shame that City and school officials do not make Hayward streets and school
    safety a top priority. I work, own a home, and my child attends a high school here in
    Hayward. In the past 16 years that I have lived and worked here, I have witnessed
    many violent crimes, including one that directly affected my family. At the time, I
    was in denial and said it was an isolated incident, however, as time goes on I know
    that the violent assault on my husband, 3 years ago, was indicative of the evil
    element that is taking over in Hayward. I hold our police officers, firemen and
    my child’s teachers in high regard. They are not responsible for Hayward’s downward
    spiral. The Hayward School Unified School District and the City Officials are responsible for for the bad element running among our streets. If you are purchasing one of those
    million dollar homes, I would think twice about where are you going to shop, the schools your kids will go to. Transportation to the school is another issue. Our kids are not safe on
    public transportation, especially, in the Winter. All lines transfer at either BART station.
    BART is not a not safe area for young kids to be at any time of the day.