If you want to shop at one popular Beverly Hills boutique, you’ll have to forgo your COVID mask: Kitson LA is banning face masks over fears of robbery and violence.
The owner of Kitson, Fraser Ross, says that he’s made the decision for the safety of store employees, and claims a disturbing trend in that part of Beverly Hills prompted the change.
In July, a smash-and-grab burglary took place at the Chanel store around the corner from Robertson Boulevard, where Kitson is located.
Ross says that as a result of the recent uptick in crime, customers will not be allowed to wear a mask when entering his shop.
Signs have been posted on the storefront telling potential customers of the change, saying “Due to the safety of our staff and assets of the store, we do not allow the wearing of face masks. Thank you.”
They claim that individuals have used the face masks to avoid being identified in various situations, including shoplifting, verbal harrassment, and physical assault toward the staff.
Ross released a statement about the incidents and the change in mask policy for the store, which read in part:
At Kitson we prioritized the safety of our staff and customers. We noticed a disturbing trend of individuals wearing masks to avoid identification in various situations, including but not limited to shoplifting, verbal harrassment and physical assault. The mask mandate may have begun as a health precaution, but we believe it [is] now being used by some people for nefarious purposes. To that end, we enacted our own mandate of sorts. We do not allow the wearing of masks in the Robertson store during regular business hours.”
As of Monday, there is no indoor mask mandate for any of the cities in Los Angeles County. When it seemed like a mandate was possible, Beverly Hills stated that the city would not enforce any mandate that was reinstated.