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Electric fence request for auto shops denied by Sacramento commission

Sacramento commissioners voted unanimously against the installation of electric fencing for businesses wanting to deter thieves.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Sacramento auto shops along Florin Road were denied the electric fence they were hoping could be an answer to crime

A representative for the businesses' property owner told the city Planning and Design Commission the amount of catalytic converter thefts and other stolen car parts justifies the need for such a fence.

City officials, on the other hand, said electric fencing poses a safety threat to those who come in contact with the fence — whether purposefully or accidentally.

"This application, as submitted, shows a prohibited fencing material of woven wire," said Community Development Department assistant planner Deja Harris. "The proposed fencing has the ability to be hazardous to the public. Specifically, (city) staff feels that the electric fence is inappropriate at this site."

She went on to say the electric fencing would set an "undesirable" precedent, and its presence goes against the city's plan to keep a visually welcoming pedestrian environment.

The property owner representative, Keith Kaneko, who also represents the electronic fencing company Amarok, told planning commissioners no amount of surveillance cameras, lighting and even physical security has been able to stop the auto shop thefts.

"This is our last hope to really try and stop the criminal element from attacking our property," he said."What was told to me by the (business owners) was like, 'No, you would need basically an army of security guards to protect all this property'."

Corey De Roo, executive director of Florin Road Partnership, told ABC10 Tuesday she understands why businesses are looking for more security.

“I would say the catalytic converter thefts have played a huge roll,” Mahfouz said.

Currently, there are two security guards patrolling more than 500 businesses in the area.

Other details shared by Kaneko in his presentation to city commissioners included:

  • Their brand of electric fencing is more visually transparent than described by city officials
  • Electric fencing would only be turned on during nonbusiness hours
  • Electric shock would only activate when the fence senses someone making an effort to get past the fence

Ultimately, city commissioners voted unanimously to reject the electric fencing request, but they said they are open to speaking with business owners about future security strategies.

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