Starbucks is permanently closing these locations in LA due to safety concerns

Starbucks is shutting down over a dozen U.S. locations  - six of them in the Los Angeles County area - by the end of July, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

In a July 11 memo sent to employees, officials said the closure is a move to make Starbucks locations safer for customers and employees. 

"After careful consideration, we are closing some stores in locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it unsafe to continue to operate, to open new locations with safer conditions," a Starbucks spokesperson told Business Insider. The incidents reportedly involve drug use in stores by customers and other members of the public reported by workers.

According to the WSJ, the LA-area locations closing are: 

Last month, West Hollywood voted to reduce law enforcement funding despite escalating crime that was up 137% earlier in the year and public backlash. The budget for the next two fiscal years will leave West Hollywood with up to five fewer Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies on patrol. At the same time the council approved increasing funding for a cultural arts festival.

Over the past few months, residents and business owners have voiced opposition to cutting the police budget amid a crime wave across Los Angeles County. Surging crime in West Hollywood has been an ongoing concern for many. That surge includes murder, rape, burglary, aggravated assault, arson, and human trafficking.

The announcement also comes the same day a string of armed robberies at several 7-Eleven locations throughout Southern California left at least two people dead and three others wounded. 

Local authorities confirmed Tuesday afternoon the lone gunman was responsible for at least five of the six robberies at 7-Eleven stores that occurred early Monday morning. Police released an image of the suspect being sought for the violent robberies in Brea, La Habra, Santa Ana, Upland, and Riverside.

Officials have since advised 7-Eleven locations to close overnight for safety reasons.