'Aggressive and harassing' migrants, thieves prompt a New York Home Depot to deploy security guards with dogs

A Home Depot in New York recently hired third-party security guards with dogs to patrol its parking lot due to theft and loitering migrants harassing customers, the New York Post reported.

The Home Depot, located in New Rochelle, is now guarded by two MSA Security workers wearing bulletproof vests. The men walk the property with a German Shepherd, the Post observed Tuesday.

One of the guards told the news outlet that Home Depot contracted the company a few weeks ago to address several issues, including thieves and loitering migrants.

“It’s more about omnipresence,” the guard stated. “It’s not like we let [the dog] go bite anyone or anything.”

The presence of the security guards and their K9 has appeared to put an end to the issue, the Post observed this week. However, just seven miles away at one of Home Depot’s Bronx locations, 30 male migrants were seen lingering near the doors.

According to the Post, some of the individuals were day laborers hoping to find work with local contractors. Many of the other migrants were accosting customers, attempting to sell them fake Apple AirPods or make tips for helping them move their items into their vehicles.

One worker told the news outlet that several women have reported being robbed by the migrants who took their purses and phones.

“You come out and you’re a woman by yourself, they literally leech onto your wagon, and you’re like, ‘No, I don’t need any help,'” the worker said. “And when they’re following you to your car; it’s unnerving.”

She told the Post that one day on her way to work, she observed roughly 100 men in the parking lot.

A shopper told the news outlet that she had a negative encounter with one of the migrants when leaving the store with her husband.

Despite the couple’s repeated refusal, the man insisted on helping them load a couple of boxes and a paint scraper into their vehicle.

“He’s still keeps following, like on top of us,” she explained.

The shopper claimed that the man “put his hand” on one of the boxes after she refused his help multiple times. She stated that her husband told the man, “Don’t touch anything,” but he did not stop.

“So I held up my pepper spray, and I yelled, ‘He said don’t touch,'” she continued. “And all of a sudden he goes, ‘Oh, you don’t have to yell at me.’ … But he started looking like he was getting angry. So we just hurried up and jumped in the car.”

She accused Home Depot’s headquarters of “brush[ing] off” her complaint. She noted that a regional manager informed her that the company planned to deploy security guards with dogs to two Bronx locations.

LaurieAnn Masciocco, who works in Home Depot’s customer service department, told the Post, “It’s come to the point where they’re invading personal space, touching people’s belongings, just harassing.”

“I get it, you’re trying to make a buck. But when it becomes aggressive and harassing there’s a major issue,” Masciocco added.

Even the migrant day laborers searching for construction work are fed up with the assertive solicitors.

One Mexican national told the news outlet, “There are a lot of people who have been coming here for a lot of years … asking people for jobs in construction and if they need help with projects.”

He said the aggressive solicitors impact their ability to find work “because now people don’t want to communicate with us because they’re scared.”

“They confuse us with them,” he remarked.

One of the migrants who charges customers for assisting them with their items told the Post that he makes approximately $300 per day on tips.

Margaret Smith, a spokesperson for Home Depot, would not confirm whether the company plans to add guards to the Bronx locations.

“While we can’t go into specifics about our security measures,” she stated, “it’s not unusual for us to use third-party security at various stores across the country.”

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