Soon after the first crash of broken glass in downtown Manhattan as peaceful protests gave way to looting, the calls to Beau Dietl & Associates started coming from stores, offices and apartment buildings for security guards.

Bo Dietl, a retired New York Police Department detective, said his firm has begun patrolling an additional 52 New York City buildings since Monday. He has also beefed up patrols for existing customers.

Other residential buildings doubled up on doormen and kept the front door locked. Some, like a co-op on Union Square, brought in two shifts of armed guards to patrol in front of the building.

Looters and vandals were active across many prime Manhattan retail areas from the Lower East Side to Soho to Midtown Manhattan. They were also targeting more modest areas like the Fordham Road shopping district in the Bronx. The police didn’t have a lot of success stopping it.

“The demand for armed and unarmed security guards across every market is as high as it has ever been,” said Sean T. Meehan, director of sales and marketing at United Security Inc., a security firm based in Red Bank, N.J., active in New York and licensed in 19 other states.

Mr. Dietl said interest is so high that he is trying to recruit more licensed armed and unarmed security forces, and he has found that other security companies have similar needs. “Across the board everyone has been strapped” for personnel, he said.

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