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Oakland business owner speaks out after thief breaks into store

A business owner in Oakland is picking up the pieces after her boutique was broken into Sunday morning and thousands of dollars in merchandise was taken.

The incident comes as the small businesses and community members who support safety held a solidarity rally downtown.

Taylor Jay’s store on Broadway in Oakland when she was on her way to church for Easter Sunday when she received a message.

“So, we just rushed right here and we came in and we saw the glass,” she said.

The incident was caught on the store’s security cameras.

“They took our POS system, they took a full rack of clothes. He even used our own suitcases that we have in the back for when we travel for pop-ups. He packed those with stuff too,” Jay said.

Now their picking up the pieces with at least $20,000 worth of items missing.

“Just being a business owner in Oakland has been a struggle. These last couple of years have been really, really hard for myself and fellow businesses owners and even the community, people that are afraid for safety,” Jay said.

They have been having meetings with businesses, showing up, trying to get creative for the community and customers.

“And we just want to be supported. We want people to hear us and that we matter. That we don’t have to keep closing our businesses because of crime or because we’re traumatized,” Jay said.

Near Oakland City Hall Sunday, small businesses and community members gathered for a solidarity rally called “Heart of Oakland,” promoting unity for Oakland, its residents, businesses and resources needed to succeed.

“We’re basically coming out to demonstrate that things are not working and we need it to work,”

“It’s a way for us to come out, support each other and say we love Oakland and we need to go in a different direction. We need to see a safer Oakland, we need to stand up for each other and it’s all of our responsibility,” said Oakland resident Annie Campbell Washington.

That includes a call to support neighborhoods, restaurants and small businesses and shops.

The city of Oakland recently introduced a new police chief and laid out public safety strategies. The state is ramping up efforts to crack down on crime.

For Jay’s business, she wants to see the change firsthand.

“We have invested so much in this city and we have built such a strong brand within in community. We want to be here, we want to be successful here, we want to thrive here,” she said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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