Oakland’s Little Saigon neighborhood was once again the center of crime.
Multiple businesses woke up Monday to ransacked shops and owners had to clean up the damage caused by thieves breaking in.
“Whether it took five minutes or an hour, they didn’t care. That’s the scary part,” said owner or International Coin Laundry Nolan Wong.
Security video shows thieves covered in hoodies and gloves, and they were armed with tools, too. They targeted Wong’s business from above by drilling a hole in the roof and dropping down with tools.
“They came multiple times to go gather themselves, get their tools, come back in and break into the machine,” Wong explained.
Based on the video, thieves were struggling to open the coin machine for over 30 minute before getting away with around $5,000 in cash. This is the shop’s second break-in this year.
Wong told NBC Bay Area the constant crime is taking a toll financially and emotionally.
“Whether it be the armed robberies, the burglaries, carjackins, purse snatchings, they all have victims,” he said, “and we are all in this community and we can’t be living like this.”
Two stores down from Wong’s, Simon Liu suspects the same thieves broke into this restaurant also cutting through the roof, ransacking the show and taking money from the register.
“This is my community. I wanted to open a business, provide for the community affordable, good food,” he told NBC Bay Area. “A lot of these things going on; pandemic, inflation, robberies. It’s just bad for business. It’s hard,” he said.
The two stores are part of the seven that were targeted in the same shopping center.
Oakland Chinatown Improvement is hoping with $110,000 of city funding recently approved for safety improvements in Little Saigon and an Oakland Police Department sub-station will reduce crime.
Stewart Chen, who is part of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement council said “hopefully its not too little, too late because this is sad that this is happening over and over again.”
Business owners fear if criminals are not held accountable, crimes will continue.
“There is too much crime, there is no consequences for these criminals. That’s why they’re here,” Wong said.
Source: NBC Bay Area