A 38-year-old jewelry store in San Francisco’s Chinatown is on the brink of permanent closure after losing $250,000 worth of goods from burglars two weeks ago.
The burglary: On Nov. 16, thieves broke into Long Boat Jewelry on Grant Avenue at around 4:20 a.m. and stole $250,000 worth of merchandise in just three minutes, reported SF Chronicle.
- According to owner Rosita Young, it was the second time their store was targeted, with the first burglary occurring 30 years ago.
- The latest incident dealt a big blow to the establishment which barely made it through two years of the pandemic and the restrictions that came with it.
- Four days before the burglary, someone broke one of the store’s windows but did not steal anything, reported NBC Bay Area. On the day of the incident, the burglars also destroyed the store’s gate, door and fixtures.
- Young and her husband are now unsure if they will be able to keep their business open after its lease expires by the year’s end.
- “We are a small business retail, not making much money,” Young told SF Chronicle. “Everybody in Chinatown works so hard… Nobody is making money… A lot of stores closed already.”
- The 78-year-old shop owner shared they are not receiving anything from their insurance provider, Bowie Insurance Group, because they were allegedly told that their policy does not cover thefts at night unless the stolen goods were locked in a safe.
- No arrests have been made yet in connection to the vandalism and the burglary, which are both under active police investigation.
Fundraiser: With the victims’ permission, San Francisco career prosecutor and community advocate Nancy Tung launched a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe to support the owners and save the business from permanently closing.
- “Increasing violence against Asian American people and businesses, rising costs, and a downturn in tourism is hurting our community, and people like Rosita and her husband,” the campaign page reads. “Let’s support this Chinatown business so it can continue to thrive in San Francisco.”
- As of this writing, the fundraising campaign has received over $6,000 of its $25,000 goal.
Brazen attacks on Union Square: The Long Boat Jewelry burglary came three days before a wave of coordinated burglaries that targeted high-end retail shops in San Francisco’s Union Square.
- According to police, at least 10 Union Square establishments were attacked, including Bloomingdale’s, Burberry and Louis Vuitton, reported ABC7.
- Five of the nine people arrested in connection to the attacks have been charged and have entered not guilty pleas, according to KTVU.
The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) is urging anyone with information to call the SFPD Tip Line at 415-575-4444 or to send a tip via text to TIP411, beginning the message with “SFPD.” Tipsters may remain anonymous.