Vietnamese Coffee Shop Robbed of $400 in 30 Seconds in Seattle

A small Vietnamese coffee shop in Seattle was rapidly robbed in the middle of the night on Oct. 17.

Chen Dien and his wife, the young owners of Coffeeholic House, were shocked when they received notice of a forced entry into their shop. The couple took to Instagram and posted the surveillance footage the next morning.

“My heart just dropped,” Dien told the South Seattle Emerald. “The key box was destroyed and the key inside was gone. The cash drawer was broken, and all the money was gone.”

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Sitting here eating our 1st meal of the day and still couldn’t believe what happened last night. 2 thieves broke into our store and quickly cleaned up all the cash+tips in our cash drawer and the WHOLE SAFE! Which contains our employees paychecks and tips as well. At the moment when we realized what happened — our minds went blank and our heart just dropped. We can’t even feel safe anymore at our own place, especially we always stay late to prep everything. We are thankful that nobody got hurt and we recieved so much love from the community. Thank you guys. And to our fellow small business owners, please be safe and take extra precautions! 🙏🏼 We never know what will happen next! Hopefully you will never go through this feeling.

A post shared by Coffeeholic House | Seattle (@coffeeholichouse) on

The footage showed two masked suspects heading directly to the back, where the cash register and safe were, and stole $400 within 30 seconds, according to a police report.

Dien suspected that the robbers were experienced from how quickly and quietly they operated. His wife thought they may have frequented the shop before.

Screenshots via Chen Dien

The shop itself is small but has large, open windows where the safe is visible.

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Dien told NextShark that the thieves were wandering for at least 15 minutes outside of the coffee shop at roughly 1:35 a.m., looked inside from the front doors, discussed something and then broke the key box to come in.

However, this drummed up some skepticism from Instagram commenters who accused the coffeeshop owners of fabricating the story because the robbery was done “too cleanly.”

“Even myself and our family didn’t even believe how fast the thieves did their job,” Dien said. “I remember my first thought seeing the video was: How could it be so fast? How do they know exactly where to go and what to find? Why didn’t they spend at least 5 more minutes to look upstairs or look around for any other valuables?”

Dien immediately filed a report, but there would be no investigation. After the owners called 911, no police showed up. Instead, they were directed to a link to file the incident online.

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“No photos of the scene needed, no investigation, no questions asked,” he said.

The owners still feel scared and worry about their employees and their own safety from how “comfortable” the robbers were, but are also aiming to buy chains, extra locks and look for a stronger security system.

Chen Dien, his wife and his staff. Image via Chen Dien
They don’t care about the skepticism they’ve received and refuse to start a GoFundMe to cover their losses, stating, “Everybody has been hit hard since COVID-19.” Instead, Dien and his wife hope to spread awareness to their other small businesses and residential houses in their community to be careful.

The owners appreciate the kindness and support from their community and loyal customers, saying, “We were just extremely touched when people reached out to us to make sure we’re doing ok and let us know they’re here to help!”

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Featured Image via Chen Dien

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