In just one month, a Chinatown cafe in Vancouver, Canada, fell victim to two break-ins, three break-in attempts and one incident that saw a staff member threatened with a knife.
Increase in attacks: Dalina opened on Main Street and East Georgia in 2016. While it has faced problems in the Vancouver Chinatown neighborhood for years, things began to escalate during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Director of Operations Stephanie Kayser.
The latest string of break-ins and attempted break-ins put the business and its staff on edge. On Sept. 2, someone they had been helping out with free food threatened a barista with a knife after being refused yogurt.
“In the last month, you know, the loading docks have been broken into twice. We have the knife incident and then we’ve just had our third attempted break-in where the windows were smashed in the last three weeks,” Kayser told the Daily Hive.
How the business is responding: The recent attacks forced Dalina to spend thousands of dollars in security measures, including reinforced glass, security cameras and a panic button. The business is considering shelling out 49,000 Canadian dollars ($36,200) more on roll-down shutters.
“I think it’s one of those things that maybe should have just been done in the beginning,” Kayser told Global Times of their panic button. “It just gives our staff a little more peace of mind that they can have quick contact when they need.”
The big picture: There have been numerous reports of violence out of Vancouver’s Chinatown in the past month. On Sept. 10, three people were stabbed during the “Light Up Chinatown!” festival; on Sept. 14, two senior shopkeepers were assaulted in their store; and on Sept. 17, a man walked around the neighborhood in camo clothing while carrying a sword in an umbrella.