SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — After several break-ins, the owner of a Hayes Valley bike shop in San Francisco says it’s time to close. He says that the storms at the beginning of the year and the current economy have made it hard to stay afloat.

The owner of High Road Bike Co. says he’s closing up shop at the end of the month due to multiple break-ins. You can see (in the video above) where some tried to use a blow torch to break in.

“A fair amount of break-ins. Break-in attempts. A lot of broken windows. We had a side door they repeatedly tried to come in that way,” said owner Chris Callaway.

Open for just two years selling e-bikes, Callaway says after countless break-ins, it’s time to close up shop. Callaway says he tried to prevent thieves from getting in, but nothing seemed to work.

“A big loss, after our first break in our insurance company dropped us. These bikes cost anywhere from $3K to $5K,” Callaway said. “We had one particularly expensive bike that was in the window chained up it was stolen. That was over $10,000.”

Surveillance cameras caught these two burglars during one of the break-ins. Still, no one has been caught. Callaway says the break-ins are among many challenges that arose this year.

“The last few months were particularly bad. The weather was really bad, and people weren’t buying bikes,” Callaway said. “I think the economic downturns of SF are also contributing — people commuting downtown so less bike riders.”

Many businesses in Hayes Valley have come and gone since the start of the pandemic. Despite the challenges, Callaway says the neighborhood seems to be climbing out of it.

“It’s a testament to Hayes Valley and to the merchant association here,” Callaway said. “Working closely with SFPD to maintain a safe area. Our commercial district is thriving. I think I have one of the only for-lease signs in the area.”

Callaway remains optimistic about owning businesses in the city. He owns a flower shop on the same block, which hasn’t been much of a target to thieves and will remain open.
He’s also opening up a cannabis shop in another neighborhood. He has some advice for the city and what they should be prioritizing when it comes to local business.

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“Make sure that people who want to open a business can do so easily,” Callaway said. “I think at this point with this many commercial store fronts vacant we should have any use — make it easier for restaurants to open. We have to get creative.”

While Callaway’s bike shop didn’t work out, he is still optimistic about his other businesses in the city. He actually encourages people to open a business right now, saying it’s a good time to negotiate a cheaper lease.