SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – A small business owner in San Francisco says he’s fed up with crime in the city after his store was robbed and an employee pepper-sprayed.
He said the thieves have been targeting the two designer eyewear shops he owns.
In the latest robbery, today, an employee was threatened and then hurt.
Shelves of expensive designer eyewear were wiped clean. Veo Optics in the Mission District was hit for more than $40,000 Monday, and an employee who tried to stop the robbery was pepper-sprayed.
“I teared up. I was choking, I was shaking,” she said. “It was just too surreal.”
Business owner James Peo says this is the second time in as many weeks that robbers have targeted his stores.
But unlike last month’s $16,000 eyewear heist in the Marina District, no one was hurt.
“I’m not supposed to grab the glasses from them but they’re stealing from my family at this point–something needs to get done fast,” the employee said.
Added Peo: “This a female getting pepper-sprayed and you know what’s gonna happen? This might be a moment in time–next time something worse has to happen.”
Peo says this is the group that continues to come in without any fear of repercussions.
He’s worried that the pepper-spray attack is showing the thieves are only getting bolder.
He’s calling on city leaders to step up and help small businesses.
“We have a mayor that is willing to go out there and do a news conference and say ‘hey, we’re gonna make a change.’ but when does the change come to us?” he asked. “I’m not political but I’m getting involved. I’ve had enough.”
Peo is also pointing the finger at District Attorney Chesa Boudin.
He thinks crimes have been getting downplayed by the DA and that’s made life dangerous in San Francisco.
“I just don’t feel safe and I feel like police even if they do want to help there hands are tied,” he said.
We asked Peo why he does not have security at his stores to help curb this problem and he says with the high cost of already doing business in San Francisco security would be too expensive.
He fears that if something does not change he will look to move his stores far away from the city.