SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Businesses in San Francisco’s Richmond District are on alert after a burglary occurred at a tobacco shop early Wednesday morning, causing concern among other business owners in the area.

Around 2:45 a.m., at least seven people from two cars were caught on surveillance video breaking into a tobacco store on Geary Boulevard. The masked suspects took more than $70,000 in merchandise and a safe containing $20,000 in cash, the owner said.

“It’s very painful to do business in this city right now,” said David Heller, Greater Geary Merchants president. He owns a beauty supply store just blocks away from the tobacco store. 

Heller said small businesses along the commercial corridor are struggling because of crime and wants more police presence in the Richmond District. “We really need leadership and that’s what is causing this problem,” said Heller.

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The owner of the tobacco store said after 18 years of business they have never suffered a hit like Wednesday’s break-in. They plan to cage the windows and make other security improvements.