Vandals, thieves target San Francisco small businesses over holiday weekend

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – At the same time that San Francisco businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, many are experiencing break-ins, vandalism, and more property damage.

Most recently, several shops on Clement Street in the Inner Richmond District were hit over the holiday weekend and this isn’t the first time for merchants there.

Not only was this an added expense for the owner to fix today but they also lost out on a day of business during this difficult time.

“Police were here and there was just glass everywhere. The door was completely shattered,” Alissa Anderson said.

Alissa Anderson woke up to an alert on Monday that someone broke into her store, foggy notion, in San Francisco’s Inner Richmond District.

She was forced to close her clement street shop because of the damage.

“Certainly hurts and also we just lost a whole day of business as well during a time of year where people might want to be out shopping and supporting small businesses,” Anderson said.

Anderson says the thief got away with some small bills out of the register. 

Meanwhile, the door replacement costs a few hundred dollars, a large out-of-pocket expense for many business owners on Clement Street over the weekend.

Owner of Toy Boat by Jane, Amanda Michael, says someone destroyed her door while trying to break in on Saturday and on Sunday, the shop next to her was also hit.

“The business next to us was hit the next night. Their front door was broken so this whole week there’s been a rash of things and it hasn’t been the same business multiple times yet as far as I know but we’re all kind of in this zone where there’s a lot going on,” Michael said.

In October, dozens of businesses in this same area were also broken into or graffitied with a destructive paint that doesn’t buffer out of glass windows, an expense that costs anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to fix.

Since then, Michael says not much has changed when it comes to helping from the city.

“We don’t see an increased police presence. We don’t see support from the city government. I would hope that they could just meet us with the services we need and we pay for so all of us who are working to stay open and keep people employed and make it through the other end and make San Francisco a better place are getting that same commitment from our officials,” Michael said.

This Inner Richmond neighborhood isn’t the only one subject to these break-ins. You walk down most streets in the city on any given week and you’ll likely see broken damaged windows.

Last week in the Outer Richmond, the restaurant Cassava was also broken into and the thieves got away with iPads and a company debit card.

Between the break-ins and the pandemic closures, it’s an uphill battle for many of our local businesses.

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