SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A popular San Francisco cafe and ice cream store in the inner Richmond was hit twice in the past week.
First, someone vandalized the windows at Toy Boat by Jane, formerly known as Toy Boat Dessert Cafe. And now, San Francisco police are investigating a bizarre theft after someone posing as a window repair person stole a vintage toy collection from the store.
An Inner Richmond community is now coming together to replace a vintage toy collection stolen from a beloved neighborhood cafe.
“Honestly it’s a real bummer,” Amanda Michael said. “You know it’s sad that someone would steal toys from an ice cream store designed for kids and families.”
Michael is the new owner of the Toy Boat Dessert Cafe on Clement Street.
She reopened the store as Toy Boat by Jane three weeks ago, and kept many of the store’s unique touches that came from the original owner — including a large toy collection.
However, a chunk of that collection is now gone after someone posing as a repair person came into the store.
“Initially we had a situation where our windows were vandalized so there were a few businesses on clement street that had the acid etched into the windows at night so we then had somebody a few days later claiming to be a repair person here to measure the windows, get up on a ladder and then strip all of the toys off of the shelf and pretty much make off with them in broad daylight,” Michael said.
Michael says the thief got away with more than 35 smaller toys, which were originally placed on shelves in the front top window displays.
“It was a huge collection of vintage tin robots and tin wind up toys as well as vintage Godzilla figures so they were pretty cool toys. they were definitely a huge part of the legacy that was here,” she said.
Michael says San Francisco police are investigating the incident and reviewing nearby surveillance footage.
While the thief’s actions are disappointing, Michael says she’s encouraged by the outpour of support from her neighborhood.
“It was definitely a little bit discouraging but the community response has been so great. That’s the stuff were taking away from it,” Michael said. “The customers drop off toys. People offer to donate toys. People offer to help us rebuild the collection. Just the outpouring of support has been really meaningful.”
Michael says they’ve already put up some of the donations and expect to have a new collection and history for the store in the coming weeks.