SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) — A small business owner in the heart of San Jose is picking up the pieces after a break-in on Monday left a trail of broken glass behind.
A security video caught view of a person loitering around the front of a business called Re-Mobilizers on early Monday morning. Not long after, the suspect used a window-breaking tool to shatter the front door of the business.
Next the person headed inside the business, and out of frame, before they came back into view with an electric wheelchair. The person wheeled the wheelchair over to the car and jammed it into the back seat before appearing to be spooked by a nearby bystander. The suspect then hopped into their car and sped off.
Brian O’Donnell, the owner of Re-Mobilizers, has been serving people with mobility issues in the Bay Area for decades. O’Donnell’s mother had polio and needed a wheelchair, so his father learned how to fix them. Then in 1991, their family business was born.
O’Donnell says he had no idea the break-in even happened until speaking to his manager Monday morning.
“I got a phone call from my office manager asking what happened because the building was boarded up,” he tells KRON4. It wasn’t until O’Donnell went back and reviewed footage from his security camera that he learned what occurred.
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Police couldn’t get ahold of O’Donnell on Sunday, so the City of San Jose contacted a construction company to come out, board up the windows, and lock up the building. O’Donnell says he still hasn’t gotten ahold of police to learn what his next steps are. He hopes that by providing them with the video it can shed more light on their investigation.
All said, O’Donnell is thankful the thief did not get away with more items from his store, “He didn’t get too much, but that chair retails from $2,500-$3,000,” O’Donnell said. O’Donnell was able to get the scooter registered with its manufacturer on Monday to ensure that the stolen chair won’t be eligible for repairs.
The biggest concern for O’Donnell? The clients he will have to reschedule this week due to the incident. “I had to reschedule with a veteran who needed repairs on his lift. He’s completely stuck in his house right now,” O’Donnell said.
O’Donnell is now looking into upgrading his security system, but he worries that wouldn’t have helped much in this case. “I understand why we have needed masks, and I support that, but it’s frustrating when people can wear masks and a hoodie and you can’t tell who they are,” O’Donnell told KRON4.