Four Asian-owned restaurants burglarized on the same street in San Francisco

Little Henry's, one of the restaurants burglarized on Balboa Street, has four iPads stolen. (Photo: Han Li)

Smashed window glasses on the sidewalk shocked one quiet neighborhood in San Francisco, with four Asian-owned restaurants burglarized overnight within four blocks on the same street.

Balboa Street, one of the commercial corridors in the Richmond District, has a large number of Asian businesses. In the early morning of April 10th, the Richmond Station of the San Francisco Police Department(SFPD) was notified in regard to a burglary on Balboa Street. Later they discovered three other properties were also broken into.

“Officers arrived on scene and found a window broken out of the front of a business”, SFPD described in a statement. And the officers met with all four victimized business owners, who are all Chinese Americans, and conducted walk-throughs to gather information.

Little Henry’s, one of four restaurants, has been operating on Balboa Street for more than 30 years.

“I have never experienced such a crime incident of my restaurant place over the past 30 more years”, Meiyu Zheng(鄭美玉), the owner of the Little Henry’s told the World Journal. She received a police call in the morning and rushed to the scene immediately. She recalled that the police entered the store to collect evidence, and there were glass fragments on the ground.

Zheng said that four iPads in the store were stolen. She also complained that since the shelter-in-place order, her restaurant business has been hit hard with huge revenue loss, and now she has to deal with another financial burden because of the burglary.

Jimmy Quach, who runs the noodle place right next to Little Henry’s, also expressed his concern about the decline of public safety. He stood in front of his storefront’s glass door, with only the door frame remained.

“This is the first time since my family started here in 2005”, he said.

The storefront of the noodle place run by Jimmy Quach has one side door that remains with only the door frame, without glass. (Photo: Han Li)

According to SFPD, the total loss, and whether the incidents are connected or hate crime-related, are still being determined.

Sandra Fewer, an elected lawmaker representing the neighborhood in San Francisco’s legislature, said that she’s informed of the incident and her office staff had been to the scenes providing support. She revealed that the police had secured the camera videos, fingerprints, and other evidence, and believes that further investigation results will be available soon.

One storefront on Balboa Street is shielded with boards to avoid potential burglary. (Photo: Han Li)

She urged everyone “not to be too alarmed”, and hoped that during the period of the stay-at-home order, everyone would still be able to continue supporting local restaurant businesses for take-out only.

“I hope the neighborhood in the community can help each other. If you hear anything breaking or suspicious, you can report it to the police,” Fewer said.

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This story was originally published in Chinese language by the World Journal on Apr. 11, 2020.

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