Coronavirus Crimes: San Francisco restaurants see trend in break-ins amid COVID-19 shelter-in-place

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Property crimes are down by double digits in San Francisco compared to the same time last year due to the novel coronavirus shelter-in-place. However, restaurant owners are discovering that during recent break-ins there is a new trend in what's being taken.

Saira and Monica Gomez have a hard time watching the 20 different security videos recorded at their restaurant, Crossroad Pizza from a rash of 5 break-ins spanning 3 days.

"It's super violating. It's super violating and very frustrating" says Saira via FaceTime.

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The burglaries happened at an already challenging time when the restaurant is closed because of the shelter-in-place. Also unsettling? What the crooks stole.

"They took toilet paper, garbage bags, any household items we had and our Clorox wipes. Our cleaning supplies, bleach and everything for cleaning! They took sodas, booze, they tried to take our coffee machine and coffee blender too. I'd rather have that food go to our employees who aren't working now!" exclaims Saira.
Aldo Blasi, owner of Ristorante Milano in Russian Hill shared video of a recent attempted burglary where suspects not only used tools like wire cutters and a blowtorch to try and gain entry through the front door, they also tried the back, where the supplies are kept.

"I think it's a kind of desperation. These are desperate times as you say they can get supplies. All you can do is leave supplies and change them and secure them all the time." Says Blasi.

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SFPD says they've seen a double-digit decrease in property crime compared to last year due to the shelter-in-place but are "aware of changes in crime trends" and say they'll adapt to the "ever changing environment."
Both Aldo and the Gomezes have this message to other small businesses like theirs.

"Don't give up. Stay the course and absorb the loss as much as you can and keep on going." Encourages Blasi.

The sentiment is echoed by the Gomezes.

"Small businesses need to come together and check up on each other and go in daily...we need to come together."

To support Ristorante Milano during the citywide shelter-in-place, you can order take-out here.

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