EXCLUSIVE: Oakland pizza restaurant employees fight back after 4 robberies in the last month

The crimes have been happening weekly or once every two weeks since the new year began, the owner says

Dion Lim Image
Sunday, February 4, 2024
EXCLUSIVE: East Bay restaurant employees fight back after 4 robberies
An Oakland business is considering shutting down after being broken into and robbed four times just in the last month.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An Oakland business is considering shutting down after being broken into and robbed four times this year. Employees have even resorted to fending off attackers themselves.

Employees at the Cybelle's Pizza along Fruitvale Avenue in Oakland's Dimond District can be seen on surveillance from Friday night around 10:30 p.m., using a hammer and recycling bin to fight off suspects that entered the shop.

"They tried to steal the register...my employees were very, very brave...I told them don't do that...but they had to defend themselves," says owner Elizabeth Sanchez.

Sanchez says this recent incident is just one of four break-in robberies at their Oakland location this year.

MORE: Texas mom offering $10,000 reward for arrest after son and his friends robbed near Oakland airport

A birthday celebration in Napa came to a violent end near the Oakland International Airport after a man and his friends were robbed at a gas station

The crimes have been happening weekly or once every two weeks.

Sanchez continues on to say the crime in the area is so bad, it's hard to retain workers. So she and her husband work seven days a week and are considering closing their Oakland location.

They still would maintain their San Francisco shop in the Sunset.

"Sales are down because nobody wants to come out, they're scared for their safety. We've seen a drop in sales and we're worse than during the pandemic."

MORE: In-N-Out in Oakland to close over increase in crime, company says

In-N-Out Burger is closing its Oakland location in March due to crime, according to the company's chief operating officer.

A representative from Mayor Sheng Thao's office tells ABC7's Dion Lim they've been working with Sanchez and other small business owners in the area on strengthening security.

"Sheng Thao and Chief Mendoza said they're working on it so they can have a budget for the Diamond district and Laurel district so they can make more security seven days a week," says Sanchez.

MORE: Denny's latest Oakland restaurant closing due to crime in area near airport

The Denny's on Hegenberger Road in Oakland is citing car break-ins, robberies, and other crimes for its closure just weeks after the In-N-Out across the freeway announced its closure.

Sanchez hopes it's a promise the city will keep. On behalf of not just Cybelle's.

"All of the business owners need help. In and out, Dennys, those are big chains, but what about us, small business? Where are we at? For me, as an immigrant this was the American dream. But now, where is it?"

Mayor Thao's office also says they recently granted two small businesses $20,000 for repairs from their Facade and Tenant Improvement Program. It's something they'll work with Cybelle's on as well.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live