OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- It's been a week since an Oakland baker went to the bank and was fatally injured trying to stop thieves who'd broken into her car.
Jen Angel, the founder of Angel Cakes, died last Thursday.
After watching that story an Oakland restaurant manager says she was also the victim of a similar smash-and-grab crime last month.
Leah Beneze has worked in the restaurant industry since she was a teenager. But she says, what's happening in Oakland right now, is something she has never experienced before.
"I have worked in the restaurant industry since I was 16 years old. And I have been a manager for 20 of them. I have never felt so insecure or threatened in this industry, working in Oakland," she Beneze, who is currently the general manager at the popular Brenda's Oakland restaurant.
When Beneze learned about the circumstances around the death of Angel, she immediately thought, "Holy crap, that happened to me! Same MO. Same everything."
Angel died Thursday from injuries she sustained following a smash-and-grab near the Wells Fargo Bank in downtown Oakland. She was dragged 50 feet by the getaway car that she chased after.
Beneze was a victim of a smash-and-grab robbery in January, while she was at the bank as well, just half a mile away from the restaurant.
"I go to the bank, I do what I got to do. As I am getting into my car, I lock it. A masked man, armed masked man, grabs my purse. I try to grab it, but I couldn't get it. So jump out of my car. They were blocking my vehicle. I grab onto the handle. And I'm like, you know what, at this point, what can I do," explains Beneze.
She says the thieves took money. They used her credit cards. They took her ID, so they knew where she works and lives.
"I am a mother of two. What if I had my kids with me? What if my kids were in the car with me? It just brings your whole sense of security - gone!" she says.
A week before she was robbed, her restaurant was hit. It was all caught on surveillance video.
She says over the past six months there has been an increase in smash-and-grabs happening along Broadway, and in broad daylight. She says they have filed police reports and shared surveillance video with the police, but claims that nothing has been done.
Beneze says Angel's robbery shows that smash-and-grabs are happening around the city. She says Angel's death gives these types of crimes a sense of urgency and should be taken as a call to action.
"I don't know if (police) are short-handed, or just burglaries and robberies are not number one on their list at the moment. But a lot of us restaurant owners, we are on high alert. I mean three on this block, one behind us, Burger King behind us. We are all getting hit. And it's like our sense of security is gone," says Beneze, as she points to the various locations.
The Oakland Police Department and the City of Oakland did not respond to requests for comment.
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