After 8 burglaries, Oakland store owner unsure about keeping business in city

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Thieves have hit this Oakland business owner's shops 8 times
Thieves have hit this Oakland business owner's shops eight times, and now he is left wondering if keeping his business in the city is even worth it.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- An Oakland streetwear supply store and community event space called Inner Desires was burglarized on Sunday morning, with most of its inventory wiped out.

"I rushed down here within like nine minutes and they were gone," Osi Umunna, owner of Inner Desires said.

On Sunday just after 1 a.m., Umunna's store on Grand Avenue, known for carrying high-end denim and also for hosting community events, meet and greets and sometimes live music, was broken into and around $60,000 of inventory was stolen.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

"Everything that was on the clothing racks, everything that was on display, they took all of the display clothing and then in the back, they took all of the back stock," Umunna said.

But burglaries like these are the exact thing he was trying to get away from in his former location on 17th street.

That's where he was burglarized six other times, on top of being robbed at gunpoint right in front of the store.

He moved to his new location on Grand Avenue in Feb. of last year.

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"You feel like you're on a treadmill constantly, right, just running, running, conditioning but what are you conditioning for?" he said. "Because like at the end of the day, it's right back to zero."

But now, after this eighth incident, he's wondering if keeping his business open is even still worth it.

"I've got a soft spot for Oakland in general because it's been so good to me, but has it? Right, has it really been that good to me?" he said.

According to our ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker, the latest available data from Oakland police shows that burglaries have been increasing since 2020 and have been spiking overall since 2018.

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Meanwhile, the clearance rate for these cases continues to go down.

And Umunna says, out of all eight incidents, now at two locations, police still haven't made an arrest.

"I mean if they did, they didn't tell me," he said.

Now, with a future uncertain, he's turning to the community for help on GoFundMe, not to replace the denim, but to keep the lights on and his employees paid.

"My main concern is, I've got employees - my son was like, 'hey dad, I thought I was going to take over your store,'" he said. "I'm going to be okay, just trying to figure out the next step."

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