From Jack London Square to Chinatown, Oakland merchants fed up with repeat burglaries

ByLena Howland KGO logo
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Oakland merchants fed up with repeat burglaries
After recent burglaries and the fear of more happening, Oakland merchants worry over foot traffic to both Chinatown and Jack London Square.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As Everett and Jones prepares to celebrate 50 years in business in Oakland's Jack London Square, they juggled, not one, but two burglaries last week, in the middle of the night.

"The next day we found out our second window was broken and they entered the safe and more cash was taken, yeah it was horrible," Nina Moore, co-owner of Everett and Jones Barbecue said.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

But just two days later a mile away, eight businesses in Oakland's Chinatown were also hit, including the New Gold Medal Restaurant, ransacked.

"It's hard to imagine, it happened to my restaurant, those people don't feel anything," Gigi Ma, manager of the New Gold Medal Restaurant said.

VIDEO: 8 Oakland Chinatown businesses burglarized by group of thieves

Eight Oakland Chinatown businesses were ransacked and burglarized by a group of thieves Thursday morning, and it was caught on surveillance video.

Their outdoor security video shows the same suspects, walking over from her business with huge wire cutters in hand, heading toward Lounge Chinatown, which as ABC7 has reported, suffered at least $36,000 worth of damage, all caught on camera.

"For someone to just come in and take your hard earned money, it just sucks," Moore said. "So I went over there to let them know that we are all going through it, it doesn't matter what race, what kind of business you have, they want it and we have to protect it."

Moore reached out immediately to her former neighbors at Lounge Chinatown and met up with them over the weekend, to collaborate on ideas to protect businesses in both neighborhoods.

"I feel like if we work together, build maybe a business Nextdoor, where we alert each other when stuff comes up, then we can help fight a little bit of the crime," she said.

The Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council says they've already made some changes to their overnight security patrols but it's going to cost them.

VIDEO: Are Oakland's Chinatown safety measures working?

Two years ago, multiple community safety efforts were launched in Oakland's Chinatown and now it appears those efforts may be paying off.

"One thing that I can do and I have done, is to increase the night time patrol," Stewart Chen, president of the Oakland Chinatown Improvement Council said. "But solely, on OCIC funds, we can't keep it up much longer."

Something they say has already made a difference, after catching a burglary in process early Sunday morning near 14th and Madison.

"Our units, we got clearance from OPD to have the lights on so by the time they were near the area, they saw our units, stopped what they were doing and went away," Chen said.

Still, after these incidents and the fear of more happening, worry lingers over foot traffic to both Chinatown and Jack London Square.

"We need to do something about it, otherwise, we can lose the business, that's very important that people visit," Ma said.

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