VIDEO: 8 Oakland Chinatown businesses burglarized by group of thieves

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Friday, March 24, 2023
VIDEO: 8 Oakland Chinatown businesses trashed by group of thieves
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Eight Oakland Chinatown businesses were ransacked and burglarized by a group of thieves Thursday morning, and it was caught on surveillance video.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Tens of thousands of dollars worth of items were stolen from several Oakland Chinatown businesses early Thursday morning.

Businesses owners say eight locations were hit by a group caught on surveillance video. Police say no arrests have been made. The locations were left with broken windows and ransacked by thieves who took what they could.

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Those involved in the crime were caught on surveillance video using bolt cutters, a hammer mallet, and a reciprocating saw to bust inside.

"It's not safe here at all," said Jessica Liu of Lounge Chinatown.

"They waited until this restaurant closed at three, before they came in and started ransacking the restaurant," said Steward Chen of Oakland's Chinatown Improvement Council.

In the surveillance video, you can see at least six individuals trying to get inside Lounge Chinatown, a new restaurant in the neighborhood. In fact, the group spent more than 10 minutes first trying to break the lock with the bolt cutter, then trying to break the lock with the saw, and finally trying to break it with a hammer.

As the group rushed inside, one person could be seen with a gun drawn. Minutes later one person can be seen throwing the cash register or safe in the middle of the floor.

A short time later, a person climbs over a counter with what appears to be alcohol. Tens of thousands of dollars worth of items stolen, $36,000 at Lounge Chinatown alone.

"It is really outrageous and disappointing when we see these things that people would actually come to Chinatown and literally destroy our businesses," said Francis Lan who is board president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.

Those who work in some of the businesses are now scared but vowing to try and make a living.

"I will still come back to work because I still need to survive to work, so I still come even scared," said Liu.

MORE: Are Oakland's Chinatown safety measures working?

Chen would like to add more nighttime private security to the area, but left searching for answers.

Police haven't made any arrests connected to any of the eight cases, but do say there has been a recent spike in commercial burglaries citywide.

"Time and time again my merchants want to know what else can we do to help them. I don't know the answer," said Chen.

"Perhaps the City of Oakland and Oakland Police Department to deploy more officers in Chinatown," said Lan.

On Friday at 10 a.m., the Chinatown community will be coming together for an emergency meeting about this with police.

There is a volunteer security crew that patrols the area overnight and the initial thought going forward is to add an additional patrol crew in those overnight hours.

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