Beloved Richmond bike shop robbed of $10K worth of items, forcing it to close

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Tuesday, January 30, 2024
East Bay bike shop robbed of 10K worth of items, forcing it to close
A beloved Richmond bike shop Rich City Rides was robbed about $10,000 worth of merchandise, forcing it to close its doors.

RICHMOND, Calif. (KGO) -- Every day for the past 10 years, Najari Smith has opened up the front doors of his store, Rich City Rides.

But about two weeks ago, he walked into a surprise.

"All the display cases emptied out. All the inventory that we had on the wall, all the bicycle products, the lights, locks, different accessories, all of that stuff was gone," Smith said.

Smith says his store was robbed.

The thieves getting away with about $10,000 worth of merchandise.

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"It hurts on a different level. It's not a big box store," Smith said.

The impact on the business has been so large, that Smith says Rich City Rides will have to shut down for the foreseeable future.

A devastating blow to the entire community, says Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, who represents this district.

"This bike shop was more than a shop. It was really about culture. The culture of health, empowerment, working with young people and young adults. So this was really an attack on the community, not just the bike shop," Gioia said.

Smith believes creating that type of culture is key to running a successful business.

He and the shop have spearheaded multiple community events - reaching local students, food vendors and other disaffected groups.

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Just one recent example - a bike ride over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.

"You meet children when they're like 10-years-old. Eight years later, they're 18. Kids you meet at 15, they probably got their own kids now. You become rooted in your community," Smith said.

Smith says despite the setback they've suffered, he and his business partner would like to reopen the shop at some point. Maybe next year.

In the meantime, though, Smith say he'll try to keep hope alive.

"We deserve a bike shop. I was committed to having a bike shop happen right from the start and I still haven't let that dream go."

Smith has created a GoFundMe page to help the shop bounce back. To make a donation, visit here.

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