San Jose E-sports gaming bar broken into 3 times this year; looks for change in downtown safety

Dustin Dorsey Image
Saturday, April 13, 2024
Bay Area E-sports gaming bar broken into 3 times this year
Guildhouse has been an entertainment destination for gamers in downtown San Jose. But it's also been a hot spot for crime.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Since 2017, Guildhouse has been an entertainment destination for gamers in downtown San Jose.

But it's also been a hot spot for crime. There have been 8 break-ins since they've opened and three this year.

The latest has founder Kevin Wick at a breaking point.

"It's a bigger problem than it should be," Wick said. "And the reason we're talking about it now, in the past we've always kept it under wraps but that wasn't working."

The event on March 26 was different than before.

Just after closing down for the night, owners say burglars cut a hole through the back door of the Guildhouse.

Surveillance footage captured them stealing their safe.

MORE: EXCLUSIVE: Armed with a golf club, thieves rob Oakland donut shop for 4th time

For the fourth time in a year, Oakland's Colonial Donuts has been robbed again and the owners are speaking out to city leaders.

Co-owner David Faria says the thieves evaded security put in place after previous break-ins, including a motion sensor on the door that was cut open.

"Since the sensor only gets out here, it doesn't get directly under the door," Faria said. "They were under it and they went straight into our storage room and into our office."

"Every time we've had a break-in, we've increased our cameras, we've increased our closing procedures, we've increased our locks and it's just not helping," Wick said.

MORE: EXCLUSIVE: 8 armed suspects clear out Oakland Chinatown legacy jewelry store

Phuong Jewelry in Oakland's Chinatown is picking up the pieces after one of the most brazen, armed daytime robberies we've ever seen caught on video.

Besides the loss of stolen goods, it costs to repair damage and beef up security - somewhere in the ballpark of $50,000.

"We're a small business," Wick said. "Small businesses operate on very thin margins and this is just one more hit that we didn't want to take."

Theft has been a major problem in the SOFA neighborhood.

Wick says Academic Coffee, Original Joes and Touchstone Climbing have all been burglarized this year.

MORE: 3 men arrested following string of alleged late-night burglaries in San Jose this year, police say

San Jose police have arrested a trio of city residents in connection with a string of late-night commercial burglaries between March and October.

City leaders met with Guildhouse owners Friday afternoon in an attempt to tackle the problem.

"We're going to continue to push hard to properly staff our police department," San Jose Mayor Matt Mahan said. "I'm going to continue to advocate for the rest of the system to hold people accountable, particularly when they are repeat offenders, as we have talked about before. And we will continue to lean into technology like the Crime Capture Program."

After repeated attempts to stop the problem on their own, the owners hope anything can make a difference.

"We're not going to give up and we're not going to close our business down," Faria said.

"Not because we want to make it feel like San Jose is not a safe place to run a business, but because we want to make it better." Wick said.

Police say they have made arrests in other break-ins at Guildhouse, but the latest theft is under investigation.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live