YOU GET TOUGH IN CHINATOWN: Video shows camera shop owners take on smash-and-grab thugs

The criminals first acted to be interested in an item and later returned with nefarious intentions


                            YOU GET TOUGH IN CHINATOWN: Video shows camera shop owners take on smash-and-grab thugs
The China Town shop owners fight against smash-and-grab robbers (Twitter/Dion Lim)

An Anti-Asian hate crime was reported in China Market, San Francisco on Monday, 21 March. The owners of a San Francisco photography business fought back against a trio of teen smash-and-grab robbers — and despite the fact that the robbers used hammers in the struggle, they were forced to flee empty-handed. The criminals first acted to be interested in an item and later returned with nefarious intentions.

The young robbers entered the Chinatown business at 3.20 pm and inquired about the cost of a camera, reported KPIX. They stayed for around three minutes before leaving and 30 minutes later, they returned back to the shop and this time they were not interested in the deal. “All of a sudden, they pulled out a hammer, and they started trying to smash the glass,” shop co-owner Sergio told KPIX. However, the cases behind the counter were made of plexiglass and would not break, albeit one glass countertop case did fracture.

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Surveillance footage shows one of the business owners getting what appears to be a bat or rod and approaching the thieves. “One of the guys up there is trying to hit my partner with a hammer,” Sergio informed KPIX. “I run, and I try to grab a bat that I have. Try to protect myself and my business here.”

According to KPIX, a neighboring shop owner came over to help and was smacked in the head with a hammer, after which he required 10 stitches.

“One of the guys, they put the pepper spray in my eyes,” Sergio told KPIX. He added, “The other guy is trying to hit me with a hammer, and I’m trying to protect myself.”

According to KPIX, the attempted robbery and hammer attack ended approximately after a minute. The trio was captured in CCTV footage fleeing empty-handed.

Dion Lim, reporter with KGO-TV San Francisco, posted the video on her Twitter and captioned it, “𝗛𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗪/𝗛𝗮𝗺𝗺𝗲𝗿, 𝗣𝗲𝗽𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗦𝗽𝗿𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗼𝘄𝗻 𝗥𝗼𝗯𝗯𝗲𝗿𝘆: A camera shop was targeted in a robbery Mon around 4pm.3 people enter, 1 uses a hammer to smash a glass case. A store employee approaches, gets pepper sprayed (1/4).”



 

According to the reporter, those nearby said police reached the crime spot on time and searched extensively but the robbers had already left. Dion Lim urged on her Twitter that the Chinatown market has been struggling to survive since the pandemic began. If the hate crimes continue, the tiny enterprises would not be able to survive.

According to KPIX, The Chinatown Volunteer Coalition was patrolling the streets on Monday, 21 March, which has become a familiar sight since the surge in anti-Asian crimes.

“Sometimes people are deterred just by seeing sheer numbers, so there have been cases where we have seen someone look like they were going to attack or do something that’s criminal, but because they saw us or other people around, they chose not to,” a volunteer informed KPIX. “Sometimes we have to yell.”

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