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Hayward business owner concerned about safety after 2 burglaries

Hayward collectibles business hit twice by burglars
Hayward collectibles business hit twice by burglars 02:48

HAYWARD — The owner of Akiba HQ in Hayward said his business has been the target of burglaries recently.

Both times the burglars got away before police arrived, but the owner told me the most annoying part is that they believe it was the same suspects that broke in both times.

Henry Yee has been in the collectibles industry for decades, traveling around the country selling merchandise at dozens of conventions every year.

During the pandemic, he leased a warehouse to store all of his products and opened up a small shop for customers in the front.

Yee said they hadn't had any issues at the location until last month.

"It was early December, they broke in. We were surprised that they came in, just jimmied the door. It was less than a minute. They just came in," said Yee.

Yee shared with KPIX the stores security video from that break-in. In it, the suspects pry open the door, run in, grab as much merchandise as they can and run out.

"Police came in about 15 minutes. You know, it was pretty quick. But you know, it felt terrible because they got into the place, and we thought it was always a pretty safe area," said Yee.

The suspects got away before police arrived, stealing about a thousand dollars in merchandise.

He replaced the front door and updated some of his security features, getting a better lock and keeping the lights on inside at night. But then last week, the business suffered another burglary.

"The second time I think they got you know a pretty good knowledge of what they wanted, so they kind of stayed in that one room and took some figurines and some cards and things like that," said Yee.

Again, the suspects escaped before police arrived. The whole thing has been frustrating for Yee.

He's not too concerned with what was stolen, but he said it's now harder for them to feel safe.

"It's not about replacement — all that is really property value. It doesn't really matter. It's about the anxiety of waking up at night, having to drive over at like 2 or 3 in the morning and just don't know if your business will be in good shape," said Yee.

They don't have any plans to leave the location, but he said if more break-ins continue to happen they will be forced to make that difficult choice to shut down and move.

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