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'Not our first rodeo;' San Francisco Castro District bakery burglarized for 6th time

'Not our first rodeo;' San Francisco Castro District bakery burglarized for 6th time
'Not our first rodeo;' San Francisco Castro District bakery burglarized for 6th time 02:48

SAN FRANCISCO -- A lot is said about property crime in San Francisco and for some victims, it is an experience they keep living again and again. Monday night, burglars broke into Le Marais Bakery on Sanchez Street in the Castro District - and it's hardly the first time.

"I don't understand why they had to trash the place also," said manager Youssra Meknassi. "I don't get it. So everything here was a mess."

For Meknassi and the staff at Le Marais, the morning consisted of all of the normal tasks, plus the added job of putting the bakery back together. Burglars effectively ransacked the sales counter, stealing iPads and ripping out cables.

"It's like it's not our first rodeo, you know," she said.

In fact, this is the bakery's sixth break-in, the most recent just about a month ago. Also stolen this time: a set of gifts that had been collected for the staff, along with the restaurant's industrial safe, hauled up out of the basement.

"It was screwed to the floor," Meknassi said. "I don't know what they did to unscrew it from the floor, but yeah."

The business owners are currently out of town, but they took to social media, tagging the mayor, the governor, even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying small businesses deserve better.

They took everything from our Castro café last night, even our industrial safe from the basement. @londonbreed @...

Posted by Le Marais Bakery on Tuesday, December 27, 2022

"It just breaks my heart," said neighbor Patrick Freeman. "These people are the best. I live right across the street."

Neighbors and regulars expressed similar frustrations at the sight of another shattered storefront.

"All the leaders of the city need to be pitching in," Freeman said. "You can't keep having businesses getting broken into. Where are the police?"

"It's just sad," Meknassi said. "Everyone put their effort into this place and we try to make it nice. It happens over and over again."

That is something businesses across San Francisco have said before, that it's not just that they are becoming victims of this kind of crime, it's that it's happening again and again. It's that cleanups like this one have become routine.

"We've done it over and over again," Meknassi says. "But the day after Christmas ... "

San Francisco police did not comment, but the building's foreman says they may get rid of the glass door in hopes of preventing another break-in. And on top of the lost property, and gifts, there was also lost business.

"It doesn't impact, again, just the owner," Meknassi said. "It impacts everyone."

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