Vandals Adding To Struggling San Francisco Chinatown Businesses COVID Recovery Woes
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- A San Francisco Chinatown business just trying to stay afloat since the COVID-19 reopening is facing a new fiscal challenge -- repairing the costly damage left behind by repeated acts of vandalism.
A sheet of plastic covers the front window of Dim Sum Corner on Grant Avenue and California Street and plywood covers another broken window - neither a welcoming sight to potential customers or tourists.
Managing Partner Jaynry Mak said the business was hit twice in three days last week and several times this year. The latest attack has left Mak looking at $2,500 in repairs.
"Small businesses and restaurants in San Francisco -- we are already struggling and really facing incredible challenges due to the pandemic, and now to have to make repairs is another additional unnecessary challenge that really affects our livelihood," said Mak.
Surveillance video shows a man riding an electric scooter pull up to her business around 3 a.m. Saturday. He uses a slingshot to break the glass, and a minute later you can see it shatter.
Around 2 a.m. two days prior, a man on a scooter hits another window with re-enforced glass and makes several laps around the restaurant to check on it before taking off.
"My understanding -- the incident on Thursday morning, we weren't the only ones there were five other businesses in Chinatown that were also hit with smashed windows," added Mak, who called police each time.
Mak said she believes the vandal or vandals are targeting Asian-owned businesses.
"Now, we've been advised well maybe you need to set up these metal gates which we were really hesitant to do because it's really expensive," she said.
She also doesn't want to operate in a fortress-like environment. She said she already keeps the plywood on standby in anticipation of the next hit.
Mak said currently sales are only 20% of what they were pre-pandemic.
Across the city in the Ingleside neighborhood, another Asian-owned business called Chase Luck Bakery on Ocean Avenue has been hit at least four times in the last few months, according to its GoFundMe page.
Surveillance video shows a man on a scooter break the front glass during an April incident. Once inside, he doesn't steal anything; he just smashes another window.
Another video posted on the page shows a man breaking the security camera.
Dim Sum Corner has also set up a gofundme page ,to help pay for repairs, strengthen its security system, and raise awareness.
"It really concerns us and really makes us rethink whether we can have this business open in San Francisco's Chinatown," said Mak.
SFPD announced on June 24 the arrest of 43-year-old Steven Gaffney - responsible for a series of window smash vandalisms and burglaries on Ocean Avenue and across the city in multiple neighborhoods including Chinatown.
Police could not confirm whether he targeted Dim Sum Corner.
Jail records show that Gaffney is currently out of jail, but is due in court Monday June 28th.
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