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South Bay Retailer Shutters Store in Response to Smash-and-Grab Crime Wave

PALO ALTO (KPIX) -- A longtime San Jose business owner has cleared out his shop and closed his doors indefinitely amid a spate of brazen retail robberies across the Bay Area.

"I felt for us it was not only the safest thing but the smartest thing to just pull back, pull our inventory and close the doors," said Danny Ryan who owns Kickz Inc. on Stevens Creek Blvd. "Our retail store will be closed indefinitely until further notice."

Ryan first announced the closure of his sneaker and clothing store earlier this week on Instagram with a caption that read "due to all the recent events going on all over the Bay Area -- we have decided to pull everything off shelves and full shut down."

Ryan said he made the decision because of the wave of smash-and-grab robberies that have left business owners boarding up and locking their doors with many of them struggling financially in recent months. He didn't want to be hit next.

The latest retail robbery occurred Thursday afternoon at Eastridge Center when five masked, hooded and gloved suspects walked into Quick Repair Jewelry Service and smashed glass display cases with hammers before taking off with tens of thousands of dollars in jewelry.

Thieves also recently hit stores at Valley Fair and Santana Row, which is just down the street from Ryan's shop.

Ryan said some of his friends who are business owners in the Bay Area have been victimized.

"It's definitely sad for me to see that stuff," said Ryan. "I don't wish that upon nobody. It's definitely been very hard for me to see some of these guys dealing with that stuff."

Ryan opened his store seven years ago this month. He's no stranger to being burglarized. He said Kickz Inc. was hit by two thieves in 2018 who got away with stacks of clothing and merchandise.

This year, amid the surge in retail theft, he wanted to be proactive and clear out his shelves before thieves got to it first.

He said that, although the holidays are the busiest time of year for him, he decided to close up shop on Black Friday and then this week chose to shutter his doors for good.

"We didn't feel like that was the smartest move for our business, our employees, our families to even put ourselves potentially in harm's way like that," he said. "It's been going on everywhere and it could happen to any of us. We've been fortunate thus far and I think, again, it was just the smartest decision for us."

Ryan said that, in the face of the current crime trend, now is the time to give back to the community. He holds a toy drive every Christmas and, although his brick and mortar store will be closed, he still plans to continue the event.

He also plans to move his store online.

"We're just going to do our best to kind of enjoy the holidays with our family, give back to the community and just overcome what's going on," Ryan said.

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