Amid mass thefts in Union Square, Chinatown small business owner suffers $ 250,000 burglary



Rosita Young woke up early in the morning of November 16 with police officers at her doorstep.

Someone broke into his Chinatown jewelry store on Grant Avenue at around 4:20 am and, in three minutes, had stolen $ 250,000 worth of merchandise. Thieves damaged the store’s portal, door and windows, police said.

To top it off, Young found out that she didn’t qualify for any of her insurance coverage because her policy didn’t cover thefts at night unless the items were in a safe, she said. declared.

“It hurt so much,” Young said in a phone interview on Friday. “I lost a lot.

The theft followed someone who smashed a window, but didn’t steal anything, four days earlier from the store, police said. This is only the second time in 38 years that thieves have looted Long Boat jewelry, Young said. The last one dates back three decades.

The store’s lease expires at the end of this year, and Young said she and her husband aren’t sure if they can keep the business open. The incident comes after nearly two years of economic devastation from the pandemic.

“We’re a small retail business, not making a lot of money,” she said. “Everyone in Chinatown works so hard … No one is making any money … Lots of stores have already closed.”

The plight of the 78-year-old business owner, who immigrated half a century ago, drew attention on Twitter on Friday from Bilal Mahmood, San Francisco Entrepreneur and State Assembly Candidate and Nancy Tung, who ran for the San Francisco District Attorney in 2019. Tung tweeted that she started a GoFundMe fundraiser for Young, with her permission.

“The increasing violence against Asian American people and businesses, rising costs and slowing tourism are hurting our community and people like Rosita and her husband,” Tung wrote in the collection’s description. funds. “Let’s support this Chinatown business so that it can continue to thrive in San Francisco. “

Grant Avenue in Chinatown San Francisco on Jan. 28, 2021. Pandemic closures have already hit the streets, and now a jeweler has had $ 250,000 in merchandise stolen amid a wave of crime in the detail.

Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

The heist devastated the family-owned jeweler three days before swarms reached Louis Vuitton from Union Square and other upscale Bay Area stores in a wave of coordinated retail thefts that garnered media attention national laws, criticisms of Governor Gavin Newsom and the felony charges of the District Attorney of San Francisco.

At the same time, Young, who owns only one store with her husband, was trying to get compensation.

A person who answered the phone for her insurer, Bowie Insurance Group, on Friday afternoon said she could not comment.

Edward Siu, president of the Chinatown Merchants United Association in San Francisco, said break-ins rarely happened in the neighborhood and that he had not heard of another company having insurance issues with Young. He urged the 160 esteemed members of his group to review their insurance policies and install security cameras, and wants more police patrols in Chinatown.

Mahmood, who is the son of immigrants and said he knows many small business owners like Young, said the case draws attention to the challenges immigrants can face in managing insurance and d ‘other trade policies. It also highlights the disproportionate impact of recent criminal follies on small businesses that do not have the same resources to recover as large corporations, he said.

San Francisco Police spokesman Robert Rueca said the November 12 vandalism and the November 16 theft were under investigation by police. The police have made no arrests and investigations are active and open.

Anyone with information is asked to call the SFPD advice line at 1-415-575-4444 or text TIP411 and start the text message with SFPD. You can remain anonymous.

Mallory Moench is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @mallorymoench



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