San Francisco Chinatown camera store owners hit back at Smash-and-Grab thieves – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – After barely two years without any foot traffic, the owners of a camera store in San Francisco Chinatown breathed a sigh of relief when tourists finally started to return – only to be almost robbed and attack with hammers on Monday.

It all started around 3:20 p.m. when a group of three teenagers walked in and asked the price of a camera. They stayed for about three minutes and left, only to return about 30 minutes later.

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“All of a sudden they pulled out a hammer and they started trying to break the glass,” said store co-owner Sergio.

The attempted robbery did not go as planned; the boxes behind the counter are made of plexiglass and would not break. A glass counter case shattered, but that’s when the attack turned from stealing cameras to hammering on Sergio and his co-owner Ariel.

“One of the guys up there is trying to hit my partner with a hammer,” Sergio said. “I run and try to grab a bat that I have. Try to protect me and my stuff here.

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A nearby business owner came running in with a sandwich board trying to stop the attack. He was hit in the head with a hammer and needed 10 stitches.

“One of the guys, they put pepper spray in my eyes,” Sergio said. “The other guy is trying to hit me with a hammer and I’m trying to protect myself.”

Within about a minute, the robbery and hammer attack attempt was over. Co-owner Ariel is scared. “We don’t know them, but they know us because we work here seven days a week,” he said.

The pair, who have worked in the camera business for 27 years, were nervous coming to work on Tuesday and worried about what might happen in the future.

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“We don’t know these people. They know where we are because we can’t take these things and leave, Sergio said. “But now I am worried. After that, I’m worried and scared – because God forbid if they come back. Hopefully they won’t come back. But if they come back with a gun, what happens?

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