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.
READ MORE: Governor Newsom signs law making abortions cheaper for women with private insurance
“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.
READ MORE: UPDATE: 3 injured, 2 seriously in Vallejo House fire
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.
NO MORE NEWS: Thousands of Gamers Pack SF’s Moscone Center for Game Developers Conference 2022
“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?