SAN JOSE, Calif. (KTVU) - Business owners in San Jose’s Japantown are raising concerns over a series of break-ins they said could be connected to the same crew. The owners believe it’s the same M.O. and are certain these burglars will strike again targeting small businesses in vulnerable areas.
Surveillance video captures a man in a hooded sweatshirt leaving a red car walking toward Kumako Restaurant in Japantown Tuesday.
The man is seen throwing an object before he reappears two minutes later with a cash register. He then takes off in the red car.
“It’s not a good feeling at all,” said Arthur Kunimoto of Kumako Restaurant. “It's a feeling you're being violated.”
The break-in happened just before 6 a.m. The restaurant said the burglar used a river rock to smash the front glass door stealing the register and damaging equipment. The noodle shop had to close for the day.
"We just got a bunch of reckless kids or adults who are capitalizing on the small businesses and lack of police presence,” said Tamiko Rast of Roy’s Station Coffee. “I think it's pretty cowardly.”
Rast’s family owns Roy’s Station in Japantown. She spotted the getaway car which she believes is a red Chevy Cobalt. It had front paper plates. She said, when the police report was filed, what an officer told the family didn't surprise her.
“There had been eight other break-ins on Santa Clara Street in the same fashion where a river rock was thrown through the window,” said Rast.
“I think it's the same guys or the same team of people. The river rocks are always about the same size,” said Jeanne Katsuro of Classic Rock Jewelry.
The owner of Classic Rock said the jewelry store has been burglarized three times over a six-month span. The burglars there stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. She’s now invested in tempered glass doors and high definition cameras doing all she can to protect herself.
“Everybody's fed up,” said Jeanne Katsuro of Classic Rock. “You get tired of taken advantage of you. You get tired of feeling like you are victimized.”
Store owners wanted to share the surveillance video in hopes the suspects are caught and to warn other businesses to be on the lookout for the red car. Anyone with information is asked to contact San Jose Police.