Business owners say burglars have targeted stores and restaurants in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood more than 15 times in the last three weeks, including at least one break in early Sunday morning.
The owner of Barlata Tapas Bar on Telegraph Ave. and 49th Street showed KTVU where someone smashed one of the windows to his restaurant around 6:15 a.m. Sunday. Burglars have hit the same business three times in less than a week.
Owner Jordi Olivella says he has handed over surveillance video of the burglaries to Oakland Police, but has received little follow up from detectives.
When asked about the lack of response, Olivella said he felt frustration, “because you don't know what to do.”
“We clearly know it's a certain amount of time that no one is (here) and these guys are around,” said Olivella. “They don't know what to do. It's their playground. We believe they are young kids.”
Other Temescal business owners have hired private security, but some told KTVU Sunday that it has not been enough to keep burglars from returning to the same stores over and over again.
“We need police presence here,” said shop owner Lauren Wolf. “That's why they keep coming back; because they know it's not here.”
Oakland Police did respond to KTVU's request for comment on Sunday, but in the past officials have said the lack of enough officers has forced the department to focus on violent crime. Last week, City Councilman Dan Kalb said five officers from the last graduating police academy have been assigned to Area 2, which includes the Temescal and Rockridge neighborhoods.
Some business owners say they just want officers to use the evidence they've already gathered.
“We've got fingerprints, DNA, a witness,” said local salon owner Julie Stevens. “Word on the street is we know who it is. We just can't get police to help us.”
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.