Fruitvale business owner might close up shop after thieves broke in through roof

A business owner in Oakland's Fruitvale District is speaking out about a series of burglaries that have taken place in a matter of weeks.

Jose Torres, owner of the Sound Factor, shared new surveillance video which shows three thieves breaking into his car alarm and stereo installation business through the roof.

"I thought it was secure. I even have bars in my skylights. But then they don't go through the skylight, they just make a hole in the roof," said Torres.  

The shop is located on International Boulevard near 40th Avenue.

Torres said this isn't the first time thieves have broken into businesses in this neighborhood by going through the roof.

In each case, the thieves carried out the crime in the same manner.  

The surveillance video showed the thieves breaking into the shop by climbing down two ladders after they cut a hole in the roof.

"It's terrible.  We lose a lot of money right here.  The whole loss is over $150,000, all of my life," Torres said.

He added that he has been in business here for 33 years without a problem until this burglary.

But on July 17, around 1 a.m., three thieves carried out a brazen burglary.  

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They broke into the business, stole items including car stereo and alarm equipment along with three cars belonging to customers.

Torres showed a KTVU crew the vehicle the thieves damaged when they pulled out of the garage with the cars they were stealing.

One by one, the thieves drove out, forcibly pushing the vehicle parked at the gate out of the way.

"I want more police in the area to take care of all the neighbors, taking care of their business," said Torres, "I'm angry and frustrated, but I can do nothing about it."

Torres said his shop was one of at least three in the area burglarized the same way in the month of July.

Across the street at American Auto Repair, thieves broke in by cutting a  hole in the roof. Just earlier this month, thieves broke into a strip mall in Little Saigon, also by cutting a hole in the roof. 

"Every night, I look at my phone to see if something happened to my shop. I can't sleep right now," said Torres. "If these types of problems continue, we have to sell the business.  Going out of town somewhere else.  This place is dangerous now. "

Torres said whether he moves his business out of Oakland depends on how much he can recoup with his insurance and if these types of burglaries continue in the Fruitvale neighborhood.

.Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU