Hair salon owner says Oakland car burglary cost her 'year's worth of work'

The owner of a hair salon shop in Oakland's Montclair neighborhood says she's out $40,000 in cash after a car burglary.

Surveillance video shows a man getting out of a Jaguar F-PACE and breaking into an Infiniti parked near the Starbucks at the corner of Mountain Boulevard and Antioch Street.

He steals a backpack allegedly containing an iPad, a laptop, and a large amount of cash.

"That was a whole year's worth of work taken away from me," said Crystal Renee, the owner of Paparazzi Beauty Bar around the corner. 

She says her shop is a cash-based business, with many of her customers paying with cash to avoid credit card fees.

She says she parked and went first to Starbucks instead of going straight to her bank to deposit the money.

"It's just a bad decision - that I see now - to pick up my coffee order first and then to go to the bank. But I don't want to be made to feel like I deserved this," she said.

This is the same coffee shop where thieves stole a man's laptop and fatally hit him with their getaway car after he chased them into the street in 2019.

She says it was raining the morning of Jan. 10. She didn’t want to backtrack, or bring the backpack with her inside Starbucks where she’d be a target. 

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Tens of thousands in cash allegedly stolen from salon owner's car

Her hair salon, Chase Bank and Starbucks are close to each other in Montclair Village.

Another surveillance video shows her falling to the ground after finding her car window shattered.

"That's just the devastation and the disheartenment of what has happened," she said.

But many are questioning whether all of this was staged. She denied those assertions, saying, "Nothing about me is thinking about trying to do any kind of scam."

She said this was not an inside job or a set-up. 

She says it didn’t happen at her business, so she can’t claim it with insurance, except for her car window. She also says wasn't followed. She says, quite simply, that she's just an unlucky victim.

"This was a very harsh, random occurrence of things that happen in Oakland day to day, minute to minute," she said.

She says the thief also stole personal journals, and a hair-extension inventory worth about $2,000 on top of the tens of thousands of dollars she says she counted the night before. 

"I can't speak to people who want me to defend myself when something has been done to me. I am the victim in this situation, and I don't want to defend myself."

She says she hasn't paid this month's rent and that her business could very shut down because of the break-in. Friends have set up a Gofundme to help make ends meet.