SAN FRANCISCO - James Peo, the owner of designer eyewear store Veo Optics in San Francisco said his two San Francisco shops have been robbed multiple times by the same people.
"In just the last two weeks alone we’ve had over $56,000 stolen from us," said Peo.
Security cameras captured pictures of the suspects clearing out shelves at the Union Street location two weeks ago. Peo said calls to police did nothing, and Monday, the thieves returned. This time they targeted the shop on Valencia Street.
"They pushed their way into the door. They had their little white bags and they started to fill them up," said Peo.
Employees told them to leave. A female optician grabbed some lenses. That’s when Peo said the thieves pepper sprayed her and ran.
Peo said, "When my female employee is getting pepper sprayed in her face, and they steal $56,000 worth of merchandise, and we’re not getting help, how do we feel as business owners? It’s unacceptable. It’s unacceptable. Period. This must stop now."
Jesse Pascoe works at the shop in the Mission District where the latest robbery occurred. He said the employee was injured, and is badly shaken up.
"Luckily we had police right outside the store this time driving by, so they tried to chase them. At the other location we tried to call and this was last week and we still haven’t heard from police or had anything happen," said Pascoe.
Veo Optics owners say they are starting to feel helpless. With each robbery, insurance costs go up. And they’re worried about employee safety.
"We’ve been in this market since 2009 and at this point I literally feel like I have a hand around my neck and I need to get out of San Francisco unless we have some politicians that are willing to do something about it," said Peo.