Thousands of dollars in antique jewelry stolen from San Francisco store

Yet another store in San Francisco has fallen victim to thieves, who made off with thousands of dollars worth of antique jewelry and watches. The owner of Gaslight & Shadows Antiques says she’s just latest business on her street in the Richmond District to be targeted by crooks like these.

"I don’t know what to do. I don’t know," said Phyllis Nabhan, owner of Gaslight & Shadows Antiques, who arrived at her store on Clement Street, Monday, to find the front door shattered. Nabhan says her 46-year-old store has survived earthquakes, and most recently Covid-19, which almost wiped her out.

"I couldn’t come to the store for a month," said Nabhan.

Nabhan is now reeling from the loss of more than $12,000 in merchandise.  

"They took the whole case of watches. They took two cases of jewelry," said Nabhan. "Sterling silver and it had rubies and emeralds in it. It was very expensive. I’m really sad about that."

The thieves also made off with a pricey Tiffany glass lamp and her laptop. Phyllis says it’s likely that the thieves started casing her store on Friday, when her motion sensor started going off, over and over again. Nabhan, said she assumed it was being caused by a short. But Nabhan says police told her, "They were probably jiggling your door to set off the alarm to see and then they were parked down the street to see the police response time."  

"It could have happened to any store and it has. It’s happened to all the stores along Clement," said Nabhan. 

Week after week she says she’s been receiving theft alerts from her local business association. Across the street, The Royal Ground, says its been burglarized multiple times over the last few years, and down the block, a tobacco shop says they reinforced their door after thieves wiped out their inventory of cigarettes a few years ago, but that people keep trying to break in. 

"I’m sad that this has happened in our city. I grew up in this city. I was born and raised here. I’ve lived here my whole life and the city’s not what it used to be," said Nahban.

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But Nabhan said, one thing that hasn’t changed in her neighborhood, is the sense of community, customers like Christine Rumpak.

"Yeah it’s surprising, but it happens, and so many times I’ve heard about this so, sadly it’s become the norm," said Rumpak.

One neighbor even dropped by Nabhan's store to bring her dinner. Nabhan says she has been buoyed by the community support, but wishes that the penalties for crimes like this were more severe.

Nabhan is asking anyone who spots one of her stolen items for sale online, or perhaps at a flea market, to call San Francisco police