A sports apparel store in San Francisco’s Sunset District was burglarized for a third time this year. The latest incident on Friday occurred barely month after city officials handed the business owner a check to help pay for damages caused by previous burglaries.
Michael Hsu, owner of the Footprint store located on the corner of Taraval Street and 27th Avenue, told SFBay Monday that he was still working to determine exactly what was stolen in Friday’s burglary.
He said the suspect made off with thousands of dollars in merchandise, including backpacks, shoes and jackets. The person also stole cash from a register. Hsu filed a police report and handed surveillance footage over to police.
Based on surveillance footage, Hsu said the burglar climbed up scaffolding that surrounded the store’s exterior and broke into a window leading to Hsu’s office, and then proceeded into the store. The scaffolding was installed at the store’s exterior to allow for painting.
In February, a suspect stole merchandise after using a blow torch to forcibly open the store’s front door. No suspects were arrested, but some of the stolen items were found, Hsu said. On the same day, a looter also entered the store and stole additional merchandise.
The February incident prompted Hsu to contact District 4 Supervisor Gordon Mar, who represents the Sunset. In that conversation, Hsu urged Mar to establish a fund to help business owners pay for damages caused by burglaries.
Mayor London Breed, Mar and other city officials held a press conference last month at Footprint to announce the Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant. Under the program, business owners can apply for up to $2,000 in grant funds to help pay for broken windows or security upgrades.
Hsu received a check for $2,000, which he told SFBay he used to upgrade his security cameras and alarm system.
In an interview with SFBay after the latest incident, he said:
“I just laugh every time I talk about this because it’s so comical that this just happens over and over. You’re shocked, but not surprised.”
“It’s a recurring theme. Not just for me, but for so many business owners in San Francisco who are already struggling because of the pandemic.”
Police have not yet returned a request for information. Hsu posted video footage and photos of the suspect to Footprint’s Instagram account.
Despite the latest burglary, Hsu is maintaining a positive attitude. He said:
“We will always be optimistic and continue to do whatever we can and what we can control. That’s all I can say.”
Business owners can learn more about Storefront Vandalism Relief Grant program on The City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development website.
Jerold serves as a reporter and San Francisco Bureau Chief for SFBay covering transportation, City Hall, and the Mayor's Office in San Francisco. His work on transportation has been recognized by the San Francisco Press Club. Born and raised in San Francisco, he graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in journalism. Jerold previously wrote for the San Francisco Public Press, a nonprofit, noncommercial news organization. When not reporting, you can find Jerold taking Muni to check out new places to eat in the city.