Oakland, CA

"Enough is enough!" Robbers target restaurant that started reward fund to stop crimes targeting Asians

Golden Gate Media

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A well known Asian-owned Bay Area restaurant chain teamed up with police to end Asian hate crimes. Now they've been targeted - again.Golden Gate Media

A Bay Area restaurant group helped set up a reward fund to solicit tips on crimes targeting Asians earlier this year. Now they’re offering their own reward after robbers targeted one of their businesses over the weekend.

Robbers smashed through the front glass door of Burma Bites in Oakland’s Temescal District, an Asian-owned Burmese take-out restaurant, according to the business’s social media accounts.

“We are deeply saddened to share that over the weekend, Burma Bites was vandalized and robbed,” the caption on an Instagram post read. “As you can see, the front glass door was shattered and used as an entry point for the suspect to rob and vandalize our restaurant. Please help spread the word as we are offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information leading us to the arrest of the suspect.”

Burma Bites is a fast-casual spin-off of its sister restaurant, Burma Superstar, which is renowned around the East Bay for its high-quality Burmese cuisine.

The restaurant’s group started the Crimes Against Asians Reward Fund (CAARF) in April 2021 with help from the San Francisco Police Officers’ Association and the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce. The weekend robbery was not the first time the group’s eateries have been targeted, according to the post.

"As we dive further into this investigation, we’d like to use this opportunity to reiterate our stance. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!,” it reads. “Just a few months ago, a staff member was assaulted at our Burma Superstar location down the block. Prior to that, the same location got its windows smashed when someone threw a large object at it. These crimes are not isolated. Like many other small businesses, we have struggled daily to tackle all of the obstacles the pandemic threw our way. As if it hasn't been challenging enough to launch our restaurant during shelter-in-place, continue operations with extremely limited staffing, and ensure our employees are taken care of... Now we must deal with repairing our store, replacing our property, and increasing our security!”

Owners said their restaurant was the only one targeted by robbers. There are a number of dining establishments in Oakland’s Temescal District, a popular place for nightlife in the city.

“We are grateful that no one was hurt and that none of the other neighboring businesses on our street were affected on the night of this crime,” the post continues. “We hope that sharing this incident can serve as a reminder to our community to remain vigilant and always be prepared. It is extremely frustrating to see the same thing happen over and over again with no consequences. We are committed to fighting hate and encourage our community to do the same by looking out for one another. The ramifications of these crimes not only affect our businesses, but more importantly, the livelihood of our community and team members.”

“Please help us reshare our story and continue the conversation on the terrible crimes that persist in our community,” the post asked. “We appreciate all your support!”

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