Oakland local’s car has been broken into so many times, she now leaves the windows down to avoid broken glass

A business owner in crime-ridden Oakland, Calif., said she’s had her car broken into so many times that she now leaves her windows down so thieves don’t break the glass when her vehicle is inevitably carjacked. 

Suzane Loi, who has run The Coffee Mill on Grand Avenue for the past 27 years, said she doesn’t like the crime she witnesses on the street outside her café, the Daily Mail reported

In addition to her café, which she said has been broken into three times in six months, masked car thieves allegedly smash car windows outside her business several times a week.

“When I park my car outside I leave the windows down enough to fit your hand through and unlock it so they don’t smash the glass,” she told the Daily Mail. 

Loi said she thinks it is a better alternative than having to replace her broken car window every time it happens. 

Oakland has seen a rise in violent crime and theft with smash-and-grab robberies and reports of assaults on employees soaring in recent years. According to Oakland police, the city’s entire violent crime category increased 21% between 2022 and 2023. 

In addition, Oakland residents are increasingly buying bulletproof glass to protect themselves. 

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“My business is down 40% this year because people are too afraid to go out to eat in downtown,” Loi said. “Their cars will just get smashed or stolen or broken into. We had two break-ins outside just this week.”

Loi said the burglars are often 15-year-old kids, pre-teens, or even girls, which doesn’t fit the typical gender profile for crime.

“This used to be the place to be, but now everything is closing,” she said. “We have no fine dining. Shops are closing. Even CVS is trying to close.”

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“Honestly, someone needs to be held accountable for it,” she added. “I don’t know what to do; the government isn’t doing anything. Why did we even vote for them?”

“We are all dying figuratively and literally,” one restauranteur said of the city’s condition. “The business community has just gotten to the breaking point where everyday someone is having to choose to close their doors because they can no longer stay in business.” 

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