Smash-and-grab thieves hit two Northridge businesses in the early morning hours Wednesday, stealing cash and valuable equipment from the shops.
The incident occurred at approximately 4 a.m. at a shopping center near the corner of Nordhoff Street and Balboa Boulevard.
Surveillance cameras at Yonder Coffee captured at least five suspects smashing the glass in the shop’s front door and entering the establishment. The owner of the coffee shop, Belle Cagas, said the burglar alarm did not go off because the doorframe was not damaged during the break-in.
“We definitely rely on authorities to take care of us for matters that are outside of our hands,” Cagas told KTLA. “And when those things are not taken care of, personally sometimes you feel like, ‘Are we really protected?’”
The shop owner said the thieves made off with a few hundred dollars in tips that were in the store, and that this is the second time her coffee shop has been broken into this year.
Next door, at Good Vibes Barbershop, thieves stole expensive cutting shears and an important piece of memorabilia the store had from its grand opening on Juneteenth two years ago.
“It just feels like, watching the news, you see it not just here in the Valley, but in L.A., Glendale, smash-and-grabs happening,” Good Vibes owner Onaje Longmier said. “I think it’s the knowledge that the repercussions…there’s not any. Get a slap on the wrist and you’re back at it again. That’s where there’s a lack of optimism about the fix.”
This is the second smash-and-grab burglary in Northridge captured on camera in a matter of days. On Sunday, thieves targeted a Macy’s at the Northridge Mall, stealing an estimated $20,000 worth of cologne from the store’s smashed display cases.
Earlier this month, in something of a twist, cameras captured a would-be smash-and-grab thief as he sprayed bear repellent in the face of a 70-year-old man in El Monte and attempted to rob a family-owned jewelry store.
The store’s employees fought off that suspect, identified as 36-year-old Joshua Lee Simmons, who ended up running out of the store shirtless, empty-handed and pulling up his pants.
The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the break-ins at Yonder Coffee and Good Vibes Barbershop.