By Len Ramirez

SAN JOSE (KPIX) – A series of burglaries appear to be targeting a popular Vietnamese shopping mall in the south bay and business owners are on edge.

Merchants at Vietnam Town in San Jose’s Little Saigon neighborhood say seven businesses have been hit in the past month, with some businesses being burglarized multiple times.

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“Here at Tea Lyfe, we’ve been broken into twice in the last 15 days,” said Candy Gomez-Bui, who owns the family run tea shop

Surveillance video from Easter Sunday night shows a suspect walking up to her door and smashing through the glass with a tire iron.

Once inside, he ransacks the place, stealing two tablets used for point-of-sale purchases from under the front counter. He even goes back into the kitchen to look for things to steal.

The video follows the burglar outside where he meets up with an accomplice who’s driving a dark colored car and appears to hand over the stolen goods. The burglar then walks away on foot, while the person in the car drives away.

“The first time around, they took our cash register with $200 dollars in it. We don’t keep it here anymore, it’s completely empty. Then this time around, they took our iPads,” Gomez-Bui said.

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On the next block, the same thing happened to a restaurant and a dress shop, all on the same night.
Thieves appear to be looking for cash, jewelry and other valuables.

“Where are they coming from?” asked Thanh Nguyen, who owns the Trend Salon SJ.
Nguyen has put her life savings into the business and is like many merchants in the mall these days.

“Very worried every day. We hope the police would be around this area more often,” Nguyen said.

Vietnam Town does have private security. Guards patrol on foot and in cars that circle the mall. But until now, they have not been 24-7.

A manager in the leasing office told KPIX that security will soon be upgraded to patrols around
the clock. Meantime business owners can’t help but feel like they are being targeted.

“A lot of times, Asian businesses are known to be cash only, like restaurants and coffee shops. They just want easy money,” Gomez-Bui said.

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Vietnam Town is located next to the Grand Century Mall and a Walmart Shopping Center and there are side entrances from each of those businesses. Merchants are also pushing for those to be closed, giving only one way in and out for better security.