SAN JOSE (KPIX) — A San Jose business owner is speaking out once again after getting hit by burglars from a nearby homeless encampment for a second time this month.
Simon Aslanpour owns Blooming Bouquet on Coleman Avenue. He said last Friday, shortly after employees left for a delivery around 6 p.m., a thief used a rock to smash the front window,READ MORE: VIDEO: Wind-Whipped Dixie Fire Ignites Homes In Greenville; Fire Crews 'Going Into Life Threat Mode'
After gaining access, the man allegedly stole cash, electronics, vehicle keys and other valuables. To facilitate the escape, the thief used cloth swatches to lay atop the broken glass.
All told, the loss and damage totaled about $10,000, according to Aslanpour.
“I am done. I am fed up. I am over it,” said Aslanpour. “The encampments behind us are making our daily lives really miserable for the past couple months. It’s just gotten really aggressive. And we just don’t feel safe working here like we used to.”
Earlier this month, Aslanpour said someone from the encampment jumped over and damaged his fence, destroying a security camera and stealing water, electricity and catalytic converters out of two delivery trucks, rendering them inoperable for weeks.
That total loss was estimated in the thousands of dollars, said Aslanpour.READ MORE: PG&E Stock Dip Impacting Fortunes of Past Wildfire Victims
San Jose Police arrested the suspect from Friday’s burglary. The man was captured on cell phone leaving the shop, and appeared to be suffering from mental problems, said Aslanpour.
The sprawling 40-acre encampment next to the Mineta San Jose International Airport exploded in size during the pandemic, when federal COVID guidelines prohibited the sweeps of encampments.
The city says the population is estimated to be about 200, but unofficial counts put the number closer to 400 to 500.
In an email Wednesday, SJC Public Information Manager Keonnis Taylor said the plan “continues to be in development.”MORE NEWS: COVID: Case Surge From Delta Variant Leading to Health Care Worker Fatigue
“I am just really sad to see the direction this city is taking. I’ve lived here for 21 years. It was the most beautiful city, and now it’s becoming into a place that I don’t feel safe living in anymore,” said Aslanpour.