Things continue to get worse and worse for law-abiding citizens in California, particularly in cities overrun by crime. Among the worst of the bunch is Oakland, California, long known as a high-crime locality. Not only are longtime businesses such as a Denny’s and In-n-Out Burger ditching it for good because of crime, but now locals are having to desperately fend off criminals with whatever tools are at hand.
Such happened in an Oakland pizzeria on Friday, February 2, at about 10:30 in the evening. It was then that a masked robber ran into the store and jumped over the counter, attempting to steal from the small business. The behind-the-counter employee wasn’t having it, and after shoving the masked man he reached for a hammer from below the register. Brandishing it, he temporarily scared off the masked criminal.
But soon, the would-be robber was back and trying for the cash in the register again. That prompted a 911 call from the worker, who continued brandishing the hammer and trying to use it to scare off the robber. Meanwhile, the masked man reached for the cash register yet again, prompting a renewed fight over it and its contents.
The employee, however, wasn’t going to give up so easily, and so he and the robber started struggling over the register. At that point, security camera footage shows a green recycling bin, hurled by the pizzeria’s cook, fly through the air in the robber’s direction. Eventually, the cook and behind-the-counter employee were able to fight off the robber and stop him from taking anything.
Speaking to the media, the pizzeria owner, Elizabeth Sanchez, said that the employees were incredibly courageous in fighting off the robber. She said, “It’s just unbelievable. They have the courage to do this. They have to fight against them.” Continuing, the owner of Cybelle’s Pizza described how the two had to use whatever was available to fight off the would-be robber, saying, “They were using whatever they have on hand. We’re trying to help the cashier, because like we don’t want to leave him alone.”
Sanchez also said that this is the fourth time in 2024 alone that robbers have tried to target Cybelle’s Pizza. Though this robber was unsuccessful, the past three times robbers were able to make off with either the register or the business’s safe. Their predations left the business suffering a major loss and the workers having to process the trauma of being robbed and dealing with the damage to the business.
Watch the workers fight off the robbery attempt here:
Speaking about the frustration of working seven days a week, every week, and still having to close because of the near-constant robbery attempts, Sanchez said, “As an immigrant, as a Mexican, this is my American dream. But where is it going? I believe it’s going to the trash now.”
Oakland City Councilmember Janani Ramachandran, commenting on the situation in Oakland, said little other than platitudes. Ramachandran said, “I completely understand the sentiment, deeply, of wanting to take things into your own hands. We need more hours, more coverage if we’re really going to make this a priority and the city’s not, you know, just going to say we care but actually putting money and resources to make sure that we’re supporting these businesses.”
Featured image credit: screengrab from the embedded video
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