Yet another Castro business has been burglarized in what appears to be an unsettling trend in the neighborhood. Crystal Way, on Market Street between Castro and Noe, was broken into around 4am on Tuesday morning. The crime follows similar burglaries at Jungle Red and Zapata Mexican Grill just weeks before.
Crystal Way is a metaphysical center in the Castro that offers services like astrology and tarot, as well as crystals and gemstones from around the world, jewelry, soaps and candles.
According to Maria, one of the store’s owners, the whole episode was caught on surveillance video. “He used a crowbar. He had other accomplices watching outside the store as he bashed in the window.”
This fits the descriptions of the 18th Street burglaries, where the suspect also used a crowbar and had at least two accomplices acting as lookouts.
“He took quite a bit of jewelry,” said Maria. “He just grabbed, grabbed, grabbed, threw it in a bag, and ran out.”
One of the tenants who lives above the store heard the glass break and called the police, Maria told us. On the video, you can see the suspects running onto Market Street. Three minutes later, police cars arrived at the scene.
When asked about similar burglaries in the neighborhood, Maria said, “They’re casing it. They come in and check out where to go and what to do. They do it really, really well.”
“They definitely knew where to go,” she said. “Obviously he had come in and knew where stuff was.” According to the store's owners, a suspicious person entered Crystal Way several weeks ago and was asking for the prices of certain pieces of jewelry, including pieces that were stolen earlier this week.
Although we don't know if this suspicious individual is connected in any way to the Castro’s recent string of burglaries, neighborhood business owners and shopkeepers should be on their guard.Crystal Way filed a report with SFPD. We reached out to police for a comment regarding these recent events and will continue to keep you in the loop about what we hear.
If your business has also been the victim of a recent burglary or an attempted burglary in the neighborhood, let us know.
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