SAN FRANCISCO, California—“We are currently so defeated.” The Crew is a Korean family restaurant owned by immigrants Go Young Suk and Jong Su Kim in the Sunset. They came to America in 2001 and like so many worked hard to one day start a restaurant to support their daughters and give them a good life.
At about 6:30 in the morning of January 15th, the man you see in the surveillance videos broke in and stole, according to daughter Esther 10,000 in iPads, cash, valuables, etc. But most painful were the legal documents and personal mementos like diplomas, according to ABC’s Dion Lim.
“This burglary has played a huge toll on my parents’ mental and physical wellbeing as we are constantly afraid that we will be targeted again,” stated Ester Kim, GoFundMe organizer.
What’s it going to take so small business owners feel safe again?
According to GoFundMe, The Crew is a small Korean family restaurant located in the Sunset district in San Francisco, run by my parents Go Myoung Suk and Jong Su Kim. My parents are first-generation Korean immigrants that moved to America from South Korea in 2001. Back in 2014, they were able to gather enough money to start a humble family restaurant selling authentic Korean food that they were passionate about. This place is important to many residents of San Francisco as an authentic Korean restaurant that offers generous portions and great service. It was, especially, a place that offered comfort food to many immigrants who viewed our restaurant as an enclave, of sorts; a remedy for curing homesickness. Anybody who knows the owners can testify to how welcoming and warm they are to their customers, always coming out to greet regulars and constantly providing free dishes and discounts to students.
As some of you may know, The Crew, was recently burglarized over MLK weekend. On January 15, 2021 at 6:30AM, an unidentified man broke into the restaurant and stole numerous valuables and property, amounting to over $10,000 in value. To be more specific, he stole all of the cash in the restaurant amounting to thousands of dollars, our 5 tablets and 2 iPad Pros that we use for delivery and payment, checkbooks, our toolbox, and cashable checks. Above all, the most devastating aspect is that he stole all of our legal and personal documents and files. This includes personal documents that prove our legal status, our social security cards/numbers, banking information, usernames and passwords, important keepsakes such as irreplaceable pictures and diplomas, information that disclosed our address and contact information, receipts, and vital documents needed to properly run the restaurant.
In addition to this tragedy, like many other small businesses and restaurants, The Crew had been greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the never ending on and off stay-at-home orders and the city’s decision to close down outdoor dining, business has been extremely slow and we have been struggling to stay open. We have exhausted all of our resources to pay our rent, including personal and government loans and grants. My parents have been laboring to accumulate all of our resources and downsize utilities and workers as much as possible to conserve money.
My mom, who has not fully recovered from her chemotherapy and radiation treatment has taken it upon herself to help out as much as possible in cooking and managing the restaurant with my dad, despite being immunocompromised. Despite our landlord’s accommodations of lowering our rent and the San Francisco commercial moratorium to extend repayment of rent, we have been struggling to pay our bills throughout the pandemic. And now with the additional damage we have taken from the burglary, we are in danger of not meeting rent this month and the months to come.
We are currently so defeated because we have lost most of our personal, legal, and work documentation needed for our restaurant and our personal lives. Compared to the replaceable stolen electronics and cash, these documents are priceless to our family. Although we have filed a police report, there is not much hope in receiving the justice my parents deserve, especially since there have been an increased number of burglaries in our area during the pandemic. Insurance also seems to be unreliable as burglary reports are often hard to get reimbursed for and, again, the burglar took all the proof and documentation needed to reimburse our stolen items.
This burglary has played a huge toll on my parents’ mental and physical wellbeing as we are constantly afraid that we will be targeted again. This was not just a simple burglary, but also a breach of our personal security and space, taking both a psychological and physical toll on all of our family members.
We plan to use the immediate donations to replace our tablets and iPads in order to conduct business as usual. Additionally, we need to recover our legal and personal documents, invest in higher-grade security with an upgraded alarm system and cameras, pay for rent, and set up a commercial security gate outside and/or inside of our restaurant so that my parents can continue running our business without fearing for a repeated offense.
Therefore, I am reaching out to our fellow friends, family, community members, and people who may know someone who runs a small family business to help our restaurant recover from this traumatic incident and conduct business as SOON as possible. We appreciate any and all help and even if you are unable to donate, sharing this post with your family and friends would be deeply appreciated by me and my parents.
If you have any questions about our situation or have any additional information on the burglary/burglar, please feel free to reach out to me directly through this GoFundMe page. I have attached a few pictures of the suspect and burglary in this post for easy access in a Google Drive. Thank you for taking the time to read through my family’s dilemma and I wish for you all to be safe during the rest of the pandemic.
The Crew‘s GoFundMe Page can be accessed by clicking HERE