OAKLAND -- Rosa Cabrera walked to work Wednesday morning joyful after having spent Christmas Day with her small family cooking and watching movies.
Her heart sank when she arrived at the business she owns, Rosa's Hair Salon, and saw that vandals had smashed her window either Christmas night or early Wednesday morning.
"I was scared again," Cabrera said as she sat among hair clips and bands in the three station salon at 3120 Fruitvale Ave. at the edge of the Dimond district. "I thought someone was trying to rob me."
Cabrera's salon wasn't the only business on the block targeted overnight by vandals. Nearly every window was shattered at an empty storefront a few doors down from Rosa's Hair Salon at the
Guevarra said he's already tired of cleaning up graffiti on his property on a weekly basis and this overnight destruction is "intolerable." He filed a police report and urged his neighbors to do the same.
"We take care of 14 people who are vulnerable, fragile or sick," he said. "Something should be done for the safety of our neighborhood."
It isn't easy running a business on this block, Cabrera said, and random acts of vandalism like a shattered window are softening her will to keep cutting hair in the
"It's hard to grow business if the businesses know there's not going to be any protection from the police," Jackman said, adding that this corner of Fruitvale Avenue is well-traveled, and someone must have seen or heard the perpetrators in the act. "A hair salon is a tough business anyway. It's tough making any money, and she has to work really hard
This isn't Cabrera's first brush with trouble, either. Her shop was burglarized a little more than a year ago when thieves took about $1,500 worth of hair products and other tools of the trade. When she tried to pretty up the place by putting potted plants outside the door, they were smashed. If she leaves welcome mats outside overnight, they are gone in the morning.
She feels safe inside only when her door and the metal security door are both locked. Clients have to ring a doorbell to be let in.
"I like this place because it's a block from my house, and I can walk here in the morning," Cabrera said. "But if things like this keep happening, I'll have to move my salon from this area."
Outgoing Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente said it's unusual for this type of crime to happen to businesses in the district and said he understands the frustration these merchants feel about the most recent vandalism.
"Obviously, police at this time are in a very difficult position and have to respond to higher priority crimes, unfortunately," he said. "I don't think it's going to get better for a while."