Manteca Shopping Center Break-Ins Worry Nearby Business Owners

MANTECA -- Two break-ins at a Manteca shopping center in the past five days have other businesses owners on high alert.

A smash and grab at Unique Collectibles & Thrift Monday morning shattered the glass front door and caused the owner to lose $1,000 worth of sports jerseys, CDs and memorabilia from inside.

The door was replaced but the store was still closed Tuesday.

Just days earlier, on Friday, thieves smashed the window at Di Vine Dollar Store just a couple doors down in the same Manteca shopping center.

The recent break-ins have other nearby business owners, like Tiffany Saucedo of Chit Chat Cafe and Bakery, worried if they're next.

"We're very concerned," Saucedo told FOX40. "I mean, being that we're so close by we just want to make sure we're safe here and we feel protected and our customers feel safe."

Saucedo and other shop owners said they want more police and security patrols in their area.

"We would like to see more security around. Having someone kind of walking around more often, maybe in the evening times," Saucedo said.

Some neighboring business owners believe the recent break-ins may be related to the growing number of vacant stores in that part of the shopping center, where they say the homeless often gather. They're hoping the recent crimes won't spread to other nearby businesses and say they'll be more aware from now on.

"If there's a lot of activity going on then they're not going to hit that area," Saucedo said. "We just want to keep busy and just keep a lookout all the time. But being there and watching out for each other is really important."

The owner of Unique Collectibles told FOX40 the break-ins really hurt small business owners in particular as they put in a lot of time, money and heart into running their businesses.