The owner of the California bakery ransacked last week by a mob of more than 100 looters is heartbroken for his family’s business and angered that nobody has been punished as he slammed rising crime in the state.
Ruben’s Bakery & Mexican Food in Compton was the target of a mass smash-and-grab when looters used a Kia to drive into the storefront during an illegal street takeover on Jan. 2.
Reuben Ramirez Jr. says his parents opened their store nearly 50 ago after immigrating to the country and was heartbroken to see their work become a victim of crime.
“At first, like anybody, we were angry then we were sad,” Ramirez Jr. told Fox News. “The worst was seeing my parents who built something for over 48 years, to almost lose it because of this violence that is going on right now.”
“These street takeovers in Compton have been getting worse and worse.”
The store, which survived the 1992 Rodney King riots and the COVID pandemic, has never been closed for more than a day, Christmas and New Year’s being the exceptions.
Ramirez Jr., however, was forced to close for several days because of the expansive amount of damage sustained and stolen goods.
The looters caused at least $70,000 worth of damage from everything that was stolen during the mass looting, which included food, money, lottery tickets, and other store equipment, including cash registers and meat scales.
Ramirez Jr. also said a lot of food had to be thrown because of the possibility of it being tainted or damaged.
The bakery has also lost out on revenue because the first week of January is usually busy for them because they make special bread for the holidays.
Ramirez Jr. said his family isn’t the only one in the neighborhood frustrated with the illegal late-night gatherings that often result in violence and crime.
“My neighbors here are telling me the same thing, they’re with us and they want this to stop, but I don’t know how you can stop it,” Ramirez Jr said.
Ramirez Jr. hopes the vandals see justice, but is more focused on building his business back while continuing to serve the community and “and make everybody happy without food.”
Following the looting, the store owners took to the security footage to figure out who the delinquents were that robbed their business but couldn’t recognize anyone because a majority of them were wearing masks and hoods.
“It was heartbreaking to see,” Ramirez Jr. said about the surveillance recordings.
“We need better policies for the community to help us. I would say sometimes these relaxed laws they don’t help, and the people that suffer are the hardworking people. I hate to say it but nobody gets punished for anything.”
Compton officials claim they are working on cracking down on the illegal street takeovers.
“The City of Compton is working closely with the Sheriff’s Department to identify and apprehend the perpetrators responsible,” Compton Mayor Emma Sharif said in a statement to The Post. “Ensuring the safety of businesses and residents in our city is our top priority. No local business should endure such fear and destruction.”
“The incident that occurred this morning in District 2 was absolutely unacceptable. It is extremely disheartening to see a local business attacked and destroyed,” City of Compton Councilmember Andre Spicer, who represents the area where the bakery is located said.
“We need to support our local businesses and ensure that criminals know we will not tolerate the destruction of our beloved local establishments, which are the backbone of our city,” Spicer added.
The store was partially reopened on Jan. 5, with Ramirez Jr. telling Fox 11 Los Angeles “it feels good to be back.”
A family friend set up a GoFundMe with a goal of $75,000 that would help the store fully reopen, with some of the profit being shared with the employees.
The crowdfunding project has raised over $77,000 as of Sunday morning.