Downtown San Diego

San Diego Business Owner Tries to Pick Up Pieces After Store Looting

The windows of the Emerald Plaza building downtown where the Optometric Expressions shop is located were still boarded up on Wednesday

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A San Diego business owner is trying to pick up the pieces after his optometry shop was looted in the early morning hours on Monday.

In the early hours of Monday morning, looters came down C Street and started smashing the windows of the optometry shop around 1:50 a.m. When people came to board up the windows around 3:30 a.m., the video shows looters still inside.

Cell phone video taken by a lawyer who works in the Emerald Plaza building clearly shows looters brazenly kicking down display cabinets and grabbing glasses.

In total, shop owner Dana Huth says they took about $130,000 in inventory.

"We lost everything, every frame that we had is gone," Huth said.

After being closed for eight weeks because of the coronavirus pandemic, Huth says he was excited to get back to business, but now he's dealing with broken windows and lost inventory. He says the building's security video shows almost 150 looters entering his store over a period of two hours.

"The police made a stand here, but they couldn't stay right here because they had to retreat due to the rocks being thrown from Columbia and C Street," Huth said.

He says even though he has a long road to recovery, he doesn't blame the protesters who marched through San Diego all day.

"I'm not angry…they're clearly not the people that are doing the protesting. They're a different group all together you can see from the video," Huth said.

Police arrested around 100 people during the Sunday protests and looting, but it's unclear if it's all or any of the people who came into the store and looted it.

Huth received a federal loan for his business for the pandemic and is now hoping that insurance can help restore some of his lost inventory from the looting.

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