Anthony Womack says he’s been reeling with emotions after his San Francisco ice cream shop was broken into twice in the same morning.
Womack told The Standard he woke up Friday morning to an employee telling him the Bayview store, What’s the Scoop, had been ransacked and its supplies taken. The employee also found the cash register and point-of-sale terminal were missing when she arrived at around 10:45 a.m. to open at 11 a.m.
Reviewing the shop’s surveillance footage confirmed Womack’s worst fear and more.
"It happened twice on the same day, unfortunately, around 3 a.m. to 3:40 a.m. The burglars were in here for about 40 minutes, just loading up their car, a bunch of stuff," he said. "Since the first group broke in and left the door unlocked, the second group walked right in and took whatever they wanted, because no one was here yet."
The Black-owned, music-inspired ice cream shop opened in November 2022.
Womack estimates his losses at around $12,000 to $13,000, not counting lost income from having to close over the weekend. He plans to reopen Tuesday, after cleaning up.
"The part that kinda hurts the most [is the] point-of-sale system and our register, because there was about $500 in the register," he said. "The first group took the cash drawer, which had all the money in it."
The San Francisco Police Department did not respond to requests for comment by publication time. This year, residents reported 178 burglaries to police in the Bayview as of June 4, according to department data. That's a nearly 30% drop compared with the same period in 2022, when police documented 251 burglaries.
The suspect, who came at 10 a.m., may have taken $2,000-plus worth of equipment, but she wasn't finished.
"Then she helped herself to some ice cream as well,” said Womack. “That's the part that really hurt us, because she was scooping ice cream with her hands. I really pride myself in the cleanness of our store and the integrity of our ice cream.”
Womack was forced to toss out about 24 gallons of ice cream that could have been contaminated by the unhygienic hand-scooping.
“Some of them were really brand new and full, some that were halfway,” said Womack. “It was just thousands of dollars wasted right there. I have restocked on our offerings and stuff like that, but that's pretty much how I spent the weekend.”
Bayview native Womack grew up close to the store’s Third Street and Armstrong Avenue location and thinks the burglaries were a personal attack.
“Who would do something like that?” he asked. “I'm thinking it's a personal attack because everyone that comes here, they know me. I grew up right here in the neighborhood.”
Womack even questioned whether to keep the store open at all, or to move to a different location.
“Each day I take it day by day, taking some good moments throughout the day,” he said. “But there's a lot of bad moments that I feel like outweigh the good.”
Womack has previously dealt with low-level crime at his shop before—but in a gentle way, asking two young boys who tried to steal tips from his jar to put them back before fulfilling their order.
“I tried to use it as a learning lesson for him,” he said. “I grew up here. I feel like this is my community. I want to do right by it as best I can.”
To that end, Womack said he's throwing an ice cream social to welcome the community back inside, inviting other business community members to visit and promote their own ventures.
Stop by on Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. for treats, including milkshakes, root beer floats, banana splits and fresh-baked cookies and select flavors at just $2 per scoop.
George Kelly can be reached at email@example.com