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Windows smashed twice in 2 days at shop in San Francisco’s Dolores Heights

A painting of a flower by tattooer, printmaker and painter Theo Goblin brightens a wooden board Sunday, after consecutive window-smash burglaries Friday and Saturday at the Dolores Deluxe corner store at 22nd and Dolores streets in San Francisco. | George Kelly/The Standard

A historic San Francisco corner store owner had his shop's windows smashed twice in two days, apparently by the same man.

Ramzi Budayr owns Dolores Deluxe in the city’s sought-after Dolores Heights neighborhood. The store first opened its doors in 1911.

On Friday morning, Budayr found his store with a smashed window and checked his surveillance cameras to assess the damage. He saw footage of a man who is well-known locally smash the window with a large rock before grabbing about six bottles of booze, damaging a fridge in the process. 

“He chugged one of them right then and there in front of the camera and ran off," Budayr said. 

Bananas sit next to a broken window at the San Francisco corner store Dolores Deluxe. | Courtesy Dolores Deluxe

On Saturday morning, after a restless night, Budayr received word another window at the store had been smashed, by the same man, at 5:40 a.m.—this time with a brick—before he stole several bananas. 

"It's not just an assault on the store,” said Budayr. “It's an assault on the neighborhood."

When the police came to review surveillance camera footage of the incidents, an officer told Budayr the man was already in custody for arson after allegedly attempting to set a palm tree on fire with a lighter. Police said Tuesday the man had been arrested at 9 a.m. Saturday at 19th and Church streets. The suspect’s identity has not been released.

San Francisco corner store Dolores Deluxe's window was broken on the store's 22nd Street side. | Courtesy Dolores Deluxe

San Francisco police confirmed all three incidents, and surveillance footage from the store reviewed by The Standard corroborates Budayr’s account.

"I was out of town, and I heard about it when I came back," customer Joshua Hobbs told The Standard on Sunday. "I want to show support in whatever way is possible."

To that end, the store is planning a burger-themed pop-up offering on Thursday.

A wooden board covers a broken window after consecutive burglaries over the weekend at the Dolores Deluxe corner store at 22nd and Dolores streets in San Francisco. | George Kelly/The Standard

A GoFundMe for the store set up Saturday by Budayr had already raised over $15,000 of its $16,800 goal by publication time. Budayr estimates damages from the break-ins could amount to $18,500, but said he saw a 20% boost in sales over the weekend after posting about the incidents to Instagram

George Kelly can be reached at gkelly@sfstandard.com