Oakland's Little Saigon Community Demands Crackdown on Crime

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Small business owners at Oakland’s Vietnamese community, known as Little Saigon, said they’re being besieged by crime and they need the city’s help. 

“Last few years I’ve been sleeping at my shop. I don't even go home,” said Thinh Le, owner of Jim Viet Jewelry.

A video shows a group of men and women trying to break into his store.

“Shootings happen almost every night. People break into my shop, they come with guns,” said Viet.

Lynn Truong who owns the popular sun hop fat supermarket nearby also sees violent crime daily. 

“People driving, no license on car, kids driving, people scared to go outside,” said Troung. “After four o’clock the town looks like a ghost town.”

She now closes her store early.

Truong and Le, along with about 100 other Little Saigon small business owners, are fed up with the purse snatchings, break-ins and sideshows.  

They spoke up for the first time, demanding help from the city.

“This past week they have decided to reach out to other business owners to see how other communities, other business districts were able to get funding for cameras, for support such as community ambassadors,” said Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce President, Dr. Jennifer Kim-Anh Tran.

She said she has seen the city’s Chinatown neighborhood get increased police foot patrols and funding, but she feels the Vietnamese community has been ignored.

She wants to change that.

“I think we still wrestle with the diversity of API communities,” said Kim-Anh Tran.

The chamber started a crowdfunding effort for Little Saigon to raise money for high quality cameras, hoping that will provide some safety.

NBC Bay Area reached out to city leaders and got no response regarding the community’s concerns.

Le says he is tired of the violence, he doesn’t know how long he can continue to protect his business on his own. 

“You need to enforce the law,” he said.

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