Jewish-owned bike shop in downtown Los Angeles looted

Yehuda Masjedi, who lives in Pico-Robertson, turned off his phone ahead of the Shavuot holiday on May 28. As Shabbat ended, he heard of protests, riots and looting in downtown Los Angeles, and feared for safety. from his bike shop, DTLA Bikes.

Masjedi frantically phoned his employees, who said his store had been spared. However, at 5:29 a.m. on May 31, Masjedi received a phone call. “I knew exactly what was going on,” he told the Journal. “The alarm company told me the alarm had gone off. I got out of bed in my pajamas, got in my car and drove straight downtown. I felt like I needed to see my shop. It’s my livelihood and that of my employees. I had to make sure everything was okay.

When he arrived he saw that his security gate was still down but had been cut and there was broken glass on the floor. He called the police and waited for them in his car.

“The store next to me is an AT&T store and it was totally ransacked,” Masjedi recalled. “I see random individuals coming in there and picking up stuff and leaving around 6am. I notice three people walking towards my shop. I can usually recognize bike thieves by the way they walk. When you’ve been in business for 10 years, you know what people look like when they’re going to steal something.

“Out of nowhere, I start screaming at these people, ‘What are you doing? This is my livelihood! You are the scum of the earth. How dare you intrude on my Company? Of course, I didn’t think of anything. Thankfully, they got away. — Yehuda Masjedi

Next, Masjedi said he saw bolt cutters in one of their backpacks. He watched them pull out the bolt cutters and prepare to cut the door. There were police on both corners and the National Guard passing by, but Masjedi said they were distracted.

Photos courtesy of Yehuda Masjedi

“Out of nowhere, I start screaming at these people, ‘What are you doing? This is my livelihood! You are the scum of the earth. How dare you intrude on my company? Obviously, I wasn’t thinking of anything. Luckily, they got away.

When the police finally arrived, Masjedi went inside to assess the damage. All the bikes were still there. “From the security footage I saw, they broke in, broke the glass, noticed all my bikes were locked up, heard the alarm and drove off,” he said. declared.

Masjedi spent May 31 cleaning his store and serving customers. After receiving alerts from the city for a 6 p.m. curfew, he heard further protests and told customers to leave and return the next day.

Photos courtesy of Yehuda Masjedi

Masjedi said his customers watched him and volunteers helped clean up the neighborhood. He said he was “totally one of the lucky ones. We were on the main loot street. That’s where all the big box stores are. The majority of them were ransacked. J I was very lucky that nothing was taken.

The bike shop was Masjedi’s dream. He left an unfulfilling job in real estate to open the store 10 years ago. He sells his own line of bikes with Jewish names like the DTLA Rambam Commuter, the DTLA Sephira 7 and the 2020 DTLA 1 Love. He said that during the coronavirus pandemic he has been criticized with orders now that gyms are closed and parents want to get outside and ride with their kids. He said he had faith that everything will be fine.

“I really believe it all comes from HaShem, he said. “It’s more proof that humanity is finally getting to a better place. We just have to sort out who will do good and who won’t. We pray that overnight nothing will come to the shop .

Maria R. Newman