Central Fresno Chinese restaurant asking for help from police amid vandalism, copper theft

According to a letter on their door, the air conditioner coil was stolen, leaving the temperature inside too hot for customers.

Brittany Jacob Image
Tuesday, October 18, 2022
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The owner of Shanghai Chinese Cuisine in central Fresno is frustrated and full of emotion after reports of a burglary to her business.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The co-owner of a Chinese restaurant that's a staple in Central Fresno says thieves could force her to close the doors of the business.

Lunchtime at Shanghai Chinese Cuisine in Central Fresno brought a steady stream of customers, but despite the good business, restaurant co-owner Pauline Dunn says she's afraid she may have to close her doors.

In tears, Dunns says, "With this situation, I can't run my business."

Within the last two months, Shanghai Chinese Cuisine has been vandalized, windows have been broken, and copper parts were stolen from the air conditioner on top of the roof.

The first incident was in August and another reported burglary happen just last week.

Dunn says she feels like everything is falling apart, so now she is calling on Fresno Police and the city to do more to help businesses like Shanghai.

"I do need help from Fresno to keep peaceful," Dunn says. "To stop the vandal and then to stop buying the copper so nobody can steal."

According to a letter on their door - the air conditioner coil was stolen leaving the temperature inside too hot for customers.

Dunn received a notice of violation from the city's code enforcement, requiring that violations be corrected.

Dunn filed a report with Fresno Police online, but never heard back from the city.

She says, "August 24th, I still haven't gotten my report yet so I can claim my insurance."

Without the insurance claim to fix the a/c unit, Dunn says she feels helpless.

Action News checked with the City of Fresno. Officials say code enforcement does have an open case on this restaurant in response to a complaint regarding the A/C unit. Plus, a re-inspection is scheduled for Tuesday, however, code enforcement would not be responsible for shutting down the restaurant.

Dunn says despite the many hurdles, she can't afford to close business. She hopes her customers will come back to support her.

"I am not closing, I am still working and then run the restaurant," she says.

Officials say detectives are in contact with Dunn and are now investigating this case.

In addition, the city says if there are violations that are not fixed, it would be the property owner who is cited, not the tenant.

Action News reached out Siegel & Co., the managers of the property, and while they didn't formally respond, they did say they are hoping to file an insurance claim once they receive the police report from Dunn.

Authorities say if you are the victim of a burglary or a copper theft, then they encourage you to please call the police department instead of filing a report online.