By Habeba Mostafa & Tyler Wainfeld
Burglars ransacked the Seco Mini Market early Sunday, stealing merchandise, making a mess of the store and prompting community members in the surrounding neighborhood to rally around the business and its owners.
According to Deputy Robert Jensen, a spokesman for the SCV Sheriff’s Station, the original call at 5:06 a.m. was for an alarm at the establishment, located at 28028 Seco Canyon Road, Saugus.
“We contacted a key holder upon arrival or en route regarding the burglary alarm. They were able to provide video footage, which showed six suspects, two of them being in a Kia, and two of them being in another vehicle,” according to Jensen.
The owners filed a burglary report.
A member of the family who owns the business, Deyar Alrabadi, described in detail what the suspects took, and the damage done.
“They took liquor, they took (lottery) scratchers, they took cigarette cartons, they took cash, they vandalized some of our cabinets. They broke our cash registers, our POS systems and the front door,” Alrabadi said.
Receiving a call at 5:02 a.m. from the alarm company, the owners notified the security company that they were not at the premises and to call sheriff’s deputies. By the time the owners arrived 15 minutes later, the suspects were gone.
Showing that the market is part of the heart of its Saugus community, neighbors came to help the market open back up the same day.
“The neighborhood, once they found out, they came in, they helped us out, they cleaned up the place,” Alrabadi said. “We opened the same day.”
To Alrabadi, the neighborhood isn’t just a community — it’s a family, one that Alrabadi grew up in for the past 10 years, since they started the market when he was 11 years old.
“We love this neighborhood. We consider this neighborhood our family. I’ve been working here since I was 11 years old, and I grew up with everybody — I look up to everybody,” Alrabadi said. “I look up to everybody as a second dad or uncle, so once they found out, it put a spot in my heart. Everybody in here is considered family to us and they consider us family as well. That’s why we love this neighborhood.”
The owners do not want to start a GoFundMe, but instead want the suspects to pay the consequences.
“We didn’t want to start a GoFundMe. We don’t need the extra help with cash. We could get back on our feet,” Alrabadi said. “We want these guys taken care of and taught and to pay the consequences.”
No arrests have been made as of this story’s publication.