Ninjas in Rosemead

My mom’s restaurant got broken into. I’ve been meaning to write a post on it, but the thoughts have swirled around in my mind, with no particularly insightful outcomes. Anyways, I might as well share.

I heard about it all when my mom gave me a call a month or two ago. To be honest, every time I get a call from her, I’m a little nervous. I’m the person who does the “check up” calls, and she normally doesn’t pick up the phone unless there’s something specific that she needs. As expected, the conversation began with her asking a favor. She wanted to use my social security number to set up a new security system. “If I use your SSN, I’ll save at least $400 on the setup charges. Don’t worry, I’ll pay the bills and everything. It’s a three year contract.”

“Wait wait wait- what happened to your old security system?” I asked.

After hearing her tell the story, I think the only way to describe the burglary is to say that my mom’s modest pho shop in Rosemead had been hit by ninjas.  Now I’m not just saying this because it’s a predominantly Asian neighborhood. And dear god, I hate ninjas of all kinds. But there is no other word for it.

The affair happened overnight, with the thieves cutting a hole in the roof right above the safe room. (Wait, my mom has a safe?) They then shimmied in, snipping the electrical wires on their way down. This move disabled the security alarm and cut out the video cameras. Lastly they busted/melted open the restaurant’s safe!!!


Thankfully, my mom didn’t have anything in the safe at the time, and it sounds like insurance covered the many repairs. After talking with the police and repairmen, my mother learned that she was just one hit in a string of similar burglaries. Her neighbors the dollar store and the grocery store had both been robbed in the same way (hole on the roof above the room containing the safe), but had lost much more money. According to the repairman, the grocery store lost a whole deep freezer full of cash. Yikes.

My mom and I laughed hard at the idea of a team of skilled thieves spending all this time breaking into Saigon 22 for… NOTHING, but still I felt a pang of worry. I’ve wrestled with the idea of moving to Los Angeles to be closer to family for a while now, and events like this push this guilty idea that I ought to be living there. It’s the guilt that every person who moves away from home feels, I guess. Except that LA isn’t even where I grew up!

While I do worry about my mom, I have to remind myself that she’s not alone. There’s quite the handful of relatives there to support her if she needs it. And hell, she handled this whole burglary situation on her own. I forgot to mention the kicker- by the time that she told me about the break in, it had already been two weeks!

Moving to LA may be inevitable when my mother gets older or sicker, but for now I’m happily remaining around the edges of my family.