THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (KABC) -- A pair of young men are being sought after a burglary at a Thousand Oaks bakery was captured on surveillance video.
Police say the break-in was the latest in a rash of commercial burglaries in the area, but the owner of the business told ABC7 that the motive may be something more.
The surveillance footage shows two suspects vandalizing the Historia Bakery. The crime unfolded during the early morning hours of Sept. 15. The bandits smashed a front window, entered the business and ransacked the place, making off with money and more.
"I mean, it's going to be painful to replace the broken stuff and the door and the other material broken that had to be thrown away," said Carlos Soto, co-owner of the business. "My wife and I work really hard, living paycheck to paycheck. We're trying to come up and this is just hard."
Soto says a few days before his business was vandalized he received a threatening, racist phone call.
"Just a gentleman suggesting that I move to Mexico and open a coffee shop and a café in Mexico because my name is Carlos Soto," he said.
Carlos Soto said he doesn't know if the break-in is related to the threatening phone call. Robyn Soto says that, considering there are several minority owned businesses in the area, she's taken aback that anyone would say such a thing to her husband.
"I mean, it was racist, uncalled for and really had nothing to do with any of our business dealings around here," she said. "We're an equal-opportunity employer and a multicultural family and business."
Thousand Oaks police are investigating the crime and have yet to disclose whether they have identified suspects or have determined a motive for the break-in, other than burglary.
The Sotos are devastated, saying insurance won't cover everything that was stolen or damaged.
"An extreme amount of stress, being a small-business owner in an industry that has a very high failure rate in the best of circumstances," Robyn Soto said. "It's not as easy to find capital or get financial assistance from any conventional sources."
Carlos Soto is a military veteran suffering from multiple sclerosis. His wife says that, despite the hardship they are facing, he's pledged to forge ahead with the charity work they do supporting veterans, law enforcement and other first responders.