Family-owned clothing store in Whittier plans to close after 3 recent burglaries

ByAnabel Munoz and Grace Manthey KABC logo
Saturday, January 27, 2024
Family-owned Whitter clothing store to close after recent burglaries
The family that owns a clothing store in Whittier says they plan to shut down the business in the aftermath of three recent burglaries.

WHITTIER, Calif. (KABC) -- The Haddad family is getting ready to close their small business, Ayman Fashion in Whittier.

They opened it 25 years ago after immigrating from Jordan and making a home in Downey.

Ayman Haddad's children were his motivation. "I need some money to help with their education," said Haddad. The family business helped pay for his four children's college education.

"We spent a lot of time here growing up," said Elias Haddad.

But they're closing a chapter after three burglaries in the last several weeks have taken a toll. They tell Eyewitness News they've lost almost $20,000, mostly in merchandise.

The most recent incident occurred just days ago. Ayman and his sons have spent the night in the store as they waited for their door to be replaced.

"You think you're not really affecting anyone because you want to go out there and just steal some clothes. But at the end of day you're destroying somebody's livelihood," said Elias Haddad.

Thieves use stolen government car in Bellflower smash-and-grab caught on video

Surveillance footage shows the driver reversing the car into the Bellflower store multiple times until it smashed through a steel security gate and wall.

The burglaries have also jolted Ayman's parents -- now in their 80s -- who started the business.

"They always have something to look forward every day," said Maysoon Haddad, their daughter-in-law. "They get up in the morning, they have their coffee. They're excited to come and see people, spend time with their son and their grandchildren.

"Now it's going to be like the end of that for them."

The family believes part of the problem is a fence around a neighboring empty commercial space, which would from the street obstruct the view of their shop.

They've reported the burglaries to the Whittier Police Department.

According to available data from the California Department of Justice, retail robberies, non-residential burglaries and shoplifting in Whittier saw an increase in these reports in 2022 compared to pandemic years, but levels were still below pre-pandemic averages between 2015 and 2019. 2023 data from the state is not yet available.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which operates in unincorporated parts of the county, has released preliminary data for 2023. The agency reports an increase in robberies of 14% compared to pre-pandemic annual averages, and a 27% increase for shoplifting and burglaries. These reports vary from city to city.

"I just want the police department, the city to pay more attention to the small business because these small business, this is their only resource to live," said Maysoon Haddad. "They don't get help or anything from other companies from other resources."

The family plans to keep their store open for a few more weeks as they try to sell their merchandise, and say they're unsure of what they'll do next.

"We're very grateful for the opportunity to be able to serve this area and meet all the beautiful people that live here," said Ihab Haddad .