Oakland ice cream shop window shattered by car in burglary

Flavor Brigade, a frozen dessert spot in Oakland known for its Italian water ice and frozen custard, has closed shop indefinitely after experiencing a devastating burglary on Monday, July 18.

Just after 1:30 a.m., the Oakland Police Department received a call notifying them that a business had been burglarized. Footage posted on Instagram by the store owners, Braedon Galloway and Justin Mruskovic, reveals that the perpetrators rammed through and shattered the storefront windows with the rear of their vehicle. Three masked individuals are then seen throwing benches, a freezer and refrigerator inside the store causing further damage in the process. Then, the vehicle reverses once again, but this time, into an ATM. 

Damage to the store’s window and stolen money are both familiar hardships that Galloway and Mruskovic have endured before. Located in Oakland’s Dimond District, Flavor Brigade has been hit by break-ins four times during its 12 years of operation, with this being the third time in just the past two years.

Security footage shows the perpetrators taking the ATM.

Courtesy of Flavor Brigade

“It’s happened before so it’s not a shock of itself,” Galloway said. “It’s just a matter of how they did it, like the total carelessness of it.”

Despite stealing only $530 by taking the ATM, the thieves caused more than $100,000 in damages, according to KPIX 5. A news release from OPD states that the investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.

The burglars took only $530, but left a situation that will cost much more to repair.

The burglars took only $530, but left a situation that will cost much more to repair.

Courtesy of Flavor Brigade

“Just disbelief,” Galloway said of his reaction to the incident. “Someone went through all that effort to get an ATM at an ice cream shop.”

While Flavor Brigade also has a Pleasanton store, the burglary is detrimental to their business as the Oakland location served as a “home base” where all of their products were made, Galloway said. Since the incident, the community-loved shop has seen support from many of its customers, one of whom set up a GoFundMe page to help mitigate the recovery expenses.

“It’s been overwhelmingly good,” Galloway said of the community’s response. “The people of Oakland are awesome. … I feel bad because everybody else is picking up for these people’s just reckless idiocracy.”

As this was not a first-time occurrence for Galloway, he noted that the situation in the area warrants deeper consideration.

An interior view of the damages that amounted to about $100,000.

An interior view of the damages that amounted to about $100,000.

Courtesy of Flavor Brigade

“This is the most severe one, but there’s been several very similar hits in our neighborhood,” Galloway said. “Businesses have been smashed and just totally ransacked. … Crime in Oakland goes not only unpunished, but unchecked. The first two burglaries, one of them included a gun shooting the windows out. We have footage of the people doing it blatant as day, and they didn’t even come look at the video.”

“What has happened in Oakland and the politics of Oakland and just letting things run amok wildly, it’s not fair to everybody,” Galloway continued.

While last Monday’s burglary has forced Flavor Brigade to put things on pause, Galloway has his sights set on getting things back on track.

“We’re going to get open as soon as we can and start serving ice cream again,” he said.

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