The owner of a longtime Mission ice cream shop, Xanath, is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of three men who have vandalized his storefront twice within one year.
Juan San Mames, 72, is the owner of Xanath Ice Cream at 951 Valencia St. between 20th and 21st. He has posted videos of his windows being tagged with unknown chemicals, his locks being glued shut, and his door being jammed with sealing foam by three men at different periods.
San Mames said that the same men are involved and feels that his shop is being specifically targeted — for reasons he does not know.
“We are not Starbucks — we are a mom-and-pop operation. It’s just mean and it’s sad,” San Mames said.
The security camera footage, posted to the shop’s Facebook page, shows three men defacing the windows and the aftermath of the vandalism.
The first incident occurred on Aug. 26, 2018 at 12:38 a.m. Four cameras in his shop captured the moments when three men walked past his store and two of them tagged his windows with an acid-like chemical that proved impossible to remove. The men, wearing black hoodies and jackets, stop and tag his windows with an unknown object before running away.
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San Mames plastered pictures of the men on his windows after he reported them to police.
But this year, on Sept. 23 at 1 a.m., his security cameras caught another man walking up to his front door and testing the door handle before vandalizing the window. The man, wearing a grey jacket with its hood all the way up, can be seen tagging all of the windows before leaving the scene.
San Mames believes the taggers used some sort of acid-based chemical pen to mark the windows.
Additionally, during the latest vandalism this September, the door locks were jammed with glue and the door frame was lathered with some sort of expanding foam that forced San Mames to pry the door open.
“We have full video from every angle. There are four cameras, but they’re bold they just don’t care. They’re just going at it,” San Mames said.
The windows are severely damaged as a result of tagging with an unknown chemical, resulting in permanent damage; it’ll cost him $6,000 to replace them. He’s hoping that anyone with information can come forward and he’s offering a $2,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest.
Originally from Spain, San Mames said he started the ice cream shop after his main business, an import company specializing in vanilla bean and saffron imports called “Vanilla Saffron Imports,” relocated to Potrero Hill due to high rents. He opened the ice cream shop 10 years ago and uses some of the ingredients he imports.
Though he owns the building, the recent tagging has not affected his business that much. But he’s grateful for the community’s support.
“The community, the regular customers keep coming back even if the windows look like crap,” San Mames said. “Hopefully they catch these guys.”